Opening Film:Tokyo High Tide
Opening Screening:Thu May 25, 18:50 Buy ticket
Sat May 27, 21:20 / Sun May 28, 12:00 Buy ticket
Director: Hiroyasu Murakami
Drama, 2019, 83min, Japanese with English subtitles
Tokyo High Tide is a captivating portrayal of a changing Tokyo illuminating various issues facing Japan prior the 2020 Sommer Olympics like environmental destruction, aging of the society, poverty, etc. through the daily life of a homeless man in his mid-80’s. His home for more than 10 years is a hut at the tidal flats of the Tama River, where he takes care of abandoned cats, earning a living by collecting clams with his bare hands. By also looking into his at times turbulent life before settling down at the tidal flats once senses the passing of the time into a rapidly changing environment.
Closing Film:The Chocolate Man
Closing Screening Mon May 29, 18:20 Buy ticket
Sat May 27, 14:10 / Sun May 28, 11:40 Buy ticket
★ Special guest: Director Yuji Suzuki
Documentary, 2022, 102min, Japanese with English subtitles
In Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture, “QUON CHOCOLATE” is gaining popularity for its carefully selected flavors and colorful designs. This brand, which now has 52 locations nationwide, has continued to offer a creative workplace to people of many diverse backgrounds, including those with mental or physical disabilities, single parents, those who have never attended school, to sexual minorities, and many others. This film depicts the tumultuous 19 years of the chocolate brand’s pursuit of ideals. The newest work of the producer of the documentary “Life is Fruity.”
Third Time Lucky
Fri May 26, 21:00 / Sun May 28, 18:30 Buy ticket
Director: Tadashi Nohara
Drama, 2021, 112min, Japanese with English subtitles
This very subtle film lives from the intersection of the inner lives of its main characters. It is an ode to those of us leading a normal day to day life and represents the directorial debut of Tadashi Nohara. Haru’s partner Soichiro, a psychiatrist, leaves her. Haru happens to help a young man with memory disorder. Haru’s brother, Takeshi, a musician played by the rapper Katsuyuki Kobayashi in his acting debut, lives together with his wife, Mikako, and their 4-year-old child. Mikako sees Soichiro for her psychosis. It is in the beautiful city of Kobe that the hidden feelings of each of them intersect changing their life paths for ever.
I Go GAGA: Welcome Home, Mom.
Fri May 26, 18:40 / Sat May 27, 14:30 / Sun May 28, 18:40 Buy ticket
Director: Naoko Nobutomo
Documentary, 2022, 101min, Japanese with English subtitles
This is a story about selfless caregiving, about the elderly, about dementia and its impact, and ultimately about parting. A very personal insight into the life of a daughter, whose 98-year-old Father looks after her 90-year-old Mother suffering from Alzheimer’s with great devotion. With the onset of Alzheimer’s and the rapid deterioration of her Mothers cheerful and vibrant disposition, the director starts to chronicle the heartbreaking reality with humor and much empathy. This is a deeply touching yet a full of lightness insight into her family history.
Along the Sea
Sat May 27, 17:00 / Sun May 28, 16:40 / Mon May 29, 13:50 Buy ticket
Director: Akio Fujimoto
Drama, 2020, 88min, Japanese & Vietnamese with English subtitles
In his newest work the director of „Passage of Life“ follows three Vietnamese women in their early 20s who have moved to Japan to work as technical trainees. Disillusioned by their work and without their passports, which had been confiscated at work, they decide to flee, even as illegal migrants. With a little help from a broker they find new jobs in a small fish factory and a new home. This happiness is not long-lasting – soon one of the women gets sick but without an ID she is refused admission to the hospital. Her friends must take initiative and search for fake IDs.
Passage of Life
僕の帰る場所 Encore Special Screenings
Sat May 27, 14:20 / Sun May 28, 14:20 / Mon May 29, 15:50 Buy ticket
Director: Akio Fujimoto
Drama, 2017, 98min, Japanese & Burmese with English subtitles
Khin and her two young boys, live in a small apartment in Tokyo. After her husband, Issace, gets caught by the immigration officers, she must work hard to support her family. She dedicates every spare moment to her sons, who suffer acutely from the loss of their Father’s presence and love. In this world of uncertainty, Khin begins longing for her homeland, Burma… The global issues of migration interwoven with the life of foreign families in Japan build the background of the film and the roster of Burmese actors making here their film debuts, play so authentically that it feels like a documentary, striking the viewer with its severe gaze while depicting the family with real tenderness.
Sat May 27, 11:50 Buy ticket
Director: Chie Hayakawa
Drama, 2022, 112min, Japanese with English subtitles
In a near future, the Japanese government program “Plan 75″ will encourage elderly people to die voluntarily in order to combat the aging of society. A senior citizen who can no longer live independently, a pragmatic “Plan 75″ salesman, and a young Filipino caregiver face a life-or-death decision. Chie Hayakawa’s PLAN 75 is a wonderful story at times full of humor which uses Japan’s aging crisis as a template for a dystopian narrative. By following Michiko, Maria and Hiromu along the way, director Hayakawa celebrates life and its all everyday, small pleasures. The centerpiece of this triptych is Michiko, embodied by the formidable Chieko Baisho, an independent senior citizen who turns to “Plan 75″ as her last option.
Sat May 27, 17:20 / Sun May 28, 14:40 & 21:10 Buy ticket
Director: Yoshiaki Kasatani
Documentary, 2018, 62min, Japanese with English subtitles
Atelier Yamanami is a care facility that has recently drawn worldwide attention, where the service users are creating unique pieces of art. These are artists with learning difficulties or mental health issues. The film uses no filters to disguise who they are and what they do, portraying their daily routines. No one knows when the work is complete, not even themselves. Above all, they don’t care how their work may be received. They are driven by the impulse to create art, one thing being crystal clear: they communicate through their work and that is the bridge between them and the world.
Brats, Be Ambitious!
Fri May 26, 20:40 / Sun May 28, 11:30 Buy ticket
Director: Shin Adachi
Drama, 2022, 145min, Japanese with English subtitles
Shin Adachi who has derived much pleasure in portraying the dark sides of human beings, whether as a film director, screenwriter or novelist. The present film which took him 20 years to complete is a coming-of-age film that portrays uncompromisingly the irreplaceable days of our youth. The main characters are seven like-minded school boys in their teens, cheeky and hungry for love and new experiences, exploring new dimensions of life. It is at times a rebellion against the normative traditions within family and society, against bullying and a permanent struggle with their own hidden complexes.
She is me, I am her
Fri May 26, 18:50 / Sat May 27, 19:10 / Sun May 28, 21:00 Buy ticket
Director: Mayu Nakamura
Drama, 2022, 69min, Japanese with English subtitles
“She is me, I am her” is a feature film consisting of four short stories about various women living in the post-COVID Tokyo with their unfulfilled dreams, loneliness and desires. The roles of a housewife, a single working woman, a sex-worker and a blind woman in their late 20’s to 40’s are played by one and the same quite remarkable mercurial actress, Nahana. Through the use of only one actress to play the very different roles, this film gives a very subtle portrayal of how these women share their loneliness and yearning to connect in the time of pandemic.
Fri May 26, 18:30 / Sat May 27, 16:50 / Sun May 28, 16:20 Buy ticket
Director: Koji Hijikata
Documentary, 2019, 109min, Japanese with English subtitles
On the news floor of Tokai Television, director Hijikata hands over a proposal for a documentary film, attaches microphones to the desks, and begins filming. The managing editor is baffled and refuses to film. Sawamura believes in the importance of surveillance of most authorities. In 2011, the company discontinued a news broadcast due to an unethical incident which led as a result to the annual Tokai TV ethics meetings. This documentary by the director of „Yakuza and Constitution“ is a portrayal of the TV broadcasting medium through the eyes of its employees.
Mio on the Shore
Sat May 27, 21:10 / Sun May 28, 18:50 / Mon May 29, 16:00 Buy ticket
Director: Ryutaro Nakagawa
Drama, 2019, 96min, Japanese with English subtitles
20-year-old Mio has lost her parents early and runs a traditional Japanese inn in Nagano with her grandmother. As her grandmother gets sick and hospitalized, Mio is forced to leave the inn and reluctantly comes to Tokyo to live with her father’s old friend Kyosuke. Helping him out at the bathhouse which he runs, she begins to find her way in everyday life. One day, however, she learns that the bathhouse is on the verge of demolition due to redevelopment plans in their district.
Sat May 27, 19:20 / Sun May 28, 20:50 / Mon May 29, 14:10 Buy ticket
Director: Keitaro Sakon
Drama, 2022, 82min, Japanese with English subtitles
Haruka, a young widely acknowledged female entrepreneur, was forced to resign from her company due to bullying allegations. She is far too proud to accept her new situation and to save her face and reputation, she attempts to sell her family home in order to start a new business. However her family home is also home and business to her two brothers and sister who are running together a small restaurant on the premises, each one of them with their own private dramas. Despite of all this, Haruka puts all her efforts into driving her siblings out of the house.
My Sweet Grappa Remedies
Sat May 27, 12:00 & 19:00 / Sun May 28, 14:10 Buy ticket
Director: Akiko Ooku
Drama, 2019, 107min, Japanese with English subtitles
Yoshiko is in her 40s, she is single and has no kids. She works in a publishing company and she enjoys small pleasures like having lunch with her junior colleague or drinking grappa alone at home. Her life is quiet but rather than feeling sorry for herself, she cherishes small things in her life. One day, her colleague introduces her to a male friend who is 24 years younger than Yoshiko. Soon thereafter they start dating… Director Akiko Ooku presents the story of a quiet but steadfast woman in her 40s.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
Sat May 27, 12:10 Buy ticket
Director: Junta Yamaguchi
Drama, 2020, 70min, Japanese with English subtitles
Kato, the owner of a cafe, goes up into his apartment above the cafe after finishing up work. The TV is on and when he is just about to start playing his guitar, Kato himself suddenly appears on the TV screen and begins speaking. “I’m the future me. Two minutes in the future.“ Kato’s TV and the TV in the cafe below are somehow connected with a time difference of two minutes. Staff and customers are so excited by “Time TV,” they face the monitors toward each other eager to learn more about their distant future. The future strikes back as they go Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes.
Life is Fruity
人生フルーツ Encore Special Screenings
Fri May 26, 21:10 / Sat May 27, 21:00 / Sun May 28, 16:30 Buy ticket
Director: Kenshi Fushihara
Documentary, 2016, 91min, Japanese with English subtitles
Shuichi Tsubata, a 90-year-old architect, lives with his wife, Hideko, in a one-story house in Aichi Prefecture. He grows vegetables and fruits in his garden, harvests them and makes a living out of them. It was already 50 years ago that Shuichi wanted to build sustainable houses compatible with the surrounding nature but had to give up his plans due to other economic priorities in the area. So he quit his job, purchased land, and built his dream house for himself and his wife. One day Shuichi was actually asked to design a sustainable building in perfect coexistence with the nature around it, which turns to be a big challenge. Documentary film that has caused a sensation throughout Japan.