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Sawato Midori

kMotion Picture Benshil
@Sawato Midori is originally from Tokyo. She graduated from the Department of Philosophy, Hosei University, and studied under the late Matsuda Shunsui. She has garnered high praise through her wide variety of performances in Japan and overseas, including France, the United States, etc. She has received a number of awards, includes the Award for Excellence in the field of Dramatic Performance at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Arts Festival, for her vast contributions toward promoting katsuben as modern entertainment, in addition to being a valuable presence carrying on the tradition of katsuben as a Japanese storytelling art. Her vast repertoire of over 500 films includes silent films in a wide variety of genres, for which she provides well-formed interpretations of the work.
She is the author of Katsudo Benshi: Sekai o Kakeru (Film Benshi Across the World). (She debuted in 1973.)



Recognition record
2010 Honored the Master of Sound by Japan Audio Society
2002  Received the Award for Excellence in the field of Dramatic Performance at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Arts Festival
2000  Received the 21st Special Award of Yamaji Fumiko Culture Institute
1995 Received the Japan Film Critics Golden Glory Award
1990 Received the Japan Film Pen Club Award


Overseas performances
Feb 2008 Performs at the New York Japan Society
Nov 2004 Performs with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra in Hawaii.
Jul 2004 Performs at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.
Apr 2004 Performs at four venues in Boston and Portsmouth including Boston University, Tufts University and Harvard Film Archive.
  Performs Taki no Shiraito (The Water Magician) at the 6th Women's Film Festival in Seoul.
Oct 2003 Performs Umarete wa Mita Keredo (I Was Born, But...) at the 39th Annual Chicago International Film Festival.
Sep 2002 Invited to the Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkley. Perform on Taki no Shiraito (The Water Magician), Chuji Tabinikki (The Diary of Chuji's Travels)
Oct 2001 Performs Orochi at the Silent Film Festival in Sacile, Italy.
Dec 1995 Performs in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sep 1995 Performs on Taki no Shiraito (The Water Magician) by Mizoguchi Kenji at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia.
Feb 1995 Invited to and performs at the Picture Drama Festival in Evreux, France.
1994 Performs at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in Germany.
1992 Performs in Los Angeles.
1991 Performs at the Voice Festival in Holland sponsored by the Rotterdam Arts Society.
1990 Performs at the Antwerp International Film Festival in Belgium.
  Invited by the Japan Cultural Institute in Rome and Pordenone Silent Film Festival and performs in Italy.
1989 Invited to the United States by New York Japan Society, American Museum of the Moving Image, etc. and performs katsuben in New York and three other cities.
1988 Invited to the Avignon Art Festival in France and performs as benshi for several films of Bando Tsumasaburo.


Other activities
E Performs in Hayashi Kaizo's Yume miru yoni Nemuritai (I sleep as to dream) and Nijusseiki Shonen Dokuhon (Circus Boy).
E Many works being shown with Sawato's katsuben on the NHK BS2 channel.
E Made regular appearances as an interviewer on the "Movies I Grew Up With" corner of the NHK show "Seikatsu Hot Morning" until March 2005.

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