[Program 1 – June 2, 2016]
Highlighting some of the most exciting new voices in cinema, New York Japan CineFest presents two nights of short films by emerging Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. The first night’s program is followed by a reception. This is part of Citi Series on Asian Arts and Culture. Reception is sponsored in part by Kirin Brewery of America LLC.
1. Valley of Dolls
Dir. Fritz Schumann. 2014. Japan. 7 min.
Ayano Tsukimi lives in Nagoro, a village in eastern Iya on Shikoku, where not many people still live. For those who die or move away, Ayano Tsukimi makes life-sized dolls in their image and puts the dolls in places that were important to them, scattered around the whole valley.
2. Matcha: An Ippodo Story
Dir. Michael McAteer. 2015. USA. 7 min.
In Matcha: An Ippodo Story, director Michael McAteer transports viewers to Kyoto, Japan for an intimate matcha experience.
3. Venom Therapy
Dir. Steven Murashige. 2015. USA. 18 min.
A family struggles with the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis as it affects Clara, a young wife and mother. After hearing of a miraculous healing treatment for MS sufferers, they begin administering multiple bee stings to Clara on a daily basis—totaling more than 3,000 over the course of a year. The story chronicles the family’s journey with the treatment and the unexpected results it produces.
4. TOKYO COSMO
Dir. Takahiro Miyauchi. 2015. Japan. 5 min.
A woman lives alone in Tokyo, and is tired by her daily life and harbors feelings of loneliness. Her stuffed pig creates a world of imagination to cheer her up. Special thanks to New Directors Film Festival.
5. Swinging Skirt
Dir. Yusaku Okamoto. 2014. Japan. 20 min.
A female high school student, Ayaka, plays a game: collecting money from men by showing off her underwear. It gets to be a big problem as it escalates.
6. A Beautiful Person
Dir. Isao Yukisada. 2016. Japan. 40 min.
A story about a filmmaker who came to a small town in Kumamoto for a location scout and a young woman he met at a small bookstore there.
[Program 2 – June 3, 2016]
Highlighting some of the most exciting new voices in cinema, New York Japan CineFest presents two nights of short films by emerging Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. The second night’s program is followed by a discussion with three directors; Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski and Kathryn Tolbert (Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides), and Noriko Yuasa (Girl, Wavering). This is part of Citi Series on Asian Arts and Culture.
Dir. Chisa Hidaka. 2014. USA. 6 min.
Discover the glorious disorientation of losing yourself in the dolphins’ world, as you follow graceful (human) dancers into the deep ocean.
Dir. Shigeyoshi Tsukahara. 2014. Japan. 14 min.
While a narrator reads from Osamu Dazai’s “Schoolgirl,” a day in the life of a young girl in Showa-era Tokyo unfolds, featuring various retro items from the era. Special thanks to Sapporo International Short Film Festival.
3. Girl, Wavering
Dir. Noriko Yuasa. 2015. Japan. 19 min.
Mizuho is a high school girl who works part time at an online dating website company. One day, she receives a request from a stranger named Kenzo who insists he needs an assistant to commit suicide.
4. Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides
Dir. Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski, Kathryn Tolbert. 2015. USA. 26 min.
Atsuko, Emiko and Hiroko were among tens of thousands of Japanese women who married their former enemies after World War II. They landed in 1950s America, knowing no one, speaking little English and often moving in with stunned in-laws. Their recollections are further refracted through the eyes of their Japanese-American daughters. Personal photographs and visuals from US archival sources help bring to life this fascinating episode in US history.
5. Take 8
Dir. Shinichiro Ueda. 2015. Japan. 20 min.
An independent filmmaker, Takao, is directing a film about a wedding starring his girlfriend, Akane. The film production is coming to a close, but there is one important scene left to shoot. Unfortunately, the actor who was to play the father-of-the-bride was unable to make the shoot. They had no choice but to let Akane’s real father, Toru, play the role. But Toru wouldn’t give them his blessings, either in the movie, or in real life.
6. Fox Fears
Dir. Miyo Sato. 2015. Japan. 8 min.
On the evening of a village festival, a young boy named Bunroku goes to the festival with his friends and visits a clog shop on the way. There he learns an old superstition about the fox. Special thanks to Aichi International Women’s Film Festival.
Dir. Evan Dennis. 2015. USA. 5 min.
A documentary about the ultra-diverse custom motorcycle builder, Keino Sasaki of Brooklyn’s Keino Cycles.