Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 3rd Shinsedai Cinema Festival Comes to Toronto!

Now entering its third year, the Shinsedai Cinema Festival will once more be bringing a slew of independent Japanese films to Toronto this summer. Began in 2009 by author and Midnight Eye co-founder Jasper Sharp and J-Film Pow-Wow founder and editor-in-chief Chris MaGee, the festival is designed to highlight some of the newest filmmakers to emerge from Japan, giving North American viewers a rare chance to take a look at noteworthy films that have received attention elsewhere in the world. This year’s guests will include Kiki Sugino, the lead actress and producer of the opening night film, Koji Fukuda’s Hospitalité; comedian and director Devi Kobayashi, whose films Mariko Rose the Spook and Hikari will be shown back-to-back; and Ryugo Nakamura, a fifteen year-old filmmaker who already has an impressive number of short films (thirty, to be precise) to his name and will be presenting his latest feature, The Catcher on the Shore.

This year’s lineup looks like quite the diverse grab bag of cinematic treats, offering a wide selections of genres to choose from. Along with the above-mentioned films, I am quite intrigued by a few films I recognize from this year’s lineup from Frankfurt’s Nippon Connection film festival, which I had the pleasure of attending. Besides highlights like Koji Shiraishi’s Shirome, a mockumentary that features girl group Momoiro Clover thrust into a horror film scenario, and Yoichi Higashi’s Wandering Home, a family drama starring Tadanobu Asano as the alcoholic photojournalist Yutaka Kamoshida, I am perhaps most excited about Keita Kurosaka’s Midori-ko, a positively brilliant, beautifully strange work of hand-drawn animation that took its maker over ten years to complete.

The 3rd Shinsedai Cinema Festival will run from July 21st-24th, 2011, at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. Full details on the films, schedule, tickets and passes and location can all be found at the festival’s main website. I will be doing some coverage of the festival for a few film sites, so stay tuned for links to those pieces once they are completed!

Check out the trailers for Hospitalité and Midori-ko below!

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