The 2nd Chicago Japanese Film Collective
Saturday, May 21 through Monday, May 30
Admission: $25 All-Access Pass (11 Films) / $20 Five Virtual Ticket Bundle (5 Films) / $10 Single Virtual Ticket (1 Film)
The first Japanese film festival in the Midwest offers hybrid screening for the second year. The 2nd Chicago Japanese Film Collective (CJFC) will screen a total of 14 films: three in-theater screenings in Chicago and 11 available for online streaming. The members of the CJFC Executive Committee are founder Yuki Sakamoto, President of Coyote Sun Productions; co-founder Hiroshi Kono, President of New York-based creative services company Mar Creation; and co-presenter FULL SPECTRUM FEATURES.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Love.” With the pandemic, when face-to-face contact was limited, and the war in Ukraine, which is happening right now, many people must have thought deeply about life and the relationship between human beings. The 14 carefully selected films convey through cinema the love that is indispensable to us as human beings, no matter what form it takes, and how that love should be.
In-Person and Online Screenings
CJFC will screen three films in Chicago on May 21, 24, and 29 at The Logan Theatre and Gene Siskel Film Center. The drama Japanese Style, directed by Abera Hidenobu, which has not yet been released in Japan, will open the festival on May 21. The screening of truth on May 24 will include a virtual Q&A discussion with director Tsutsumi Yukihiko, who made his 50th film and first independent film. CJFC will present Tsutsumi with the CJFC Career Achievement Award in recognition of his significant contributions to and achievements in the Japanese film industry. Closing the festival on May 29 will be the documentary Seppuku Pistols by director Yo Umezaki.
CJFC Streaming Lineup
MINAKUCHI Monzo | Drama | Japan | 2021 | 74 Min. | North American Premiere
Four floundering actresses: an idol seeking answers in drugs and religion; a debutant besieged by casting coach harassment; a housewife trading her dreams in for domesticity; and a dreamer from the countryside falling prey to a predatory industry. What shines through in the lives of these four strangers who never meet each other?
Ainu—Indigenous People of Japan | ひと
MIZIGUCHI Naomi | Documentary | Japan | 2019 | 61 Min. | Midwest Premiere
Hokkaido is the homeland of the Ainu people. This documentary portrays four individuals with diverse personalities who are working to pass on Ainu culture and language, which has been under threat since the Meiji era.
HASEGAWA Tomofumi | Drama, Romance | Japan | 2020 | 69 Min. | North American Premiere
When Arano asks his classmate Fuko to be his art model, Fuko collapses under the intensity of the sensation. Ever since that day Fuko has held special feelings for Arano, and, eight years later, she invites him to recreate “that moment” in the very same classroom.
Before the Rainbow Falls／虹が落ちる前に
Koji Uehara | Drama | Japan | 2021 | 115 Min. | Midwest Premiere
Despite continuing to play in his unsuccessful band, Kohei is surrounded by good friends and a precious girlfriend, so he enjoys a normal life. But one day he loses everything. Although he knows he can never get his old life back, he decides to move on by writing a song.
M HARIS SHEIKH | Drama | Japan | 2021 | 86 Min. | International Premiere
Ryuji is in his 40s and has no job, no honor, no money, and no woman. But he is suddenly offered a chance to prove himself by committing murder and saving his first love. This film is a black comedy about people on the edge, defying life in a last-ditch way.
TSUTSUMI Yukihiko | Drama | Japan | 2011 | 93 Min. | Midwest Premiere
Suzumoto and Sumi creatively master their independent lives while living in a park in Nagoya. By contrast, a middle-class family is caught up in pressure and routine. The two threads of the story gradually intertwine, until a tragic escalation occurs. Shot with a black-and-white documentary feel, yet highly stylized, the film analyzes the contradictions and pathologies of modern society.
UENISHI Yudai | Drama | Japan | 2020 | 118 Min. | Midwest Premiere
A notorious former boss with a reputation for mercilessly dispatching gangsters must summon his faithful henchman and go on a mission to save a child who has been brainwashed by a cult. This film is a thrilling action drama that revisits the good old Showa era.
TANAKA Daiki | Horror, Romance | First Feature | Japan | 2021 | 84 Min.
The story unfolds with a coincidental meeting of a murderer, who repeatedly kills in the guise of an anime character, and a girl with a tender heart who lives with her past trauma. In the real world, where the past and the virtual mingle together, the two search for supreme love and pursue each other with reckless abandon as they head toward a beautiful yet terrifying finale.
SATO Yoshinori | Documentary | Japan | 2019 | 83 Min.| North American Premiere
A mysterious masked man appears in Shinjuku in 1972. Wearing a tiger mask, he continues to deliver newspapers in Shinjuku for the rest of his life. This documentary follows Shinjuku Tiger, a living legend who seeks dreams and romance and loves cinema, sake, and beautiful women.
The Takatsu River／高津川
NISHIKORI Yoshinari | Drama | Japan | 2019 | 113 Min. | North American Premiere
The transmission of Kagura Dance, said to be the origin of kabuki, is the constant work of a story of people who, in the midst of a region where the population drain cannot be stopped, try to live earnestly while preserving the purity of their traditions.
The World of You／麻紀のいる世界
SHIOTA Akihiko | Drama | Japan | 2022 | 89 Min. | North American Premiere
Due to a life-threatening chronic illness, Yuki’s goal is just to survive high school. But when she meets Maki, a girl with a bad reputation, the two outsiders become fast friends. And when Yuki discovers Maki’s beautiful singing voice, she suggests that they form a band to fight against the stigma they both face.