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LAFORET HARAJUKU: DAY 3 06/15 REPORT - GUESTS FOR ALL 5 SCREENINGS!! 5 SHORTS, BEAUCOUP GUESTS & 1 TIRED MC!
So we’ve moved on down the street from Omotesando Hills, Space O to THE LAFORET HARAJUKU shopping complex for week 2 of the festival. Harajuku of course is the center of the world for the younger generations from around the world & this area is jamming on the weekends.
FOR TODAY’S 1ST PROGRAM; ASIA INTERNATIONAL & JAPAN 1, Director FENG-I FIONA ROAN came out from LA to represent her family story “JIE JIE.” She brought her young star Eva Du who in turn came out with her family for their 1st experience of Tokyo!
Based on her own experiences when her family moved from Taiwan to LA. The 2 young girls playing the sisters, Eva played the older, would rehearse & work on their lines with Fiona on 8 straight weekends due to school of course during the week. She decided to streamline the scenes to make it easier for her young stars & they really pulled it off, playing siblings under peer pressure with a great desire to “fit in” with the cool kids in a foreign land.
DIRECTOR KANA YAMADA come out to talk about her short “SHINJUKU GIRL,” about a young, modern Japanese woman reaching her limits because of stress, frustration & worthless Japanese men. We talked about the difficulty shooting on the streets of Tokyo but she pulled it off with good planning, a minimal crew & a bit of good luck.
Finally, festival regular HIROYUKI SHINTANI presented his BOOK SHORT AWARD winning film “
THE MAYOR’S NEW CLOTHES, comedic & acerbic at the same time, he really loved the voice over of TOKIO EMOTO so much that he cast him for the lead. Director Shintani wanted to incorporate a fierce criticism of current Japan but in the tradition of classic European comedy.
FOR THE 2ND PROGRAM OF THE DAY; ASIA INTERNATIONAL & JAPAN 3, we had 3 sets of guests to represent their films!
From Japan, director MAYU NAKAMURA brought her leading lady YUE for her short film “THE DEVIL IN THE AFTERNOON.” Her short about an out of work actor practicing lines in a neighborhood park who accidentally gets accused of molesting a little girl by the girl’s mother was shot with the permission of an old apartment complex where the park was located. She wanted to draw attention to predators as well as the danger of being falsely accused.
The delightful director of “COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO” from India, REEMA SENGUPTA brought her producer/Mom SUREKHA to Japan for the screenings of this powerful statement on the state of things regarding women in India. The lead character finds herself alone & now can’t find a place to live because in India, rooms & apartments are not leased to “single” women. She revealed that she made this short when she found out that her own Mom had gone through this experience herself.
Next up was director Takeshi TANAKA for the Japanese mockumentary “THE BAND’S NEW STAGE.” Cast members KENICHI UGANA & KENTARO UEDA. The director was able to make this film when the officials of a small island town invited him to make a film in their town & he set the story about a minor band who gets a gig as a big, popular band invited to play at a small island town. The actors aren’t musicians but they had the right swagger & attitudes.
3RD PROGRAM – INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM 2. ANDREAS MONIES FROM DENMARK!
Director ANDREAS MONIES’ superb boxing film “SHADOW BOXER” is a magical piece about a young girl who decides to take up boxing after her boxer mother receives a paralyzing injury during a fight. It’s all about the girl trying to get closer to her mother who started to shut everything & everyone out after her injury. Andrea dreamed about the last scene & that was his inspiration to write the script & make the film. Andreas, thank you!
4TH PROGRAM – ASIA INTERNATIONAL & JAPAN 4 WITH 3 SETS OF GUESTS.
1st up was director NAOTO KUMAZAWA with his very suspenseful mystery “LITTLE LAMB.” A veteran director of features & music videos, this was a Tokyo Polytechnic University film class production & he shot it in an university studio set up “in-the-round” so students can watch & learn with a master at work.
Director YURUGU MATSUMOTO of “PAY PHONE” brought along his cast, Mitsuo Suzuki, Takashi Irie & Kikuyo about his sweet tale of a father & grown-up daughter who live apart. One day the father comes out to the big city for a visit & they catch up over dinner & drinks. What sets this short apart from others is the way the director set up the sweet ending after they had acted almost like an old couple who get on each other’s nerves.
The final program of the day, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM 8, saw the return of director Maria Zinn from Bolivia for her short “MY SON,” & the team from “EAT YOUR PRINCIPLES;” director “ANA GARCIA RICO, DoP SAM TRAVIS & AD PABLO PEREZ.
Please see previous report from SHIDAX, Wed, 06/13.
More soon come all.