Seasoned Japanese actor Tatsuya Fuji won the Silver Shell for Best Leading Performance on Saturday for his performance in the movie "Great Absence" at the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain.

Fuji, 82, became the first Japanese national to receive the award, which he won this year alongside Marcelo Subiotto of Argentina for his role in the film "Puan."

In Great Absence, Fuji plays the role of a former university professor suffering from dementia in a story about an estranged father and son mending their relationship.

"I strongly feel that movies can become universal sometimes by crossing the boundaries between different cultures and nationalities. I am happy to be a person involved in making films," Fuji told Kyodo News.

Japanese actor Tatsuya Fuji (L) and director Kei Chikaura pose for photos in San Sebastian, Spain, on Sept. 30, 2023, where they attended the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival. (Kyodo)

The film, directed by Kei Chikaura, also picked up another award in Spain from a local cultural association and will be released in Japan in 2024.

The festival's Golden Shell for Best Film award went to "The Rye Horn," a film directed by Spain's Jaione Camborda, and will be screened at the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival opening on Oct. 23.

San Sebastian's international film festival is considered one of the most prestigious in Europe alongside those of Cannes, Berlin and Venice.

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