News & Information
[REPORT] LAFORET HARAJUKU: DAY 2 06/14 - GUESTS FOR 4 SCREENINGS THROUGHOUT THE DAY!!
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; International 6, Director Carlos Villafaina came out from Spain to talk about his highly personal film “Silence Please.” The story is about 2 brothers, 1 physically handicapped & the other who is forced to forfeit his life to care for his brother. The intimate details
in the film were all based on the director’s experiences with his own family. The handicapped brother was played by the director’s own twin brother Javier. The short film was shot on a $300 budget & shot over 6 days.
FOR THE 2ND PROGRAM OF THE DAY; Asia International & Japan Program 8, we had 4 sets of guests to represent their films!
From Bangladesh, director Abrar Athar came to introduce his heart-warming comedy about a family that centers everything around the national cricket team. Arbor told us that he based the story on his own step-father’s large family & the mother in the film was inspired by his grandmother. Just goes to show, grandmothers are the best in any country & the power of family and sports cross over any boundaries!
Next up was director Seubboon from Thailand who brought his whole family for the screenings of his Thai musical-comedy here in Tokyo. He told the audience that he came up with the scenario about this dysfunctional family who are all obsessed with their smart-phones with a uni classmate in the stage production program.
Director Yee Wee Chai brought his charming coming-of-age & coming out short “Benjamin’s Last Day At Katon Swimming Complex” to our festival. He was proud that he based this short film on his own experiences & wanted to send a message to the actual swimming instructor in the story that was his 1st true love. Well done Chai & welcome to Tokyo.
The final guests were for the Japanese short film “A Can of Peaches.” Director Shinya Kawakami brought his two lead actors, Chie Tsuji & Makoto Shinada. This was a project born from his drama school & he had to create a story from 1 thing that had contained some kind of memory, hence the can of peaches. As in his short film for the city of Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture, a magical moment happens at the end with a CGI apparition that brings the film together into a bittersweet, magical film.
4th PROGRAM – ENCORE Q&A WITH GUESTS FROM YESTERDAY’S SHIBUYA SHIDAX SCREENING. PLEASE SEE ASIA INTERNATIONAL & JAPAN PROGRAM REPORT FROM 06/13.
FRANCE & CHILDREN REPRESENTED FOR LAST PROGRAM OF DAY 2 AT LAFORET HARAJUKU – INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM 3.
We finished with the day a most excellent Q&A with director Charlotte Karas & co-director/DoP Thierry le Mer for their outstanding short about kids in an orphanage titled “Sons of…”
Fortunate for the audience that they were the only Q&A guests for this program so we were able to have a nice long chat with the filmmakers.
What was amazing about this short which featured at least 20 kids between 5 to 10 years old with 4 to 5 kids in “lead” roles, was that they actually had the kids work of a script! Watching the film, most of the audience, myself included, could have sworn that the directors had the kids ad-lib their parts after just setting the scene. Amazing! Charlotte got the idea to make this short after seeing a documentary about an online website where kids who want to be adopted make a short PR appeal about themselves which is then posted online.
There are heart-breaking moments as well as the sheer fun of watching kids in their own special worlds. Thanks Charlotte & Thierry for making this wonderful short & bringing it to our festival!
A great day of screenings & Q&A’s!
So we’ll be here at Laforet in Harajuku & Shidax in Shibuya for Week 2 of screenings through Sunday, 06/17.