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Festival catalogue

Venue: Egyptian Theater

Opening Ceremony

Talk session with dir. Otomo (center) and actor, Aoki (right)

Fullhouse for the Short Film Competition screening


Q&A with filmmakers

Event Details
Date: Dec. 14, 2012 – Dec. 16, 2012
Place: Hollywood, USA
Venue: Egyptian Theater
Organizer: Japan Film Society

LA EigaFest is a Japanese film festival based in Los Angeles and hosted by the Japan Film Society. Its three main objectives are to 1) Showcase Japanese and Japanese influenced films that appeal to the broad American audiences, 2) Introduce and promote new and upcoming filmmakers and talent to the Hollywood community, and 3) Enhance the communication and relationship between the US and Japanese film industries and thus create business opportunities.“Eiga” which means “Film” in Japanese, was chosen to be included in the name of the film festival in hope that this would become an iconic Japanese-English term and a symbol of the world of Japanese cinema.

Kaori Momoi (Jury/actress from “Helter Skelter”)
Mika Ninagawa (director of “Helter Skelter”)
Keishi Otomo (director of “Rurouni Kenshin”)
Munetaka Aoki (actor from “Rurouni Kenshin”)
Issei Matsui (director of “Life Rate” from “Rakugo Eiga”)
Takeshi Tanaka (producer of “Rakugo Eiga”)
Ikuma Horii (director of a short film “Sacrifice”)
Yukinori Makabe (director of a short film “Battle on the Underground”)
Kiyoshi Yamamoto (director of a short film “EDO OF THE DEAD”)

Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony was held at Egyptian Theater, introducing the guests to the audience (including the public and industry people), hosted by two emcees. It was not so much of a ritual ceremony but a casual one. A screening of the opening film “Rurouni Kenshin” was followed after with a talk session with the filmmaker, Keishi Otomo and the actor, Munetaka Aoki.

Award Ceremony
There was not a ritual ceremony but a quite casual one with three jury members sitting among the audience. After the screening, the jury held a brief meeting to decide the winner. Meanwhile the guest filmmakers had a Q&A session. After half an hour, the jury came back in and announced the winner.

There was a short film competition category and the Golden Zipangu Award was given to one of the best short out of six nominated shorts. The Audience Award was also given.

Golden Zipangu Award: “Famiry” by Taishi Shiode
Audience Award: “Famiry” by Taishi Shiode


The line-ups of the feature films were quite impressive in a sense that most of them have been fairly new and popular in Japan despite the fact that it was a second year for the festival. As the festival grows bigger, its concept, goal and target audience should be more clear and solid. In addition, the screening of the short film competition was held on the last day and since it was free of charge, the venue was jam packed. It would be a better idea to have the short film competition screening at a bigger venue and the category should expand its scale bigger to meet the audience’s needs for the next edition.