Friday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. until Saturday, June 9 at 8:00 p.m.
Asia Society – 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street
Tickets: $11/$9 seniors and students/$7 Asia Society members
The New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF) will screen 16 independent films divided into three programs over the course of two days. Co-hosted by Mar Creation, Inc. and Asia Society, the event kicks off with films by US-based filmmakers on Friday, June 7 and will be followed by a reception.
This year’s festival focuses on mostly short films with Japanese themes, directors, and/or actors, introducing the genres of pop culture and tradition while discovering new talent through filmmaking. This year NYJCF welcomes selected short films from the notable Sapporo International Short Film Festival as well as encourages Japanese filmmakers living in the US to support their craft and opportunities. Films by filmmakers from New York, Los Angeles, and Sapporo, Japan, will be screened, including the award-winning feature film, MIYOKO, directed by Yoshifumi Tsubota.
Founded in 2010 by filmmakers Yasu Suzuki and Kosuke Furukawa and producer Hiroshi Kono, NYJCF promotes Japanese culture through films and seeks to discover new filmmakers based in New York and the US. The organizers have created a Kickstarter campaign to support their efforts in expanding the festival.
JapanCulture•NYC is proud to be one of the Community Partners of the New York Japan CineFest. For more information, please visit NYJCF’s website.
Friday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Dir. Victor Tadashi Suárez. 2011. 11 min, 38 sec
Two brothers, one car, and a strange Japanese friend are perfect ingredients for a thriller about hypnotism that goes awry.
Columbia University National Undergraduate Film Festival–Best Picture, Best Acting, Audience Choice
Naperville International Film Festival–Best Student Film
Dir. Patrick Dickinson. 2013. 23 min, 54 sec
The peaceful life of an elderly Japanese couple in Los Angeles is interrupted by Alzheimer’s disease. Can they hold on to the cherished past and find solace and hope again?
Ivy Film Festival–Best Graduate Film, Grand Jury Award
2013 Student Emmy Awards–Outstanding Drama-Silver Award
Dir. Who-Fu. 2012. 1 min, 27 sec
As a promotional video for the School of Visual Arts, this interesting animation uses different styles to explore the theme of “idea.”
Dir. Hiroo Takaoka. 2010. 24 min
Using the technology of human cloning, a man pushes the ethical boundary to be reunited with his deceased wife.
Dir. Sheldon Schwartz. 2008. 10 min
A young Japanese American soldier joins a small squad on a dangerous mission in Italy during WWII. The film explores issues of allegiance and identity.
Dir. Eric Bates. 2011. 3 min, 40 sec
After losing his home due to a natural disaster, a little boy befriends a sea turtle on a small island. But it’s time to say goodbye.
Dir. Thomas Takemoto-Chock. 2013. 20 min
A Japanese American schoolteacher prepares a treat for his students as a reward for good behavior, but they will soon have to confront an ugly truth.
The Hirosaki Players Dir. Jeff Sousa. 2010. 19min, 21sec
The opening night of a Japanese play in New York becomes a tug of war between an up-and-coming Japanese playwright/director and his famous and aging father, who is the uncooperative lead actor.
Beijing International Movie Festival–Golden Duck Award for Best Short Narrative
Sonoma International Film Festival-Best Dramatic Short Film
Saturday, June 8 at 4:00 p.m.
Dir. Akihito Izuhara. Animation. 2011. 7 min, 40 sec
This beautiful and poetic animation presents the magical formation of Japanese verses.
Sapporo Film Festival–Best Original Score
Dir. Isamu Hirabayashi. Experimental. 2011. 3 min, 15 sec
Is life about a series of role-playing and the change of clothes?
Sapporo Film Festival–Best Mini Short. Best Contemporary, Experimental Short
Dir. Isamu Hirabayashi. Animation. 2011. 7 min, 25sec
Listen to a 66-year-old cicada tell its life story. Arduously crawling upwards, it proves its determination to live.
Dir. Albert Ventura. Drama. 2010. 29 min
Driven by the desire to win a thousand dollars, four people participate in a ten-minute psychological experiment.
Sapporo Film Festival-Best Screenplay
Dir. Saya Ito. Animation. 2012. 14 min, 30 sec
Upon discovering the hidden agenda of his school, a sensitive teenager becomes plagued by his fears of war and dashes his dream of attending college.
Dir. Junichi Kanai. Drama. 2012. 20 min
What will happen when Youko, a mischievous and isolated schoolgirl, befriends the new transfer student?
Sapporo Film Festival–Best Director, Best National Short
Dir. Dean Yamada. Drama. 2009. 21 min, 17 sec
Sometimes, God works in mysterious ways. Finding no meaning in his dull and lackluster life, a man is out of a job and bewildered by a note “sent by God.”
Sapporo Film Festival–Best National Short
Premiered at the 66th Venice Film Festival
Saturday, June 8 at 6:45pm
Miyoko (Miyoko Asagaya Kibun)
Dir. Yoshifumi Tsubota. 2009. 86 min
This clever biopic/adaptation is a portrait of pioneering manga artist Abe Shinichi, who turned his relationship with muse/girlfriend Miyoko into a graphic novel, the cult classic Miyoko Asagaya Kibun. Interweaving parts of the original comic book, with its candid and explicit depictions of the couple’s private and sex life, into the narrative, this film delicately tells the ups and downs of Abe’s career and marriage as he suffers from writer’s block and mental state degradation.
Q&A with Director Yoshifumi Tsubota following the screening
Fantasporto International Film Festival–Best Screenplay, Jury’s Special Award
Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival–Blue Chameleon Award, Movie College Award