New York Japan CineFest
Friday, November 20 at 9:00 a.m. through Sunday, November 22 at 11:59 p.m.
Registration: $1service fee (plus donation if you choose)
An independent Japanese short film festival, New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF) is in its ninth year. Presented by Mar Creation, Inc., NYJCF 2020 is sponsored by platform provider CYBER-NY in partnership with Japan Information and Culture Center and the Embassy of Japan and supported by Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Aichi International Women’s Film Festival, and Kadoma International Film Festival.
Just as most film festivals around the world have been forced to go online due to the coronavirus pandemic, NYJCF will hold the festival online for the first time from November 20 through November 22. The festival has implemented a digital platform called “LOGIC,” a business cloud solution provided by CYBER-NY.
This year the festival will screen fourteen short films in categories of documentary, narrative, and animation. The festival’s theme is “LIGHT,” which is what the festival committee found after struggling and discussing what is the best way to continue the annual festival during the pandemic.
To register, please visit the festival’s official website, watch.nyjcf.com.
Coming Back Sunny
Noriko Yuasa | drama | Japan | 2020 | 15:02
A parallel love story that depicts fate delicately and shockingly. A girl understands COLOR for the first time in forever, and falls in love for the first time in forever. This film is the way she pursues Romeo for herself.
Tatsuya Ino | documentary| Japan | 2020 | 3:22
In Nikko, Tochigi, Tokujiro IV and his buddies cultivate natural ice. They fill ponds with the natural water from the Nikko mountain range and let it develop into ice only by taking advantage of the coldness of the winter. Why does he still use traditional technics to make natural ice? This short documentary tells a story about Tokujiro, who calls himself an ice farmer, and his belief.
Tekkoku Nogami | drama | Japan | 2019 | 28:19
Kento was abandoned by his family when he was young. He spent time at a facility until elementary school and is taken to Hisako, who lives in Minamishimabara City. And he meets Ayano, a girl. Kento’s heart is revived by an event.
Fuyuko Mochizuki | documentary | Japan | 2019 | 14:26
Within the Tokara Archipelago in Japan lies the remote island of Akuseki. It’s home to 83 residents and one mysterious visiting deity called BOZE. This is a community that suffers from the declining population like many remote communities in Japan, but unlike any other, this one welcomes all who arrive from the sea with an open heart, even a lost boy.
The Walking Fish
Thessa Meijer | drama | Japan | Netherlands | 2018 | 18:59
An ambitious amphibian sea-creature wants to venture into the human world. Her dream to evolve into the perfect individual is so strong that she overcomes the physical boundaries of her fish-body and transforms into a human being. But even as a young woman she remains restless. Will she ever be content?
Yuichiro Yamada | documentary | Japan | 2019 | 10:03
In 2009, UNESCO said that the Ainu language is critically endangered. Today, no one speaks Ainu as their mother language. Kenji Sekine, an Ainu language instructor, tries to keep Ainu language alive and teaches it to the children in Nibutani, Hokkaido. However, he is not Ainu. Twenty years ago, he just happened to visit Nibutani while travelling all round Japan. He met Maki there and married her the following year. After twenty years, he became one of the most important people for the revival of Ainu language.
Koji Yamamoto | drama | Japan | 2019 | 34:25
A cold-hearted reaper, Makhaliss meets a dying teenage girl, Satsuki, who secretly plans to kill her own mother to save her from the worst agony any parent could go through: seeing her own child die.
Shiho Fukada | documentary| Japan | 2019 | 11:20
Kota Ishijima spent most of her life hiding from who she is. Finding the strength to live that truth drove a wedge between her and her family. Now more than a decade into that decision, her life comes full circle as she awaits the birth of her first grandchild.
Hiroyuki Nishiyama |drama | Japan | 2020 | 14:43
After Hiyori is admitted to the hospital, Uta goes around recording sounds from their memories, wishing for her to regain consciousness. She believes that they can return to that day. As she traces their memories, she makes a discovery.
Sawako Kabuki | animation | Japan | 2018 | 1:35
A girl always attracted to Takoyaki but with hesitation eventually becomes addicted to it. Takoyaki (Octopus Balls) is a famous and very delicious Japanese street food.
Miyamoto and the Machine: The Story of KenKen
Dan Sullivan | documentary | USA | 2019 | 39:22
Ten years ago, Tetsuya Miyamoto had a dream to change the world through puzzles. In his classroom in Yokohama, KenKen was born.
Samurai in the Oregon Sky
Ilana Sol | documentary | USA | 2019 | 48:16
In 1942, Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita catapulted his seaplane off of a submarine, flew over the Oregon coast, and became the only pilot to bomb the U.S. mainland during WWII. He never dreamed he would one day be invited back to the region, where he would begin a lifelong friendship with the people of a small Oregon town. Samurai in the Oregon Sky chronicles how Mr. Fujita came to refer to his former target as his “second home.”
Hello! Brand New World
Ryo Takebayashi drama/YouTube short | Japan | 2019 | 18:52
Asagiinyo is a famous Japanese YouTuber who hopes to spend every day filled with joy. However, she realizes that her packed schedule made her days tediously routinized. In order to take a break from all the stress, she plans a trip to Atami, which does nothing more than to exacerbate her life. Her train is delayed due to heavy fog, and her hotel is really old. “Well, this was a meaningless day…” Little does she know that she will literally be trapped in a day at Atami, until she finds what it truly means to lead a happy life.
Alexis Agliano Sanborn | documentary | USA | 2019 | 23:59
Embark on a delicious journey from farmer’s field to school classroom that celebrates how one country has re-imagined school lunch and food education. At the heart of Japan’s 2005 Food Education Law are the incredible people whose daily work nourishes the next generation’s relationship to food, the earth, and one another.
About New York Japan Cinefest
NYJCF was founded in 2012 by three Japanese producers based in New York: Yasu Suzuki, an actor, dancer, and filmmaker; film director Kosuke Furukawa; and Hiroshi Kono, CEO of Mar Creation, Inc. Since 2015, the film festival has been invited to screen its programs and films in multiple cities, including Boston, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the U.S. and also at film festivals in Japan: Aichi International Film Festival, Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Kadoma International Film Festival, and New Director Film Festival. For more information, please visit NYJCF’s website.