New York Japan CineFest 2018
Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 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.
Program 1 – Wednesday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Followed by a reception.
Dir. Yasu Suzuki. 2018. USA. 21 mins.
Two mysterious men wearing identical suits, coats, and even glasses walk into a restaurant. Are they assassins? Secret government agents? The IRS? No, they are The Apologizers. Did you make some mistakes? A business deal gone wrong? Call The Apologizers for big or small businesses, even domestic disputes. There is no place they won’t go. They will show up with their ultimate sincerity and apologize from the bottom of their hearts…
First Samurai in New York
Dir. Justin Ambrosino. 2018. USA. 14 mins.
In the late 1800s, a Japanese-born woman, trained as a samurai warrior by her late father, immigrates with her widowed mother and siblings to New York, looking for a better life – only to find racism, violence, and corruption instead.
Sugihara Survivors: Jewish and Japanese, Past and Future
Dir. Junichi Kajioka. 2017. Japan/UK. 24 mins.
A short documentary film about Chiune Sugihara – considered Japan’s Oskar Schindler – a diplomat who saved 6,000 Jewish refugees in WWII. The film follows Japanese writer Akira Kitade, who tries to trace the identities of some of the “Sugihara survivors” and uncover historic connections between Japanese and Jewish people. This film was made for the 30th anniversary of Mr. Sugihara’s death.
And So We Put Goldfish in the Pool
Dir. Makoto Nagahisa. 2017. Japan. 28 mins.
One summer day, 400 goldfish were found in the swimming pool of a secondary school. This is the story of the four 15-year-old girls who put them there.
Dir. Yuske Fukada. 2017. USA. 11 mins.
In 2121, DR_06 is an abortionist in The City – the last human utopia on an artificial island designed purely for the highest optimization on the desert-like earth. DR_06 works diligently to maintain his citizenship despite his low genetic score, called a “spec”; he aborts deficient fetuses in order to improve the efficiency of society in The City. His perfectly optimized life falters when his ex-lover, Grace, returns to ask for an illegal fake operation to save her baby.
Dir. Nick Hughes. 2016. USA. 8 mins.
A glimpse into the music of Japan’s Hatis Noit, whose experimental vocals recollect memories of her snowy hometown, Hokkaido. Hatis creates a richly layered sonic landscape that recalls familiar musical techniques while recontextualizing them and transcending traditional forms.
Program 2 – Thursday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Dir. Chisa Hidaka and Benjamin Harley. 2017. USA. 12 mins.
Dolphin Dreams introduces wild dolphins as we have never met them before. The gorgeous underwater cinematography of Howard Hall brings the heartwarming relationship between a unique pod of wild Atlantic spotted dolphins and two New York City dancers to life, as they collaborate to create underwater dances and discover a profound mutual understanding. This groundbreaking experimental documentary builds on the communicative power of dance to give audiences the visceral experience of participating in an unprecedented interspecies dialogue.
Dir. Nobuyuki Miyake. 2017. Japan. 17 mins.
Amid the sudden wailing of sirens, Arab immigrant Abbas pushes into the room of elderly Japanese man Toyoshige and carries him piggyback out to safety. As they go down the stairs, the film reveals what each of their days looked like up until this moment, including prejudices and misunderstandings they have experienced or perpetrated.
A Girl Untouchable
Dir. Hidetaka Komukai. 2016. Japan. 16 mins.
In preparation for their college entrance exams, Shun and Tatsuya look for a place where they can concentrate on their studies. They arrive at a peaceful mountain inn, but when Shun falls in love with Nagi — a shrine maiden who works at the inn — his concentration is broken.
Dir. Mayu Ryokucha. 2017. Japan. 18 mins.
Yoko and Michiko are sisters, living together in an apartment. One afternoon, struggling actress Yoko gets help from Michiko in reading over a script. But as they practice, tensions rise and Yoko suggests an improvisation, leaving the two sisters lost between reality and acting.
All Alone in Kamiyama
Dir. Mile Nagaoka. 2017. Japan. 30 mins.
Young urban creatives are drawn to Japan’s rural town of Kamiyama, known for its unspoiled natural beauty and welcoming locals, but not everyone is wrapped up in this rural renaissance. This documentary records six years in the lonely life of the local hairdresser, the elderly Satchan.
Dir. Yuji Mitsuhashi. 2017. Japan. 17 mins.
A struggling writer and his wife have unaffectionate sex every night. Though he toils over his writing every night, his novel is rejected by his publisher. One day, out of frustration, he strangles and kills his wife — only to discover she is alive and carrying on as usual the next morning. After this strange event, his fortunes begin to turn…
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Asia Society’s website.