International Competition's Jury
Born and raised in Nara, Naomi Kawase continues to make her films there today. Her pursuit to capture “reality” through film beyond simplistic documentary-fiction dichotomies has received worldwide acclaim, including at the Cannes Film Festival.
She is also a director of commercials, radio program DJ, essayist, and pursuer of various expressive activities including calligraphy and installations. Recently, she has become fascinated by the world of Ryukyuan dance and has been working on conveying its unique expression of time and space through visual expressions and stage sets. While continuing to expand her activities across the globe, she remains deeply rooted in her hometown. As executive director of the Nara International Film Festival, which she launched in 2010, she focuses on nurturing the next generation of visionaries and has produced nine films in this pursuit. She is the official Film Director of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and a Thematic Producer for the 2025 Osaka-Kansai World Expo. She serves as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and was awarded the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. In her private life, she is a mother of one who enjoys cultivating rice and tending to her garden.