James Quandt, the seniorprogrammer of Cinematheque Ontario, has been awarded the Special Prize for Artsand Culture from The Japan Foundation.

The honour recognizesQuandt's extensive scholarly work in Japanese cinema, from monographs onJapanese film masters, such as Kenji Mizoguchi, Shohei Imamura and KonIchikawa, and numerous individual and overview retrospectives that have touredinternationally.

In a statement, PiersHandling, director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival Group,which includes Cinematheque Ontario, said the award confirms Quandt'sreputation as "one of the world's leading film scholars, at one of the world'sleading cinematheques.'

Quandt served as thefounding director of Cinematheque Ontario from 1990 to 1997, and has been asenior programmer since then. His previous awards include the Chevalierdes Arts et Lettres from the French government, a Special Citation from theAmerican National Society of Film Critics, and the Clyde Gilmour LifeAchievement Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association.

In November 2004, Quandtwill serve on the film jury for Tokyo Filmex, a festival specializing incontemporary Asian cinema.