‘Ruined Heart’ in Tokyo Film Festival

RUINED Heart, Another Love Story Between A Criminal & A Whore is the Philippine entry to the Sakura Grand Prix competition to be held at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Directed by indie filmmaker Khavn De La Cruz, the film stars Japanese actor Asano Tadanobu and Mexican actress Nathalia Acevedo, Elena Kazan, Andre Puertollano, and Vim Nadera.

Set in Manila’s streets, Ruined Heart tells a story about a hit man falling in love with the crime boss’s girl. Now the pair must run for their lives as the boss and his mob hunts them down with full fury. This film is the extended version of De La Cruz’s short film, Pusong Wazak.

Japanese actor Asano
Tadanobu leads in Ruined
De La Cruz, known as a standard-bearer of local digital film making, has already established himself as a director with 45 features and more 100 short films, most of which won prizes and were presented in international film festivals. He is also an accomplished poet and fiction writer with several published books and musician with performances in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Tadanobu started his acting career with his first role in the TV show Kimpachi Sensei, at the age of 16. His film debut was in the 1990 Swimming Upstream Bataashi Kingyo (1990), but his first major critical success was in Shunji Iwa’s Fried Dragon Fish (1993). His best known works internationally are the samurai films Gohatto (1999) and The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003).

In 2012, Acevedo made her acting debut in Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux which received the Best Director Award (Palme d’Or) at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. She is also a film director and producer having worked on several video series, music videos and commercials.

Christopher Doyle was the man in charge of cinematography. The Australian cinematographer is credited for his works on Zhang Yimou’s Hero, Gus Van Sant’s Psycho, M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, among others.


Ruined Heart will compete with other 14 films from France, Belgium, Japan, China, Russia, and the US among others. With the jury headed by James Gunn, director the Guardian of the Galaxy, the Sakura Grand Prix will give away a $50,000 cash prize and other awards. Joining Gunn are Korea’s John H. Lee (A Moment to Remember), Australia’s Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde), Singapore’s Eric Khoo (Tatsumi), and Japan’s Hiroshi Shinagawa, alongside UK casting director Debbie McWilliams.

Films for the competition were selected from 1,373 submissions from 92 countries.

Aside from the film competition, the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will premiere 30 films.

According to organizers, this year’s event will big focus on anime films with the world premiere of Garm Wars—The Last Druid by Mamoru Ishii. There will also be a showcase of Hideaki Anno’s (Evangelion) works as well as the first showing of Pikmin short films from Nintendo game creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind the Mario Bros. Franchise.

Walt Disney will represent American animantion in the world premiere of festival opener Big Hero 6, as well as a talk from Disney’s John Lasseter on the theme of Japanese culture and anime.

Special screenings will include a 4K digitally restored Rebel Without a Cause, Chariots of Fire and a showing of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights at the Kabuki-za theater in Ginza.

The TIFF will also honor Tim Burton and Takeshi Kitano as the first recipients of the Samurai Award in recognition of filmmakers who “create groundbreaking films that carve out a path to a new era.”

On closing night, Takashi Yamazaki’s Parasyte will have its world premiere.

The TIFF will run until Oct. 31 at Roppongi Hills and other venues in central Tokyo, Japan.

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