Coyote Sun Productions and Mar Creation announced the inaugural Chicago Japanese Film Collective, the first ever Japanese film festival to be held in the Midwest. The virtual festival will feature nine films (seven narrative features and two documentaries), including two North American premieres.
Organized by SAKAMOTO Yuki (President of Coyote Sun Productions) and KONO Hiroshi (President of Mar Creation), the Chicago Japanese Film Collective will take place from May 25th – 31st, 2021.
“We’re excited to bring the best of contemporary Japanese cinema to the Midwest,” said Sakamoto, adding that “Our festival is designed to bring the American Midwest into conversation with Japanese culture.”
Supported by CATCH US Performing Arts (CUPA) and the Japan Foundation New York, the festival will use the Eventive platform for ticketing and screenings and is intended to spark conversations about culture and to facilitate understanding between Japan and the Midwest region.
According to Kono Hiroshi, “With the ongoing pandemic, we hope the Chicago Japanese Film Collective can provide a space where people from diverse backgrounds come together to appreciate art and to focus on our shared humanity.”
Among the festival’s highlights is Hayashi Kaizo’s BOLT, a drama about the immediate aftermath of the earthquake that rocked Japan and resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster starring Nagase Masatoshi. Also, All About Chiaki Mayumura (provisional), a genre-bending drama about a musical celebrity who is much more than meets the eye. Other films include VIDEOPHOBIA, a black and white cyber thriller; Yan, shot on location in Japan and in Taiwan; The House of Seasons, a family drama about a teenager who overcomes her mental health challenges; and The Manga Master, a film about the life of manga artist pioneer Kitazawa Rakuten. In documentaries, the festival will feature Alone Again in Fukushima, a deeply human story about a man who stayed in the evacuation zone in order to care for animals left behind following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and Prison Circle, which provides an intimate look into one of Japan’s most notorious prisons.
The Chicago Japan Film Collective introduces the best in contemporary Japanese films—that would otherwise be inaccessible—to Midwestern audiences. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the inaugural edition will be held virtually, however plans are in motion to hold future festivals in person.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – Monday, May 31, 2021, 23:59 (Central Time, USA)
+ Virtual screening U.S. nationwide
+ Watchsite Registration Fee: May 5th, 2021 on sale
● EARLY BIRD: US$13 for all access, US$8 for one film (May 5th – 15th)
● REGULAR: US$15 for all access, US$10 for one film (May 16th – 31st)
*Student discount codes and promotional discount code are available: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
+ Film Festival Platform: https:/cjfc.eventive.org (EVENTIVE)
+ Official Website: https://www.cjfc.us
+ Still Photo Download Link: 2021 CJFC Film Stills (Drop Box)
(Credit for Stills: See the attached sheet in the folder.)
+The Audience Award: Votes for the Audience Award will be cast through Eventive and the award will be announced at the conclusion of the festival.
1. All About Chiaki Mayumura (provisional) by MATSUURA Hajime
Feature | Drama, Music, Idol | Japan | 2019 | 72 min. | International Premiere
Who is Chiaki Mayumura? An artist? An entrepreneur? Are her clones playing a big role in the world? A genre-less idol indie that captures every bit of her charm.”
Official website: http://spotted.jp/2020/02/all_about_mayumurachiaki/
2. Alone Again in Fukushima by NAKAMURA Mayu
Documentary |East Japan Great Earthquake | Japan | 2020 | 95 min. | North American Premiere
A sequel to Alone in Fukushima (2015), in which Naoto continues to live with the animals left behind in Tomioka, a town evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.”
Official FB: https://www.facebook.com/aloneinfuksuhima/
3. BOLT by HAYASHI Kaizo
Feature |Drama, Omnibus, East Japan Great Earthquake | Japan | 2019 | 80 min. | North American Premiere
Based on a true story that director HAYASHI Kaizo heard for Great East Japan Earthquake, this human drama depicts men risking their lives with overwhelming visual beauty. Starring NAGASE Masatoshi, an ally of director Hayashi.
Official website: http://g-film.net/bolt/
4. Dynamite Graffiti by TOMINAGA Masanori
Feature | Drama |Japan | 2019 | 138 min. | R15+ | Midwest Premiere
A film adaptation of an autobiographical essay by SUEI Akira, the charismatic magazine editor who led the Showa era subculture. Starring EMOTO Tasuku, MAEDA Atsuko. R15+.
Official website: https://dynamitemovie.jp/
5. House of Seasons by SAKAMOTO Yoshihiro
Feature | Drama, Family | Japan | 2020 | 105min | International Premiere
The story of a high school girl who shuts-in and almost dropped out from school regains herself at the youth support facility called “House of Seasons” through encounters and living with kind people there.
Official website: http://www.bitters.co.jp/mominoie/
6. The Manga Master by OKI Moe
Feature |Drama, Biography | Japan | 2019 | 118 min. | North American Premiere
This biographical film, which was also screened at the British Museum, depicts the life of KITAZAWA Rakuten, the pioneer of modern manga in Japan.
Official website: https://www.mangatanjo.com
7. Prison Circle by SAKAGAMI Kaori
Documentary | Social Commentary | Japan | 2019 | 120min.
It took six years to obtain permission to cover the story, and two years to film it. This is the first time a camera has been inside of a prison in Japan, and it is a social and human documentary that looks at the lives and true faces of the inmates.
Official website: https://prison-circle.com
8. VIDEOPHOBIA by MIYAZAKI Daisuke
Thriller | Japan | 2019 | 88 min. | U.S. Premiere
A cyber-thriller about a woman who gives up her dream of becoming an actress and returns to the Korean town of Osaka, only to suffer a psychotic break when her one-night stand is exposed on the Internet.
Official website: http://videophobia2020.com
9. Yan by IMAMURA Keisuke
Drama | Japan | 2019 | 86 min. | North American Premiere
The first feature film by top young cinematographer, IMAMURA Keisuke. In this family drama, Yan visits his Brother in 20 years to see why his mother abandoned him.
Official website: https://tsubame-yan.com