Koji Yakusho at HIFF

High profile Japanese superstar Koji Yakusho was presented with the Career Achievement Award at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) sponsored by Halekulani.  He graciously received the award in front of a sold-out theater full of his fans prior to the first screening of his film THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN on October 14 at Regal Dole Cannery Theatres.

Yakusho, who has been acting for the past 30 years believes that the film industry is alive and well.

“There’s something about the experience of film,” said Yakusho, “it’s a feeling you can only have with watching a movie in the theater.”

Throughout his career, he has worked in both Japanese and American productions. He said that the American productions spent a lot more time with pre-production, had a very large crew, and shot less scenes in a day.  Whereas the Japanese productions are made much faster and with a smaller amount of crew members.

The main difference in terms of the jobs of the crew was that “Japanese are resourceful, they multitask and Hollywood is more specialized,” Yakusho said.

Yakusho has enjoyed his stay in Hawaii and would love the chance to work on a film based here.

“I like the breeze, the bright sun, the blue sea, and encounters with the locals here,” Yakusho said.

Yakusho has starred in many other films throughout the years of the festival including but not limited to BABEL, CHRONICLE OF MY MOTHER, and 13 ASSASSINS.