New York Japan CineFest 2017
Thursday, June 1 and Friday, June 2 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:15 p.m.
Asia Society – 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street
Admission: $12/$10 seniors and students/$8 members
Highlighting some of the most exciting new voices in cinema, New York Japan CineFest presents two nights of short films by emerging Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. Co-presented with Asia Society, NYJCF is part of the Citi series on Asian Arts and Culture. JapanCulture•NYC is proud to be one of NYJCF’s Community Partners.
Program 1 – Thursday, June 1 at 6:30 pm
Followed by a reception
Dir. Bunji Sotoyama. 2016. Japan. 30 mins.
Aoi is a high school student living with her father, Kazuo, who suffers from depression. Kazuo is unable to run his sushi restaurant due to his illness, leaving Aoi no choice but to succeed her father to save the restaurant. She turns to a magical baseball pitch to find her fate.
“Sakurada” Zen Chef
Dir. Hirokazu Kishida. 2016. Japan. 13 mins.
A documentary exploring the final 100 days of Sakurada, renowned 2 Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto, after the sudden announcement to close its doors. Through Chef Isuzu Sakurada’s “retirement,” the film probes the connection between the worldview pursued by Japanese cuisine in Kyoto and the spirit of Zen.
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere
Dir. Mickey Duzyj. 2016. USA. 19 mins.
In 2003, Japan was plunged into economic darkness, and people needed a ray of hope. They found one in Haru Urara, a racehorse with a pink Hello Kitty mask and a career-long losing streak.
Dir. Tomoko Mikanagi. 2016. Japan. 4 mins.
Miki Orihara, principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, performs a solo she choreographed for herself against a backdrop of skyscrapers at sunset.
I & Myself
Dir. Hisanori Tsukuda. 2017. Japan. 5 mins.
Mizuho came to Tokyo to make her dream a reality, but things have not been going well for her. She finds herself thinking, “What did I come to Tokyo for…?” Depressed and on her way home one day, she is stopped by a lady, who, to her astonishment, is another version of herself.
Dir. Jonathan Minard & Scott Rashap. 2016. USA. 14 mins.
An infant’s life is transformed by a new technology.
Dir. A.T. 2015. Japan. 5 mins.
A girl encounters an android on the street. Unnerved by the experience, she decides to follow the android to give it a “message.”
Friday, June 2 at 6:30 pm
Animation and Japanese Film Festival Collection
Followed by a discussion
Complex x Complex
Dir. Miyuki Fukuda. 2015. Japan. 25 mins.
Eighth grader Yui longs to be a grown-up. She considers armpit hair the symbol of adulthood, so her classmate Takeo, who has the thickest underarm hair in the class, becomes her idol. Is it love? A coming-of-age story about puberty, love, and halting conversation.
Dir. Akihito Izuhara. 2015. Japan. 8 mins.
In the woods, every creature is sleeping. Listen carefully to their quiet breathing. It’s the sounds of this innocent world that are called “Vita lakamaya” . . .
Dir. Yoshimi Itazu. 2015. Japan. 28 mins.
The earth shook. The sea roared. And then . . .
There is a small, solitary house standing by the seaside. A pigtail-braided girl has been living alone since that fateful day. Mail is no longer delivered, yet she hangs the laundry to dry as usual. A delicate fable of hope and rebirth in a cruel and gentle world after an unnamed disaster.
Dir. Mizuki Kiyama. 2015. Japan. 5 mins.
We are made up of two symmetrical parts: the left and the right. Not only our bodies, but also our mentality, consist of twin elements, such as instinct and intellect, or the objective and subjective. These dual qualities make up a whole person. This animation humorously explores this fact, which we often take for granted.
Dir. Isamu Hirabayashi. 2015. Japan. 9 mins.
In a small, quiet forest, an energetic boy named Shimajiro falls into a hole. The residents of the forest gather to help him, but young Shimajiro only ends up hurting them. But when Shimajiro encounters great kindness, he is able to find kindness within himself.
Dir. Yu Sato. 2016. Japan. 4 mins.
A robot wakes up among heaps of trash in the deep recesses of a dark alley. With no recollection of what happened before or after he was thrown away, will this robot try to return home to the family for whom he worked?
Nothing You Need to See
Dir. Keigo Ito. 2015. Japan. 4 mins.
This hand-drawn animation focuses on what we look at in everyday life. Set on a fantasy train representing a kind of mental landscape, a young man shuts himself off from the outside world by reversing his face so he does not see anything, while another man silently stuffs garbage into the face.
In the Clock
Dir. Shizuka Abe. 2015. Japan. 9 mins.
He is a clockwork toy. His work is performing in front of the clock every 3 hours. One day, he meets the doll that is on the music box.
To purchase tickets, please visit Asia Society’s website.