Director SAI Yoichi has passed away on November 27, 2022, at the age of 73.
After serving as assistant director for renowned auteurs Oshima Nagisa and Murakawa Toru, he made his directorial debut in 1983 film Mosquito on the Tenth Floor starring the Japanese rock star Uchida Yuya, which was screened at the Venice International Film Festival.
In 1993, his All Under the Moon, which described the stories of Koreans living in Japan, was screened in the Forum section at the Berlin International Film Festival and also won various awards. Sai directed Blood and Bones starring Kitano Takeshi, which was Japan’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
At the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), Sai served as the President of Jury in the Asian Film Award section. He also participated in TIFF with his film All Under the Moon screened in the 6th TIFF’s Nippon Cinema Now section.
He became the 8th Chairman of the Directors Guild of Japan in 2004, and as the chairman of the organization, he was one of the board members of UNIJAPAN, which organizes TIFF, for 16 years from 2006 to 2022.
Since the 23rd TIFF (2010), TIFF and the Directors Guild of Japan have jointly hosted the screening and symposium of Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award to actively promote up-and-coming Japanese directors to the world, and he joined TIFF for these events at the 32nd and 33rd TIFF as the chairman of the organization.
We would like to express our sincere condolences and would like to convey our deepest sympathy.
Tokyo International Film Festival