The Press Release:
A film festival that introduces Japanese-themed short films, New York Japan CineFest, is having its 10th anniversary this year from November 17th to November 21st online only. Hosted by Mar Creations with the partners, CYBER New York, Japan Information and Culture Center (Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C.), Short Short Film Festival, Sapporo International Short Film Festival, Aichi International Women’s Film Festival, and Kadoma International Film Festival.
We decided to go online for our screening again this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we also are celebrating our 10th anniversary with 14 new short films and 6 of the best short films from the past events between 2012 to 2020 out of 120 films. We have films from the Philippines, Canada, Germany, Spain, the United States, and Japan.
2021 program includes:
Directed by Toshiyuki Teruya and starring Hikaru Mitsushima, “A Woman Who Acts. A conversation between a father and daughter which shot during the pandemic, “Fa(r)ther”. High speed Science Fiction ANIME, “Adarnia”. Based on the mystery novel by Fuboku Kosakai, “Corpse Candle”. Portrayal of teenage girls, “Toes Intertwind”. Documentary about Godzilla movies, “The Dawn of Kaiju Eiga”. Response to the hatred towards Asian people during the pandemic, “Chinatown Beat”. Animation about the Canadian immigrant father and daughter, “In the Shadow of the Pines”. Documentary about the roots of the Japanese tattoo culture, “Horimono”. Documentary about how refusals are treated in Japan, “NANMIN”. Experimental animation, “OTONASHI”.
NYJCF was founded by three Japanese producers based in New York in 2012; Yasu Suzuki (Actor, dancer and filmmaker), Kosuke Furukawa (Film director) and Hiroshi Kono (CEO of Mar Creation, Inc.) Since 2015, the film festival has been invited to screen its programs and films in multiple cities; Boston, Washington D.C. Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco in the U.S. and also at film festivals in Japan; Aichi International Film Festival Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Kadoma International Film Festival and New Director Film Festival. In the 10th year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, NYCJF will be held online again.
Dates: Wendesday, November 17, 2021 – Sunday, November 21,
Place: on-demand online
Registration: $7, donation
1. Adarnia (SSFF) Dir. Clemhyn Escosora | 2021 | 10:33 | animation | Japan, Philippines
2. A Woman Who Acts (SSFF) Dir. Teruya Toshiyuki | 2020 | 18:30 | drama | Japan
3. Chinatown Beat Dir. Yuko Torihara | 2021 | 4:27 | documentary | USA
4. Corpse Candle Dir. Kazuhisa Eguchi | 2019 | 11:22 | drama, mystery | Japan
5. The Dawn of Kaiju Eiga Dir. Jonathan Bellés | 2019 | 50:48 | documentary | Spain
6. Fa(r)ther Dir. Koji Yamamoto | 2020 | 14:21 | drama, remote | Japan
7. Horimono: Japan’s Tattoo Pilgrimage Dir. Kira Dane, David Caprara | 2020 | 17:00 | documentary | USA
8. In the Shadow of the Pines Dir. Anne Koizumi | 2020 | 7:54 | stop-motion animation | Canada
9. Nanmin Dir. Adam Shaw | 2021 | 19:22 | documentary | USA
10. Otonashi Dir. Martin Georgic | 2021 | 10:00 | documentary | Germany
11. Ritsuko & Ken-chan (AIWFF) Dir. Ayumi Omori | 2019 | 30:26 | drama | Japan
12. Silence Dir. TJ O’Grady-Peyton | 2020 | 14:07 | drama | Japan
13. Toes Intertwined Dir. Yukinori Ishikawa | 2021 | 9:00 | drama | Japan
14. Yoshino Ringyo Dir. David Caprara | 2021 | 19:55 | documentary | USA
* In associated with
– SSFF: Short Shorts Film Festival (Tokyo)
– AIWFF: Aichi International Women’s Film Festival (Aichi)
1. The Apologizers (NYJCF 2018) Dir. Yasu Suzuki | 2018 | 20:36 | drama, comedy | USA
2. A Warm Spell (NYJCF 2015) Dir. Toshimichi Saito | 2014 | 40:00 | drama | Japan
3. The 8th Samurai (NYJCF 2012) Dir. Justin Ambrosino | 2009 | 28:26 | drama | USA
4. All Alone in Kamiyama (NYJCF 2018) Dir. Mile Nagaoka | 2017 | 30:01 | documentary | Japan
5. Matou (NYJCF 2013) Dir. Isamu Hirabayashi | 2011 | 4:07 | animation experimental | Japan
6. Take 8 (NYJCF 2016) Dir. Shinichiro Ueda | 2015 | 19:39 | comedy | Japan
Dir. Clemhyn Escosora | 2021 | 10:33 | animation | Japan, Philippines
Adarnia is a 3D CG animated sci-fi short film about the once utopian ancient city called Adarnia. Overthrown by a ruthless military leader, the now totalitarian state and its army of android soldiers find themselves interrupted by the sudden appearance of a mysterious intruder. These soldiers chase the masked biker from the well-guarded city to the uncharted outskirts of Adarnia, revealing the intruder’s true identity, purpose, and a glimpse into the deep history of Adarnia’s sci-fi world.
A Woman Who Acts (SSFF)
Dir. Teruya Toshiyuki | 2020 | 18:30 | drama | Japan
Akira is an old man nearing death, and Yoshiko is his beautiful young bride. She takes him outside of the hospital to enjoy quality time together. She also appears to take delight as he gets weaker and weaker. Exactly what are her true intentions?
Dir. Yuko Torihara | 2021 | 4:27 | documentary | USA
A portrait of a New York artist, Henry Chang, a Chinatown-based detective novel writer and beloved community member. Henry the writer “performs” a monologue while walking down a dark and emp- ty Chinatown street revealing his artistic process, shedding light on the resilience of the people of Chinatown.
Dir. Kazuhisa Eguchi | 2019 | 11:22 | drama, mystery | Japan
One stormy night, monk Osho and apprentice Hoshin hear a suspicious noise coming from the main hall of their temple. The two of them must investigate in the pitch dark, relying on the light of a single wax candle. It is then that the terrified Hoshin learns, straight from the mouth of Osho, the truth about the shocking secret hidden in the wax… During a violent storm at their temple one night, monk Osho confesses a shocking secret to apprentice Hoshin. The two of them are alone in a dark temple room and Hoshin cannot escape the psychological torture. What is the purpose of Osho’s confession…!?
The Dawn of Kaiju Eiga
Dir. Jonathan Bellés | 2019 | 50:48 | documentary | Spain
In Japan, the atomic threat directly influenced the creation of Kaiju Eiga, Giant Monsters Movies. The first Kaiju Eiga film was 1954’s Godzilla.
Covering more than six decades, there have been several generations of filmmakers showing the monster in different ways and through different landscapes, being true to one golden rule: the relationship between Godzilla and the atomic bomb. But, what is the origin of this binomial relationship, and how has it evolved throughout its more than sixty years of history?
Dir. Koji Yamamoto | 2020 | 14:21 | drama, remote | Japan
May, 2020. The world was under lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic. A computer screen shows a young woman video-calling his father for the first time in years. This awkward conversation between father and daughter eventually reveals their tragic past that separated them. This face-to-face conversation gradually starts healing the same scar they share in their hearts so they can start moving on when the world has suddenly halted. This film was made without a cut in a single take, remotely shot without seeing each other.
Horimono: Japan’s Tattoo Pilgrimage
Dir. Kira Dane, David Caprara | 2020 | 17:00 | documentary | USA
Japan has an uneasy relationship with tattoos, which have come to be associated with organized crime. Living amongst heavy stereotypes, a group of tattooed individuals practice a centuries-old pilgrimage to a mountain shrine, now one of the few places where the traditional full-body tattoo (“horimono”) can be shown and celebrated. Following the events of this never-before-filmed pilgrimage, this short documentary provides a fresh view on the cultural history of Japanese tattoos, and those who continue to choose to get them done.
In the Shadow of the Pines
Dir. Anne Koizumi | 2020 | 7:54 | stop-motion animation | Canada
In the Shadow of the Pines is an animated short documentary about a difficult father-daughter relationship. Drawing on childhood memories, Anne Koizumi, the filmmaker, explores her upbringing with her Japanese immigrant dad, who was also the janitor at the elementary school she attended.
The film explores the idea of shame and how it can shape and define us while also concealing who we can truly become.
Dir. Adam Shaw | 2021 | 19:22 | documentary | USA
Each year, thousands of refugees from around the world seek asylum in Japan, but only 0.1% of applicants are accepted. Nanmin portrays life as an asylum seeker in Japan, focusing on the secretive migrant detention centers and harsh parole system in interviews with activists, lawyers, and refugees.
Dir. Martin Georgic | 2021 | 10:00 | documentary | Germany
“Painted in silence, a sparrow’s dream invokes timeless harmonies. In the heart of the universal geometry, the seed of calm is formed.”
Otonashi is a philosophical voyage through inner and outer experiences of the human existence – an audiovisual meditation of futuristic transmutations about the Japanese Hannya Shingy?.
Ritsuko & Ken-chan (AIWFF)
Dir. Ayumi Omori | 2019 | 30:26 | drama | Japan
The isolated island of Nagasaki, Kuroshima. The island of the cross (Cruz), where the lurking Kirishitan?Christian? used to be. Ritsuko and Ken-chan, who live a self-sufficient life here, have a secret.
Dir. TJ O’Grady-Peyton | 2020 | 14:07 | drama | Japan
A young man wanders around the city where people wearing masks come and go. He digests the excess energy by drawing graffiti. One day, he finds a girl dancing ballet in an abandoned building. Her dance is imprinted on his heart, and he becomes interested in dance and secretly begins practicing ballet. And, through the fact that a man plays ballet, he feels a difference in common sense between himself and the world. Gender issues that were unknowingly planted in common sense and rules are deep-rooted, and the young man and his father, who try to fill the gap, dare to remain silent.
Dir. Yukinori Ishikawa | 2021 | 9:00 | drama | Japan
The world of a 17-year-old girl has an ocean of possibility, yet they always love someone, break with friendships, have ups and downs repeatedly in their such small worlds. But there is some sense of justice and morals which we will all lose as we grow up. I wanted to try to visualize those beautiful senses and that emotional flow in this movie.
Dir. David Caprara | 2021 | 19:55 | documentary | USA
Yoshino has been the breadbasket of Japan’s forestry for 500 years. Due to globalization and shifts in culture, however, the forestry industry has nearly collapsed and small villages are reliant on forestry are becoming ghost towns. This film explores the lives of Japanese foresters striving to keep this centuries-old tradition alive, determined not to be the village’s last.
* In associated with
– SSFF: Short Shorts Film Festival (Tokyo)
– AIWFF: Aichi International Women’s Film Festival (Aichi)
[Retrospective: NYJCF 2012-2020]
The Apologizers (NYJCF 2018)
Dir. Yasu Suzuki | 2018 | 20:36 | drama, comedy | USA
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. You made some mistakes? A business deal is about to crash? Don’t worry. Call the Apologizers for big or small businesses, even domestic disputes. There is no place they will not go. They will show up with their ultimate sincerity and apologize from the bottom of their hearts……….. for you.
A Warm Spell (NYJCF 2015)
Dir. Toshimichi Saito | 2014 | 40:00 | drama | Japan
Naoki gave up his dream of painting to take over the family-run post office. His older brother, Masanobu, left home to become a doctor. When their mother’s funeral brings the two brothers together again, they are forced to confront their old conflicts and resentments.
The 8th Samurai (NYJCF 2012)
Dir. Justin Ambrosino | 2009 | 28:26 | drama | USA
What if Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai originally were eight? A hard luck actor watches the opportunity of a lifetime slip through his fingers after being fired from a lead role that would have made him a household name… but he decides he’s not giving up without a fight.
All Alone in Kamiyama (NYJCF 2018)
Dir. Mile Nagaoka | 2017 | 30:01 | documentary | Japan
Young urban creatives are drawn to Japan’s rural town of Kamiyama, known for its pristine nature, fast internet, 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.
Matou (NYJCF 2013)
Dir. Isamu Hirabayashi | 2011 | 4:07 | animation experimental | Japan
The cycle of life, in reverse.
Take 8 (NYJCF 2016)
Dir. Shinichiro Ueda | 2015 | 19:39 | comedy | Japan
Takao while shooting a new movie on the theme of marriage lover bride role of independent film director. However, the father role is vacancy suddenly….
*** end of transmission ***
Piercing Ken Thoughts: This sounds interesting and while I cannot actively participate this time around I will be making notes of the films and see if I can find them on one of the many streaming networks that I use. Those interested can examine the links down below to participate and I hope you enjoy it if you do. See you next time my friends. Stay safe out there.
Festival Site: watch.nyjcf.com