Photo/IllutrationAcclaimed Japanese film director Naomi Kawase, hired to make the official film of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, talks of her plans for the project in Tokyo on Oct. 23. (Takayuki Kakuno)

Acclaimed Japanese film director Naomi Kawase is to helm the official film of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizing committee of the Tokyo event jointly chose Kawase, who has won multiple awards, including prestigious prizes at the Cannes International Film Festival.

“Japan will undergo changes through the Olympic Games, and I will make a film that captures the stories, which, I believe, will touch people’s hearts all over the world,” Kawase, 49, told a news conference in Tokyo to mark the Oct. 23 announcement.

The documentary is scheduled to be completed in spring 2021.

One theme that Kawase said she wants to take up is the relationship between sports and the reconstruction of disaster-hit regions. Another will be Olympic volunteers’ activities, according to the film director.

“Japanese are the people who best know the joy brought through giving something to someone. I hope I can convey that spiritual nature,” she said.

Kawase, who lives in Nara, won the Camera d’Or for best debut feature film at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1997, for “Moe no Suzaku” (“Suzaku” internationally), making her the youngest recipient of the prize.

In 2007, Kawase captured the Grand Prix, the second highest award, at Cannes for “Mogari no Mori” (“The Mourning Forest”).

The IOC commissioned the first official Olympic film for the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm.

The late Kon Ichikawa (1915-2008) directed the official film of Tokyo's 1964 Summer Olympics. Another director, Masahiro Shinoda, took on the role for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games. As for the most recent Olympic Games held in Japan, the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, American film director Bud Greenspan was handed the task.