Eri Ishida - Career Overview

Even in international film circles, few people will immediately recognize the name 'Eri Ishida'. This, however, is not the case in her native Japan, where Eri has not only won 3 Academy Awards, but also the reputation for being one of the most talented actresses of her generation.

In 1981, starring in just her second film, Eri gained instant fame for playing (Ayako) in Distant Thunder, for which she was awarded both 'Best Actor' and 'Best New Actor' prizes at the Japan Academy Awards. The following year, Eri proved her versatility on the stage, winning the 'Best New Actor Award' at the Golden Arrow Awards for her role in the hit play, Dream Girl.

The late 80's and early 90's were years of intense activity for Eri. Participating in numerous films, she expanded her abilities by taking on diverse and challenging roles. Her efforts did not go unnoticed. Winning awards such as 'Best Actress' at the Asia Pacific Film Festival and 'Best Supporting Actress' at the Japan Academy Awards (1989 & 1991), Yokohama Film Festival and other prominent competitions, Eri further established herself as one of Japan's most dedicated and skilled actors.

In a career that has moved from one high point to another, 1987 stands out as a particularly memorable year for Eri. Starring in the hugely successful episodic movie, The Fishing Diary, she won over the hearts of Japan with her portrayal of 'Michiko-san,' a character with whom Eri will always be associated.

One of Eri's longstanding dreams was fulfilled in 1988 when she attended the Cannes Film Festival in support of director Kiju Yoshida's Wuthering Heights, in which she played one of the leading roles.

Always looking to broaden her experiences, Eri took on the title character in the Australian film AYA in 1991. Directed by Solrun Hoass, the movie depicts a Japanese woman who marries an Australian and moves to her husband's country following World War II. Eri's confident portrayal of Aya received much praise in both Japan and abroad.

In 1993, Eri jumped at the chance to work with the world-renowned photographer, Helmut Newton. Their collaboration, the photo book titled Immoral sold over 300,000 copies in Japan alone, making it one of the world's most successful photography publications to date. Newton's images of Eri were also included in his posthumous book, Sumo.

In 1997, she starred in Apocalypse of Love, the first film to be publicly exhibited when cultural exchanges were restored between Japan and Korea in 1998.

In 2004, Eri took part in her 20th film, Beautiful Summer Kirishima. Eri's strong presence as the character (name of character) was one of the reasons the movie was voted the No. 1 Japanese film of the year by the respected film publication 'Kinema Junpo.'

Having played a major role in director Shinji Aoyama's Sad Vacation, Eri attended the 2007 Venice Film Festival in support of the movie, which made its debut there. Eri went on to win the 'Best Actress' award at the 2008 Takasaki Film Festival for her work in Sad Vacation.

In 2017, Eri worked with one of the world's greatest masters of photography, Peter Lindbergh. The photos were shot at his home in Provonce France to create the photo book "56" displaying the finnest nude beauty at the age of 56.

In Japan and abroad, Eri has had the pleasure of taking on a wide variety of roles and working with diverse directors. During her travels over the past several years, Eri has developed strong English language skills as well as deepened her appreciation for international film. As her career moves forward, Eri has a strong desire to participate in projects that will take her to new places, both physically and metaphorically.


Eri Ishida - Selected Filmography and Awards
( *denotes leading role, Japanese titles in parentheses if different from English)

2016 'Beautiful People' Dedicated to Kumamoto earthquakes in 2016
Director: Isao Yukisada
2015 'Hand in the Glove' Tailand-Japan Co-production
Director: Yusuke Inaba
2014 'Vancouber's Asahi' Vancouber International Film Festival / Audience Award
Director: Yuya Ishii
2012 'MY HOUSE'
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
2010 'Acacia' (Akashia) Tokyo International Film Festival / Competition
Director: Jinsei Tsuji
2009 'The Clone Returns Home' (Kuron wa Kokyo o Mezasu)
Sundance Film Festival / World Cinema Competition
Director: Kanji Nakajima
2008 'Bloody Snake Under The Sun' (Habu to Genkotsu)
Tokyo International Film Festival / Competition
Director: Ryo Nakai
2007 'Sad Vacation' * Venice Film Festival / Orizzonti Opening
Takasaki Film Festival - Best Leading Actress
Director: Shinji Aoyama
2005 'Female' * (Femeiru)
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
1997 'Apocalypse of Love' * (Ai no Mokushiroku) Japan / Korea Co-Production
Director: Kim Su-Yong
1991 'Aya' * Australian Film
Director: Solrun Hoaas
Asia-Pacific Film Festval - Best Actress

'Fishing Diary 2' (Tsuribaka Nishi)
Japan Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress
Director: Tomio Kuriyama

'Won't Dream Flying' (Tobu Yume wo Shibarakuminai)
Asia Pacific Film Festival - Best Actress
Japan Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress
Director: Eizo Sugawa


'Wuthering Heights' (Arashigaoka) Festival de Cannes / Competition
Director: Kijyu Yoshida
'A Chaos of Flowers' (Hananoran)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Japan Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress
Hochi Film Awards - Best Supporting Actress

'Hope & Pain' (Dauntaun Herozu) Berlin International Film Festival / Competition
Director: Yoji Yamada

1987 'Lantern' (Chochin)
Director: Kajima Shunichi
Mainichi Film Awards - Best Supporting Actress
Yokohama Film Festival - Best Supporting Actress
1981 'Distant Thunder' * (Enrai)
Director: Kichitaro Neishi
Japan Academy Awards - Best Leading Actress
Japan Academy Awards - Best New Actress
Hochi Film Awards - Best New Actress Award


SAD VACATION / Film by Shinji Aoyama © style jam