Japanese Focus at Show Me Shorts Film Festival

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Press Release – Show Me Shorts
Japan features prominently in the minds of New Zealanders this year with the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The Show Me Shorts Film Festival, too, is bringing Japanese culture into the spotlight by partnering with the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan for this year’s Festival. When Show Me Shorts opens on 5 October, audiences in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will get the opportunity to experience a selection of top short films from Japan.

Seven Japanese short films will feature in the Japanese Focus section. They are Prowler by Toshiharu Yaegashi, The Broom by Yo Kohatsu, Little Miss Sumo by Matt Kay, Boze by Fuyuko Mochizuki,Beard and Raincoat by Kimi Yawata, My Little Goat by Tomoki Misato, and Robu by Kai Hasson.

The seven short films in this collection explore the lives of modern Japanese – their concerns, fears, hopes and dreams. Also animated goats, a comedic search for coins, an obsession with beards, a manga comic book coming to life, a twisted fairy tale, and a documentary about sumo wrestling women. The shorts demonstrate the wide breadth of new filmmaking talent in Japan’s creative sector.

Show Me Shorts, along with the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan are proud to be hosting a delegation of Japanese film industry representatives during the Festival.

Filmmaker Fuyuko Mochizuki will introduce the world premiere of his film Boze at the Japanese Focus launch in Auckland. He will also take part in a pōwhiri welcoming ceremony, the official Opening Night and Awards Ceremony on 5 October, and a moderated Short Film Talk discussing how he made his film. Kimi Yawata will attend Wellington Opening Night, speak about her filmmaking journey at the Short Film Talk and Japanese Focus special events in Wellington, plus other networking events.

The delegation also includes programmer Eiji Shimada from Sapporo International Short Film Festival & Market who will be part of the 2019 Show Me Shorts national awards jury. Sapporo International Short Film Festival is one of Japan and Asia’s largest and most respected showcases of short form cinema.

H.E. Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi, the Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand says, “It is wonderful that Japan’s short films will be showcased for Show Me Shorts. With the ability to draw viewers into the world being portrayed, films are an excellent form of cultural exchange and I am sure that through these short films, people will be able to connect with Japanese culture in a meaningful way. I hope that you will learn, appreciate, and enjoy new aspects of Japan by watching these short films.”

“We’re really excited to be supporting this project,” says Asia New Zealand Foundation arts director Craig

Cooper. “The films that Show Me Shorts have selected perfectly represent the diversity and depth of the

filmmaking coming out of Japan. Audiences will no doubt leave feeling challenged, empowered, joyful or

even unsettled by these cutting-edge works.”

The Japanese Focus section of the programme will screen at Light House Cuba in Wellington. There will be a special events to launch the premiere of the Japanese Focus short films.:

• 5:30pm for 6:15pm films start on Wednesday 16 October at Light House Cuba in Wellington. Tickets from www.lighthousecinema.co.nz.

Tickets to the Japanese Focus screenings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are now on sale from the cinema websites.

The full programme for the 2019 Show Me Shorts Film Festival will be announced on 12 September.

APPENDIX: FULL LIST OF FILMS

Prowler

Comedy, 13 mins, Japan

A captivating homeless man searches vigorously for coins under vending machines on a busy street.

Dir/Writ: Toshiharu Yaegashi

Prod: Tatsuo Ito

The Broom

Drama, 14, Japan

A woman returns to her childhood home to announce her pregnancy. Her mother is delighted, but her father reacts bluntly. The next morning, she finds a handmade broom by her bedside.

Dir/Writ: Yo Kohatsu

Writ: Fukino Kawate

Prod: Ayumi Kondo, Yuya Natsui

Little Miss Sumo

Documentary, 19 mins, Japan, UK

Female sumo wrestlers are forbidden from competing professionally. Women’s champion Hiyori confronts obstacles both inside and outside the ring in an attempt to change Japan’s national sport.

Dir: Matt Kay

Prod: Didi Mae Hand, Andrew Carver

Boze

Documentary, 15 mins, Japan

Within the Tokara Archipelago in Japan, lies the remote island of Akuseki. It’s home to 83 residents, and one mysterious visiting deity called Boze.

Dir: Fuyuko Mochizuki

Prod: Yusaku Kanagawa, Josh Povec

Beard and Raincoat

Drama, 12 mins, Japan
When high school girl Kanako touches her boyfriend’s brother’s beard she can’t get that feeling out of her head. It’s as if it is burned into her mind and body.

Dir/Writ: Kimi Yawata

Prod: Sunao Nonaka

My Little Goat

Fantasy, 11 mins, Japan

A mother goat rescues her little goats from the wolf’s belly. But, she can’t find Toruku, her eldest son! Where is Toruku?!

Dir: Tomoki Misato

Prod: Yuich Ito

Robu
Science fiction, 19 mins, Japan, USA

Rob is on a four-day quest to find the second issue of his favorite Japanese comic book. His journey introduces him to the world of manga and brings it to life around him.

Dir/Writ: Kai Hasson

Writ: Josh Hallman

Prod: Kenji C Green, Elyse Preiss

– ENDS –

About Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust
Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust exists to connect New Zealanders with short films and share New Zealand short films with the world. The Trust also creates opportunities for aspiring filmmakers. The resources needed to achieve this are provided by a small staff, supported by dedicated volunteers, industry partners and corporate sponsors. The core of the Trusts work is the annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival. However, the Trust also creates wider opportunities for New Zealand short films to be viewed by audiences outside the festival.

About the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono

The Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono is New Zealand’s leading non-partisan, non-profit authority on Asia. They provide experiences and resources to help New Zealanders build their knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in Asia. Their arts programme aims to make Asia part of mainstream New Zealand. It supports the presentation of Asian literary, visual, performing and screen arts to New Zealanders in partnership with New Zealand festivals, galleries and venues. Find out more at www.asianz.org.nz.

About the Embassy of Japan

The Embassy of Japan in New Zealand, while being the main hub of diplomatic and consular affairs between Japan and New Zealand, also is passionate about cultural exchange between the people of our two countries. With Japanese culture being popular in New Zealand, from food to martial arts, we do our best to support the promotion of Japanese culture in many different areas.

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