Japanese Independent Films Meet the World in New York Japan CineFest


New York Japan CineFest, Asia Society, Mar Creation, NYC, Japan, Japanese cinema, Japanese American filmmakers

New York Japan CineFest

Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Asia Society – 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)

Tickets: $12/$8 Asia Society members/$10 seniors and students

The fourth annual New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF) will screen eight Japanese independent films co-hosted by Mar Creation, Inc. and Asia Society.

Founded in 2010 by filmmakers Yasu Suzuki and Kosuke Furukawa and a producer, Hiroshi Kono, NYJCF promotes Japanese culture through films and discovers new filmmakers based in New York and around the US.This film festival highlights some of the most exciting new voices in cinema – eight high-quality shorts by emerging Japanese and Japanese-American filmmakers. There will be a reception on the first day and Q&A with Hazuki Aikawa and Ema Ryan Yamazaki on the second day after screenings.

Program 1 on Thursday, June 4

A Warm Spell
Dir. Toshimichi Saito. 2014. Japan. 40 min.
When Masanobu returns home with the body of his mother, he finds that his younger brother, Naoki, has given up on his dream to be a painter in order to take care of the post office, their family business. At their mother’s funeral, the two brothers and a few unlikely strangers come together to bid farewell to the woman who tied them together. The film is developed from director Toshimichi Saito’s NYU thesis short film, also titled A Warm Spell, which won the Wasserman Award and Audience Choice Award at NYU’s First Run Film Festival 2014 and went on to be showcased at Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Special thanks to New Directors Film Festival.

Little Kyota Errand Hood
Dir. Satsuki Okawa. 2014. Japan. 20 min.
Three years after the earthquake and tsunami, little boy Kyota meets little girl Shiori. Sharing similar eccentricities, the two quickly become friends and plan to embark on an adventure together. Director Satsuji Okawa’s Little Kyota Noen Hood was screened in last year’s New York Japan CineFest. Special thanks to Aichi International Women’s Film Festival.

Dir. Robin Takao D’Oench. 2014. Japan. 15 min.
A Japanese American family returns home from an internment camp at the end of WWII. Their home has been ransacked and is in disarray. Even though each family member feels differently about returning home, they all try to find the strength to rebuild their life amidst the emotional and physical destruction caused by the war. Robin Takao D’Oench’s directorial debut honors the legacy of Paul Takagi, 92-year old former internee, WWII veteran, Berkeley Professor Emeritus, and the director’s grandfather.

Confession Ranking of Girlfriend
Dir. Shinichiro Ueda. 2014. Japan. 19 min.
A man proposes to a woman. Rather than saying Yes or No, the woman goes on to reveal 17 secrets. Will the proposal hold after these revelations?


Program 2 on Friday, June 5

Monk By Blood
Dir. Ema Ryan Yamazaki. 2013. Japan. 25 min.
As a first-born son, 21-year-old Scion Sasaki is destined to take over his family’s Buddhist temple in Kyoto, a temple that is 800 years old and has been managed by 23 generations of Scion’s family. Born in California, Scion was was brought back to Japan at the age of 9 and raised to understand his ultimate duty. Meanwhile, he juggles multiple worlds as a monk, DJ, and aspiring chef.

Dir. Hazuki Aikawa. 2014. Japan. 23 min.
Tara, a young single mother, struggles to understand and come to terms with her son’s gender identity. Reflection tells the story of a mother and her enduring influence on her child’s life. It provides an honest look at what it means to be a parent to a LGBTQ+ youth.

Dir. Mitsuyo Miyazaki. 2011. Japan. 25 min.
During post-war Japan, Tsuyako lives a demanding life as a mill factory worker, obedient wife, and loving mother. When an old female lover, Yoshie, pays a surprise visit, Tsuyako finds herself entranced by the dream of a different life.

Oh Lucy!
Dir. Atsuko Hirayanagi. 2014. Japan. 21 min.
Setsuko, a 55-year-old single office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, “Lucy,” by her young unconventional English instructor. “Lucy” awakens desires Setsuko never knew she had. When the instructor suddenly disappears, Setsuko must come to terms with what remains – herself.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Asia Society’s website.