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FILM/FESTIVALS — New York Asian Film Festival Returns 6/30 -7/16/17 *NYC

FSLC and Subway Cinema announce New York Asian Film Festival, June 30 – July 16



Jane © House in Seoul All Rights Reserved Courtesy of M-Line Distribution

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announced the complete lineup for the 16th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which will take place from June 30 to July 13 at the Film Society and July 14 to 16 at the SVA Theatre. North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema will showcase 56 feature films, including 3 International Premieres, 21 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, and 15 films making their New York City debuts. The festival will feature in-person appearances by more than 20 international filmmakers and celebrity guests from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.


This year, all three of NYAFF’s Gala screenings are brilliant reinventions of the thriller genre. The Opening Gala will be the International Premiere of Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius, the first Southeast Asian film to open the festival, with the director and stars in attendance. In this exhilarating high-school thriller, straight-A students Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) and Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul) stage a heist that will undermine the U.S. university entrance system after they lose their own scholarships. The Centerpiece Gala of the festival will be the North American Premiere of Mikhail Red’s Birdshot, a continuation of the festival programmers’ efforts to champion films from Southeast Asia, and the Philippines in particular. The Closing Gala is the U.S. Premiere of Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess, fresh from its Midnight screening in Cannes. The adrenaline-soaked action film stars Kim Ok-vin as a ruthless female assassin trained in China who starts a new life with South Korea’s Intelligence Agency.

Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno © OPOT Pictures; Courtesy of M-Line Distribution

New to NYAFF in 2017 is the Main Competition section, featuring seven diverse works by first or second-time directors that are all having their North American premieres at the festival. Competing are Bad Genius (Thailand), Birdshot (Philippines), A Double Life (Japan), The Gangster’s Daughter (Taiwan), Kfc (Vietnam), Jane (South Korea), and With Prisoners (Hong Kong). The competition jury will be announced at a later date, with winners revealed on the festival’s final night at Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 13.

Mad World

“We were seeking a range of original films from first-time directors, films that represent the diversity of filmmaking from Asia, stories that say something both very local and specific to their countries of origin and something very universal: we hope we achieved at least some of this with our inaugural competition selection, which includes films from seven countries/cities in the region in a broad variety of genres,” NYAFF executive director Samuel Jamier said. “It’s important for us to champion new filmmaking from Asia, and the diversity of film made there at a time when other festivals in North America seem to be reducing the size of their Asian lineups.”

Vanishing Time © Showbox

More now than ever, Hong Kong cinema is at the core of the festival’s programming: faithful to its Chinatown origins, this year’s edition celebrates the best filmmaking from the Special Administrative Region with a central Hong Kong Panorama section, commemorating the 20th anniversary of its establishment, with major support from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. Over the past two decades, Hong Kong cinema has continuously influenced and inspired many filmmakers in Asia and in the world. This year’s lineup proves the originality and excellence of its production is intact: from a powerful condemnation of life inside the territory’s juvenile detention centers (With Prisoners), to a tale of corruption and redemption set in the underbelly of 1960s Hong Kong (Dealer/Healer), the films bear testimony to the city’s rich cinema history.

Dealer Healer © Sil-Metropole Organisation

The core of the panorama will be a special (and first of its kind) focus on the exciting new generation of directors, titled Young Blood Hong Kong. As part of the 20th anniversary, the festival is looking to the future of Hong Kong cinema, rather than its past: these recent Hong Kong directors are working in various genres, tackling a range of social issues, and paying homage to the film traditions they grew up with, from tenement dramas to vampire comedies. Meanwhile, NYAFF continues to bring established, major filmmakers from the region: Lawrence Lau, who, along with Ann Hui, is one of Hong Kong’s best neorealist directors, will be introducing his star-studded crime action drama Dealer/Healer; the Panorama will spotlight the new generation from the region with guest filmmaker Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan with Mad World, Derek Hui with This Is Not What I Expected, and Alan Lo with Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Other films by first-time Hong Kong directors in this year’s lineup are Derek Tsang’s Soul Mate, Yan Pak-wing and Chiu Sin-hang’s Vampire Cleanup Department, and Andrew Wong’s With Prisoners.

Extraordinary Mission 4

The 2017 lineup also includes five LGBTQ-themed films: two dramas with transsexual protagonists, Naoko Ogigami’s Close-Knit from Japan, and Cho Hyun-hoon’s drama Jane from South Korea; two coming-of-age high-school youth dramas, Ahn Jung-min’s Fantasy of the Girls from South Korea, and Leste Chen’s 2006 Eternal Summer from Taiwan, which merits a second look a decade on; and Lee Sang-il’s wild and violent mystery thriller Rage, featuring Go Ayano (NYAFF 2016 Rising Star Asia awardee) as a homeless stranger invited into the home of a semi-closeted salaryman (Satoshi Tsumabuki) as his live-in-lover.

The Villainess - Courtesy of Well Go USA

Another highlight of this year’s festival are three films that celebrate Japan’s unique “Roman Porno” genre, each having their North American premieres: Aroused by Gymnopedies, Dawn of the Felines, and Wet Woman in the Wind. Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest film studio, is celebrating 45 years since they birthed the softcore Roman Porno genre (roman derives from the French word for novel). Invented to save a dying industry, they gave carte blanche to directors with minimal rules: keep it under 80 minutes with a sex scene every ten. This allowed for wild stream of consciousness works of both the highest and lowest caliber. Now, Nikkatsu has enlisted top contemporary talent for the Roman Porno Reboot Project, with these three filmmakers taking the provocative, envelope-pushing format to a whole new level.

Bad Genius © GDH 559

In addition to the festival’s screenings, the NYAFF awards a number of honorees each year, including this year’s recipients:

  • The 2017 NYAFF Lifetime Achievement Award goes to veteran Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fai, who will attend a three-film tribute, including Johnnie To’s Election, Longman Leung & Sunny Luk’s Cold War 2 and Tsui’s Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D. In a career spanning 35 years, Leung has worked with the iconic directors Li Han-hsiang, Wong Kar-wai, Stanley Kwan, and Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starred opposite the screen legends Jackie Chan, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Jet Li, and Fan Bingbing. Leung was arguably the first Hong Kong star to become an international heartthrob, in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Lover.
  • Our Star Asia Award recipient is Korean movie star Gang Dong-won, whose charisma and emotional investment in his performances gives his films a unique edge. His most iconic films include Lee Myung-se’s Duelist, Park Jin-pyo’s Voice of a Murderer, and Jang Hoon’s Secret Reunion. Last year, NYAFF presented two of his films, The Priests and A Violent Prosecutor, and in 2017, the festival will be joined by Gang to present a special screening of the magical fable Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned.

A Quiet Dream ©

  • The Screen International Rising Star Asia Award will be given to Thailand’s Chutimon “Aokbab” Chuengcharoensukying. The 21-year-old model, who is still a student at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, found fame last year in Thank You for Sharing, an eight-minute, viral short about cyber-bullying. The NYAFF is opening with her feature debut, Bad Genius, in which she stars as a high-school student who masterminds an ambitious heist of the American university entrance exam system. It’s a demanding role, in which her quick-witted character must navigate a complex moral universe where parents and teachers don’t always know best.

Tickets go on sale June 15, with Film Society and Subway Cinema members receiving an early access period beginning June 13. Tickets are $14; $11 for students and seniors (62+); and $9 for Film Society members. See more and save with a 3+ film discount package and All Access Pass. Learn more at

Curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, deputy director Stephen Cremin, and programmers Claire Marty and David Wilentz.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and takes place from June 30 to July 13 at Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St), and July 14 to 16 at SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd St).

Keep up to date with information at and  Subway Cinema can be followed on Facebook at and Twitter at

Titles in bold are included in the Main Competition

CHINA (6):
Co-presented with Confucius Institute Headquarters and China Institute
 Battle of Memories (Leste Chen, 2017)
 Blood of Youth (Yang Shupeng, 2016)
 Duckweed (Han Han, 2017)
 Extraordinary Mission (Alan Mak & Anthony Pun, 2017)
 Someone to Talk to (Liu Yulin, 2016)
 Soul on a String (Zhang Yang, 2016)

Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York
 Cold War 2 (Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, 2016)
 Dealer/Healer (Lawrence Lau, 2017)
 Election (Johnnie To, 2005)
 Mad World (Wong Chun, 2016)
 Soul Mate (Derek Tsang, 2016)
 The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Tsui Hark, 2014)
 This Is Not What I Expected (Derek Hui, 2017)
 Vampire Cleanup Department (Yan Pak-wing, Chiu Sin-hang, 2017)
 With Prisoners (Andrew Wong, 2017)
 Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (Alan Lo, 2017)

JAPAN (15):
 Aroused by Gymnopedies (Isao Yukisada, 2016)
 Close-Knit (Naoko Ogigami, 2017)
 Dawn of the Felines (Kazuya Shiraishi, 2016)
 Destruction Babies (Tetsuya Mariko, 2016)
 A Double Life (Yoshiyuki Kishi, 2016)
 Happiness (Sabu, 2016)
 Japanese Girls Never Die (Daigo Matsui, 2016)
 The Long Excuse (Miwa Nishikawa, 2016)
 Love and Other Cults (Eiji Uchida, 2017)
 The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio (Takashi Miike, 2016)
 Rage (Lee Sang-il, 2016)
 Suffering of Ninko (Norihiro Niwatsukino, 2016)
 Survival Family (Shinobu Yaguchi, 2017)
 Traces of Sin (Kei Ishikawa, 2016)
 Wet Woman in the Wind (Akihiro Shiota, 2016)

Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York
 Fabricated City (Park Kwang-hyun, 2017)
 Fantasy of the Girls (Ahn Jung-min, 2016)
 Jane (Cho Hyun-hoon, 2016)
 Ordinary Person (Kim Bong-han, 2017)
 A Quiet Dream (Zhang Lu, 2016)
 A Single Rider (Lee Joo-young, 2017)
 Split (Choi Kook-hee, 2016)
 The Tooth and the Nail (Jung Sik, Kim Whee, 2017)
 The Truth Beneath (Lee Kyoung-mi, 2016)
 Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Uhm Tae-hwa, 2016)
 The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil, 2017)

 Bad Genius (Nattawut Poonpiriya, Thailand, 2017)
 Birdshot (Mikhail Red, Philippines, 2016)
 Kfc (Le Binh Giang, Vietnam, 2017)
 Mrs. K (Ho Yuhang, Malaysia, 2016)
 Saving Sally (Avid Liongoren, Philippines, 2016)
 Town in a Lake (Jet Leyco, Philippines, 2015)

Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York
 Eternal Summer (Leste Chen, 2006)
 The Gangster’s Daughter (Chen Mei-juin, 2017)
 Godspeed (Chung Mong-hong, 2016)
 Mon Mon Mon Monsters (Giddens, 2017)
 The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, 2016)
 The Village of No Return (Chen Yu-hsun, 2017)

 Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno (Jung Yoon-suk, 2017)
 Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman (Jero Yun, 2016)


OFFICIAL POSTER:–YOkNIV_ZhTjdqNjRVMm9IU00/view?ts=5931c144


Now in its 16th year, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which The Village Voice has called “the best film festival in New York,” and The New York Times has called “one of the city’s most valuable events.” Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Since 2010, it has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from The New York Times, Shutterstock, Variety, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

Subway Cinema is America’s leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular film culture in all forms, building bridges between Asia and the West. With year-round festivals and programs, the organization aims to bring wide audience and critical attention to contemporary and classic Asian cinema in the U.S. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship event, the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway cinema’s other events and initiatives include Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF).

For more information, visit,, and follow @subwaycinema on Twitter (#nyaff16).

Subway Cinema receives generous, year-round support from the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation and sponsorships from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Korean Cultural Center New York, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, China Institute, Manhattan Portage, Tsingtao Beer, Japan Foundation New York, Maven Wine, Bruce R. Watts, and thanks their media partners: Screen International, Asian Crush, China Film Insider, Chopsticks NY


June 22, 2017 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film/Festivals – JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film July 13-23, 2017, at Japan Society *nyc

North America’s Largest Festival of New Japanese Cinema Announces First Confirmed

Highlights for 11th Annual Installment + ‘CUT ABOVE’ Awardee

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film

July 13-23, 2017, at Japan Society

Poster art (l-r) for Over the Fence, ANTI-PORNO and Neko Atsume House, part of the 2017 JAPAN CUTS festival.

Presenting titles never before seen in New York and many screening for the first time in North America or even outside Japan, JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film presents the best new movies made in and around Japan and the filmmakers and performers who made them.



Set for July 13 to 23, the 2017 JAPAN CUTS festival will feature an exclusive premiere roster of nearly 30 films, ranging from big budget blockbusters to powerful shoestring indies, and includes spotlights on documentary cinema, experimental films, shorts and recent restorations of classic Japanese favorites. With the full schedule to be announced in early June, highlights confirmed to date include:

Over the Fence – East Coast Premiere: Critically-acclaimed drama by popular indie director Nobuhiro Yamashita (Linda Linda Linda), starring featured festival guest Joe Odagiri.

ANTI-PORNO – East Coast Premiere: Festival favorite Sion Sono’s subversive take on the Roman Porno genre, commissioned by famed Nikkatsu movie studio.

Neko Atsume House – North American Premiere: Family-friendly comedic drama adapted from Japan’s internationally beloved cat collecting app.

Daguerrotype – New York Premiere: Celebrated director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first French-language film, a Gothic horror fantasy with an all-European cast.

Resistance at Tule Lake: East Coast Premiere: Resonant documentary about incarcerated Japanese-Americans standing up for justice during WWII.

Also this year, the festival will award the 2017 CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film to Joe Odagiri—a matinee idol, fashion icon and bone fide power brand in Japan, whose immense talent and diverse roles have been blazing Japanese screens for nearly two decades.

“Joe Odagiri is just one of many special guests who will attend this year among celebrated established filmmakers and some equally remarkable breakout talents,” says Aiko Masubuchi, Senior Film Programmer at Japan Society. “Following current trends in the industry, this year we’ll also focus on work that breaks the boundaries of social mores, national borders, and formal constraints through radical cultural phenomena, international co-productions, and avant-garde pieces expanding our definition of what Japanese cinema means today.”

In the run-up to this year’s festival, the JAPAN CUTS programming team served as jury of the 2017 Osaka Asian Film Festival’s Indie Forum section, awarding the 2nd annual JAPAN CUTS Award to Love and Goodbye and Hawaii directed by Shingo Matsumura on March 11, 2017. Additionally, the first JAPAN CUTS Audience Award winner Flying Colors from the festival’s 2016 10-year anniversary edition receives an encore screening on Friday, June 2, 7:00 pm as a “JAPAN CUTS Classic” in Japan Society Monthly Classics programming.

Emphasizing the diversity and vitality of one of the most exciting world cinemas, JAPAN CUTS gives cinephiles their first (and sometimes only) chance to discover the next waves of filmmaking from Japan. Founded in 2007, the festival presents the biggest Japanese blockbusters, raucous genre flicks, peerless independents, arthouse gems, radical documentaries and avant-garde forms, along with unique collaborative programs, workshops and panels put together with the cooperation of other international organizations. Special guest actors and filmmakers join the festivities for Q&As, award ceremonies, and the wild themed parties and receptions audiences have come to expect, with live music, food and libations.

Through its Film Program, Japan Society has introduced Japanese cinema to New York’s international audiences since the 1970s, presenting works by the era’s then new giants Shohei Imamura, Seijun Suzuki, and Hiroshi Teshigahara and others upon their first release, and groundbreaking retrospectives on now-canonical figures such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Special guests such as Akira Kurosawa, Machiko Kyo, Toshiro Mifune, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, and Hideko Takamine had already been part of Japan Society’s events before JAPAN CUTS launched.

Since JAPAN CUTS’ inception, the festival has attracted nearly 50,000 filmgoers and presented over 275 feature films, many never-before seen in the U.S. The first annual JAPAN CUTS was one of the most successful single events in the Society’s 2007-08 centennial celebration. The festival has premiered several films that have gone on to garner international acclaim, including: 0.5mm, 100 Yen Love, About Her Brother, Buy a Suit, Confessions, Death Note, Fish Story, Kamome Diner, Love Exposure, Milocrorze: A Love Story, The Mourning Forest, Ninja Kids!!!, Sawako Decides, Sukiyaki Western Django, Sway, Sketches of Kaitan City, The Tale of Iya, and United Red Army.

The Japan Society Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions, including retrospectives, thematic repertory film series, and U.S. premiere screenings. Its aim is to entertain, educate, and support activities in the Society’s arts and culture programs. More at

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit

June 2, 2017 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/ FESTIVALS — FANTASIA FEST – 20th Edition — 7/14 – 8/2 *Montreal


Appearances from Christopher Lloyd, Keishi Otomo, and iconic Japanese actor Denden; a new VR component; and an award for Jean-Claude Lord are among the newly announced highlights, which also boasts numerous World and International premieres

Montreal, Quebec – Fantasia’s full 2016 lineup of

over 130 features has been revealed.

Included therein are

19 World Premieres,

18 North American Premieres, and

47 Canadian Premieres! In addition, the festival will be showcasing

over 300 shorts from across the globe, the complete list of which can be found on their website.


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For the grand finale of Fantasia’s 20th anniversary edition, the festival is more than proud to present the Canadian Premiere of co-writer/director Fede Alvarez’s terrifying new film DON’T BREATHE, which left audiences breathless during its ecstatic South by Southwest debut earlier this year. In DON’T BREATHE, a trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. Screening will be hosted by Alvarez himself. DON’T BREATHE is produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert along with Alvarez. Sony Pictures will release the film in North America on August 26, 2016.

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Hot off its premiere at Cannes, the powerhouse Mel Gibson thriller BLOOD FATHER, directed by Jean-François Richet (MESRINE, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13), will be having its first North American screening at Fantasia as both part of the festival’s closing night events and the official closing film of the Action! section. BLOOD FATHER’s impressive cast also features Erin Moriarty, Elisabeth Röhm, William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Dale Dickey, Thomas Mann, and Michael Parks.


Fantasia is pleased to announce the esteemed jurors for our key international competitions. The complete list of juries, including those for Axis, Séquences, L’Écran fantastique, the Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Film, and the Prix AQCC (l’Association québécoise des critiques de cinema) can be found on our website.


Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado
, Israel – Filmmakers

Cyril Despontin, France – Paris International Fantastic Film Festival
George Schmalz, USA – Kickstarter
Justine Smith, Canada – Critic, The Globe and Mail, Vice Canada
Dr. Marcus Stiglegger, Germany – Critic, author, and Cinema Scholar

NEW FLESH AWARD (First Feature Competition)

Michael Gingold, USA – Critic and Screenwriter, Fangoria, Rue Morgue Magazine

Grady Hendrix, USA – Critic, author, co-founder of New York Asian Film Festival
Kate McEdwards, USA – Oscilloscope Laboratories
Nicolas Stanzick, France – Critic, Cahiers du cinéma, Repérages


Chris Oosterom, Netherlands – Imagine Fantastic Film Festival

Heather Buckley, USA – Critic, Graphic Designer, Blu-Ray producer
Peter Kuplowsky, Canada – Producer, programmer at Fantastic Fest, Toronto after Dark, programming assistant at TIFF (Midnight Madness)


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After a highly successful Frontières Day in Cannes, which marked the introduction to the market’s new partnership with Cannes’ Marché du Film, the Frontières International Co-Production Market returns to Fantasia for its eighth edition, which will take place July 21st through the 24th.

Frontières is a four-day industry networking event specifically focused on genre film production and financing. Following the announcement of its main line-up of 20 projects, for the first time Frontières is pleased to announce international spotlights on projects from Australia and South Africa, in addition to a work-in-progress line-up featuring multiple past Frontières projects currently in post-production, and a case study panel focusing on the upcoming virtual reality collaboration between SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal.

Highlights include a project from director Brandon Cronenberg (ANTIVIRAL) and a first look at the EMAfilms-Epic Pictures sci-fi thriller RADIUS. These projects join a line-up of previously announced titles including projects from director Roxanne Benjamin (SOUTHBOUND) and producer Andy Starke (SIGHTSEERS, THE GREASY STRANGLER).

The SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montréal Virtual Reality Project

The Frontières International Co-Production Market is pleased to present a panel discussion with Ubisoft and SpectreVision that will provide a behind-the-scenes look at their collaboration on an upcoming genre-based virtual reality experience, and examine the relationship between genre film and virtual reality.

Frontières@Fantasia 2016: International Spotlight Projects

Director/Writer:  Donna McRae
Producers: Liz Baulch (Wild Iris Productions)

Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Writer: Philip Tarl Denson
Producers: Raquelle David (Damsel Pictures)

Director: Eron Sheean
Writer: David Scinto
Producers: Lizzette Atkins, Jasper Graham (Unicorn Films)

CORPSEMEN (South Africa/USA)
Director: Brett Simmons
Writers: Brett Simmons, Marc Bloom
Producers: Jonh Volmink, Isaac Mogajane (Diprente), Peter Phok

Director/Writer:  Matthew Griffith
Producer: Rafeeqah Galant (Echo Ledge Productions)

Director: James Adey
Writer: Steven Pillemer
Producers: Issac Mogojane, James Adey (Fiction Films)

Director/Writer: Ben Parker
Producers: Jen Handorf, Paul Higgins (Chamber Films)

Director/Writer: Enric Folch
Producers: Roger Allen, Gabriele Stifani, Luca Stifani (The Devil on Wheels Productions)

INNER GHOSTS (Portugal/Brazil)
Director: João Alves
Writer/Producer: Paulo Leite (Bad Behavior)

RADIUS (Canada)
Directors/Writers: Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard
Producer: Anne-Marie Gélinas (EMAfilms inc.)

THE VOID (Canada)
Directors/Writers: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillesipe
Producers: Casey Walker (Cave Painting Pictures), Jonathan Bronfman (JoBro Productions)

Frontières is made possible thanks to the generous support of Creative Europe, Telefilm Canada, and SODEC.


As part of the festival’s 20th Anniversary festivities, Fantasia has announced the creation of The Denis Héroux Award, a prize that recognizes exceptional contribution to the development of genre cinema and independent cinema from Quebec, named after the trailblazing filmmaker  – director of such works as VALÉRIE and A FEW ACRES OF SNOW, producer of landmarks that include QUEST FOR FIRE and ATLANTIC CITY  – who passed away in December of last year. The inaugural recipient will be Jean-Claude Lord, maker of such diverse works as PARLEZ-NOUS D’AMOUR, VISITING HOURS, PANIQUE, THE VINDICATOR, and BINGO, the latter being one of the first thrillers from Quebec.


Whether you’re curious about this new technology or anxious to try some of the genre film experiences developed in Canada and around the world in recent months, FANTASIA, in collaboration with CFC Media Lab, Cream Productions and Woolf + Lapin, is proud to present THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE. On Thursday July 21st, from 3PM to 8PM, and from Friday to Sunday, July 24th, from noon to 8PM, the Fantasia audience will have the chance to choose among a selection of 11 different viewing experiences for virtual reality technology, selected for us by the CFC MEDIA LAB. Admission is free.


Grady Hendrix, celebrated film critic and acclaimed author of bestsellers Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, brings his stunning, deeply personal one-man show about psychic teenagers to Fantasia with SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS. Telling the all-shocking, all-true tale of Victorian teenagers who spoke to the dead, this is the real life story of how biomechanical sex cults, the ghost of Ben Franklin, and Arctic explorers all teamed up to answer the ultimate question: is there life after death?


Fantasia will be hosting a rare appearance by Gérard Kikoïne, French director of “films d’amour” featuring iconic X stars Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. Having just published his memoir, “Kikobook,” the industry pioneer will revisit his singular life path and discuss his collaborations with Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins, and Abel Gance, among others. During this round-table talk, moderated by filmmaker Éric Falardeau (THANATOMORPHOSE) and Mad Movies Magazine’s Gilles Esposito, he will reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets. The event will take place following our screening of Nicolas and Bruno’s IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX.


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Fantasia is thrilled to host the World Premiere of the fascinating sci-fi thriller THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND, adapted from the popular manga Himitsu The Top Secret. A masterful script full of surprises, flawless characterizations and top-of-the-line production values make this visually stunning work a standout. After directing the immensely popular RUROUNI KENSHIN trilogy, Keishi Otomo proves once again that he is a singular talent and it will be a pleasure to welcome him back to Montreal for our 20th anniversary edition.

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Adored actor Christopher Lloyd will be visiting Fantasia for the Canadian Premiere of Billy O’Brien’s I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, an acclaimed adaptation of Dan Wells’ successful novel. Who better to understand and stalk a serial killer than a teenage closet sociopath? From the gifted director of ISOLATION.

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Following our First Wave announcement of the Canadian Premiere of Yeon Sang-ho’s animated horror masterpiece SEOUL STATION, Fantasia is excited to announce the first North American screening of the filmmaker’s riveting TRAIN TO BUSAN, fresh off obliterating audiences’ nervous systems at Cannes.

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Believe us when we tell you that one of the must-see discoveries of Fantasia’s 20th edition is the unpredictable, violent and hilarious GORAN from Croatian filmmaker Nevio Marasovic (VIS-À-VIS). Following a down on his luck alcoholic cab driver during a nightmarish birthday party, this amalgamation of deranged situations turns a powerful social drama into a comedy of awkward situations along the lines of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM with a substantially darker soul.

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Japanese comedy master Minoru Kawasaki, creator of such Fantasia classics as THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, EXECUTIVE KOALA and THE RUG COP, is back with another hilariously absurdist treat! A giant monster feasts on hikers and begins to destroy the city when scientists have a genius idea: turning a skinny dude into a colossal pro wrestler! Buildings will fly and models will be pulverized when the hilarious KAIJYU MONO screens in its International Premiere.

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Left jobless after the town’s big factory closes, Jacques (Romain Duris) finds a new job to cover his debts and make ends meet – contract killings. A smartly written black comedy that takes sharp shots at capitalism and conformity, UN PETIT BOULOT (ODD JOB) is scripted by and co-starring Michel Blanc, and directed by the late Pascal Chaumeil, who passed away shortly after production was completed.

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Maverick Canadian genre heroes Black Fawn Films, whose BITE, EJECTA, ANTISOCIAL, THE DROWNSMAN, and NEVERLOST have all world premiered at Fantasia, return to Montreal with BED OF THE DEAD, the directorial debut of cinematographer Jeff Maher (BITE, HELLOUTH). Four twenty-somethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death in this hallucinatory Grand Guignol Twilight Zone-esque shocker that gets freakier with each passing minute.

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Third Window Films and Eiji Uchida (GREATFUL DEAD) partner up once again for LOWLIFE LOVE, an undeniably personal and uncompromising look behind the scenes of Japan’s micro-budget film industry. Starring veteran actor Denden (COLD FISH, CURE, UZUMAKI) and Kiyohiko Shibukawa (LOVE & PEACE) in the lead role of a 39-year-old deadbeat lowlife running a scam film school for down-on-their-luck actors and filmmakers. Fantasia’s Canadian Premiere screening will be hosted by Director Eiji Uchida, actor Denden, and producer Adam Torel.

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On July 17, 1966, the first episode of the hugely popular Ultraman series was broadcast on Japanese television. On July 17, 2016, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s most famous superhero, Fantasia will present the international premiere of Kiyotaka Taguchi’s ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE, the latest film from Tsuburaya Productions, featuring the original Ultraman.

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Both hilarious and deeply moving, Kim Tae-gon’s extremely smart dramedy FAMILYHOOD (International Premiere) is more than just a solid piece of entertainment. Featuring an impressive cast led by the extraordinary Kim Hye-soo (COIN LOCKER GIRL), it also sparks a necessary reflection on the cult of youth and beauty in contemporary society and South Korean medias, while tackling the unfair marginalization of young single mothers. Director Kim Tae-gon (THE POT) will be hosting Fantasia’s International Premiere of the film.


Fantasia’s documentary section returns with six fascinating works that will provoke thoughts and post-screening discussions-a-plenty.

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Beware the Slenderman
USA / Dir: Irene Taylor Brodsky    

On May 31, 2014, two girls in Wisconsin committed an irredeemable act at the behest of an eerie Internet entity. A doc in which fiction not only surpasses reality but contaminates it in a horrifying way. Using testimonials and archival footage, it also questions the complex relationship that exists today between youth and social media. If the Slender Man doesn’t exist, he certainly haunts our spirit. Screening will be hosted by director Irene Taylor Brodsky. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Dwarvenaut
USA / Dir: Josh Bishop

A portrait of the challenges and triumphs of artist, entrepreneur, off-the-cuff philosopher and supremely devoted D&D aficionado Stefan Pokorny, mastermind of Dwarven Forge gaming miniatures. Bishop’s doc is a robust and immensely inspiring tribute to talent, purpose, and dreams made real — an enchanted, and enchanting, tale for the ages. Pokorny and Bishop will be hosting our screening.  Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Show of Shows
Iceland-UK / Dir: Benedikt Erlingsson

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s perfectly okay to stare. Prepare to embark on a spectacular non-narrative journey through a century of lost circus and vaudeville arts, set to a bedazzling score by members of Sigur Rós and an Icelandic choir. A dreamy, beautiful, eerie poem of a film. Official Selection: Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2015, Göteborg International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

USA / Dir: Keith Maitland

On Aug 1, 1966, Austin’s University of Texas campus abruptly became a place of horror when Charles Whitman opened fire from a clock tower. A hyper-cinematic oral history of sorts, set to an inspired combination of artfully animated recreations, newsreel footage, photographs and rotoscoped depictions of the speakers themselves, using these devices to brilliant effect, telling the story in near real-time. Winner: Best Documentary Feature, SXSW 2016. Fantasia’s screening on August 1st will be followed by a panel discussion organized by Meaghan Hennegan, survivor of the 2006 Dawson College Shooting, featuring speakers from Polytechnique, Dawson College and CTV News, with more participants to be announced shortly.

Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge titles: CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX and FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK.



Following the earlier announcements of the World Premiere of KICKBOXER VENGEANCE and North American Premieres of SKIPTRACE, BLOOD FATHER, ANTIGANG, and TORO, among others, Fantasia’s Action! section has three more hard-hitting punches to land.

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India  /  Dir: Sabbir Khan

Ronny has mastered the art of fighting, a skill he’ll need when he races to the rescue of a kidnapped flame in Thailand. Tiger Shroff’s intense performance shows promise of major martial-arts stardom ahead. BAAGHI is a non-stop action feast that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its whole duration. Quebec Premiere.

Kill Zone 2
Hong Kong-China / Dir.:Soi Cheang

Thai prison guard Chai must keep Kit, an undercover Hong Kong cop, alive at any cost. An action extravaganza with some truly astounding scenes — including a prison riot that will have you on the edge of your seat! Official Selection : Toronto International Film Festival 2015.

The Phantom Detective
South Korea / Dir: Jo Sung-hee

Private investigator Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), searching for his mother’s killer, enlists the unsuspecting help of the man’s two granddaughters. A devilish, modern mélange of film noir and action. Official Selection: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Additional previously announced Action! titles: THE BODYGUARD, LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, and THEY CALL ME JEEG.



As its twentieth anniversary arrives, Fantasia can’t forget how essential Japanese anime has been in our programming over the past two decades, and this year we’re screening both a new, state-of-the-art anime feature (HARMONY) and an early cornerstone of Japanese animation history (MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILORS).

The 2016 Axis section also showcases BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE from Martinique and NOVA SEED from Canada, two superior examples of something we can expect more of in the years to come: full feature films crafted by a single animator on a negligible budget. The quality, creativity, and charm these labours of love exude should give big studios pause… and remind fans of the medium what they love about it in the first place.

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Japan / Dirs.: Takashi Nakamura, Michael Arias

Tuan has fled to the ends of the Earth, the edge of human civilization drastically reduced by cataclysm – and since supremely elevated by nanotech miracles. A new key work in Japanese animation from the innovative Studio 4°C, part of the Project Itoh anime trilogy. Quebec Premiere.

Momotaro, Sacred Sailors
Japan / Dir.: Mitsuyo Seo

Commissioned by the Ministry of the Navy and inspired by Disney’s FANTASIA, animation pioneer Seo’s 1945 propaganda film for children was the very first Japanese anime feature. A lost masterpiece, freshly restored from the original 35mm negatives. Official Selection, Cannes Classics 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Battledream Chronicle
Martinique / Dir.: Alain Bidard

Syanna must confront the fiercest fighters of Mortemonde, to kill the masters inside them – and the slave inside herself. Martinique’s first animated feature, a digital anime adventure on par with Japan’s best, but proudly Caribbean at heart (and it’s all the work of a single filmmaker).

Nova Seed
Canada / Dir.: Nick DiLiberto

It’s bio-warrior beast-man versus wasteland warlock in this totally hand-drawn, homemade cartoon mini-masterpiece, shamelessly wallowing in vintage Saturday-morning science-fantasy fun. The ne plus ultra of do-it-yourself animation, loaded with irony-free charm. Quebec Premiere.

Previously announced Axis titles: BAD CAT, PSYCHONAUTS, and SEOUL STATION.


The Arbalest
USA / Dir: Adam Pinney

The reclusive and eccentric inventor behind the Kalt Cube – the world’s most popular toy! – is opening up after a 10-year vow of silence, ready to unveil a new invention. A quirky, edge-of-your-seat character study, unfolding as the confessional of a Steve Jobs-esque inventor, THE ARBALEST is a rare thing: a vision at once fresh, hilarious, and chilling in its pitch-perfect timeliness. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2016.

Japan / Dir: Hitoshi Ohne

Two classmates team up to create a manga and get it published in the legendary magazine Shonen Jump. A film for manga fans to drool over, while pleasing the uninitiated with its contagious dynamism, astounding visual creativity, award winning soundtrack by electro band Sakanaction and stellar cast led by RUROUNI KENSHIN’s Takeru Sato. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Japan Cuts 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Collective Invention
South Korea / Dir: Kwon Oh-kwang

A journalist strives to expose the transformation of a boy into a fish following a clinical experiment gone awry. Alternately absurd and bitingly satirical, a smart, funny fantasy you can dive right into. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015, BAFICI – Buenos Aires Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
South Korea / Dir: Roh Deok

Breaking news, this just in! Killer-thriller collides with biting black satire of modern media! Body count sure to rise! Rising South Korean star Cho Jung-seok (ARCHITECTURE 101) headlines in this anxious, adrenal twist of mystery, mayhem, and mockery. Official Selection: Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Feuilles mortes
Quebec / Dirs: Thierry Bouffard, Carnior, Edouard A. Tremblay

On the road to a fortified village, three individuals with very different pasts see their destinies unwillingly intertwined. A post-apocalyptic Western that’s also a powerful human drama, starring Roy Dupuis, Noémie O’Farrell, and Philippe Racine. Big-screen viewing is a must. World Premiere.

France / Dir: Igor Gotesman

Selling drugs isn’t for everybody, and when things turn sour, Samuel (Pierre Niney) has no choice but to turn to those who always had his back: his friends! A funny yet humanist film about friendship. North American Premiere.

Fourth Place
South Korea / Dir: Jung Ji-woo

Coach Gwang-su will make a better competitive swimmer of 11-year-old Jun-ho — but at what terrible cost? Gorgeously shot and masterfully written, this shattering, yet luminous sports drama carries the torch for independent Korean cinema in this Olympic year. Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival 2015, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

HK2: The Abnormal Crisis
Japan / Dir: Yuichi Fukuda

After being the hero of one of the craziest screenings in the history of Fantasia, Hentai Kamen is back for further sexy superheroics in a sequel packed with salacious gags, absurd dialogue, over-the-top action, and grotesque baddies. Official Selection: Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Holy Flame of the Martial World
Hong Kong / Dir: Lu Chin-Ku

The search for the ultimate weapon, the Holy Flame, continues to create havoc! Beware of laser fingers and flying disco balls as you enjoy this blast of pure, unfiltered kung fu insanity in a rarely seen 35mm Shaw Scope print.

Judge Archer
China / Dir: Xu Haofeng

A tormented young man invites trouble with his new identity in this resounding, confounding kung fu delight that breaks and remakes the very laws of martial arts cinema! North American Premiere.

Karaoke Crazies
South Korea / Dir: Kim Sang-chan

Financial pressures make a dysfunctional family of sorts out of the misfits at Addiction Karaoke — but a serial killer threatens to upend the fragile peace. A crafty blend of black comedy, poignant drama, and brutal suspense. Official Selection: South by Southwest Film Festival 2016, Boston Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Kiki, Love to Love
Spain / Dir: Paco León

Five unusual love stories unfold in sunny Madrid, in this smart, spicy sympathetic erotic comedy. León’s film blew up at the box office in Spain and seduced millions — and schooled them in the details of dirty dabblings like harpaxophilia, polyamory, dacryphilia, eliphilia, and somnophilia! Canadian Premiere.

Kiyamachi Daruma
Japan /  Dir: Hideo Sakaki

Katsuura was once at the top, boss of a Kyoto yakuza clan. Now, he’s at the very bottom, literally crawling on the floor as a limbless debt collector. One of the bleakest, most unrelenting gangster films which is playing against type at every level possible. Official Selection: New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Lace Crater
USA / Dir: Harrison Atkins

A disarming film about messy relationships and the shame of owning up to one’s sexuality… especially when ghosts and STDs are involved! Exploring a generation’s drive for romantic connection by way of the supernatural, LACE CRATER blends the improvisational and comedic approaches of erstwhile mumblecore cinema, with the unsettling metaphors that a genre framework can bring to life. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Imagine Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Little Sister
USA / Dir: Zach Clark

Halloween 2008 brings a former goth girl, now a nun, back into her dysfunctional clan’s den of disaster. A delightful and idiosyncratic black comedy about family, black lipstick, drugs, and finding grace in adversity starring Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy, Keith Poulson, and Barbara Crampton. An outright masterpiece from the wildly talented director of WHITE REINDEER. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Mon ami Dino
Quebec / Dir: Jimmy Larouche

“I’m not afraid to die — I’m scared to lose my life.” Actor Dino Tavarone (OMERTA) delivers a performance of rare authenticity, playing himself in a wild concoction that perfectly blends reality with fiction. A splendid celebration of life reflecting on family, friendship, work… and illness. Montreal Premiere.

Outlaws and Angels
USA / Dir: JT Mollner

Desperate bank robbers with a bounty hunter on their trail hide out at an isolated farm. A gloomy, violent concoction emphasizing the gritty, depraved, and brutal side of the Wild West, tipping its hat to the classics. Francesca Eastwood, daughter of the legendary silver-screen cowboy, delivers a twisted yet solid performance that is sure to make her famous father proud. Official Selection : Sundance 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Parasyte: Part 1
Japan  / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki

The right hand of teenager Shinichi has been commandeered by a strange alien entity, and it wants to find more of its kind. A shrewd, highly logical hybrid of horror and sci-fi, adapted from the hugely popular manga. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2014, Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.

Parasyte: Part 2
Japan / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki

The second act of the two-part PARASYTE series raises the stakes and cranks up the excitement. A mutant mash-up of grisly gore, creature feature, science fiction eco-shocker, and superhero thrill ride. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.

The Piper
South Korea / Dir: Kim Gwang-tae

In the aftermath of the Korean war, a humble musician and his sick son discover a hidden village plagued by rats — and by shameful, dark secrets. A haunting, horror-stained fable of doublecross and dire retribution adapted from the classic Pied Piper of Hamelin with an amazing cast led by Ryoo Seung Ryong (SEOUL STATION) and Chun Woo-hee (HAN GONG-JU). Official Selection: Vancouver International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015.

The Priests
South Korea / Dir: Jang Jae-hyun

A grizzled, borderline-burnout veteran exorcist and a rebellious young seminarian confront a demonic possession in Korea in this supernatural thriller that’s scary and/or funny in just the right places. Kim Yoon-seok (THE CHASER), Kang Dong-won (HAUNTERS), and Park So-dam (THE THRONE) shine in Jang Jae-hyun’s impressive first direction. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Psycho Raman
India / Dir: Anurag Kashyap

Raman, a serial killer in Mumbai, sees his alter ego in the crooked cop pursuing him. A genuine time bomb that can suddenly blow up in your face at any time, capturing the social pressures gnawing away at Indian society.  From the visionary director of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR and UGLY. Fantasia will be showing the Cannes cut, as opposed to the version that recently opened in theatrical release. Official Selection, Cannes Director’s Fortnight 2016.

Sori: Voice from the Heart
South Korea / Dir: Lee Ho-jae

Kim is searching for his long-lost daughter. A satellite robot he names Sori is also on a quest — and government agents are after them both. A smart, inventive, and empathic adventure, part quirky comedy, part techno-thriller. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Too Young to Die!
Japan / Dir: Kankuro Kudo

Recently deceased teenager Daisuke, desperate to escape Hell and reach Heaven, embarks on an epic journey of wacky reincarnations. A devil-horned comedy masterpiece by Writer/Director Kankuro Kudo (BRASS KNUCKLE BOYS), bursting with gore gags and heavy metal tunes by the gallon! Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, Hong Kong Filmart 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

A Violent Prosecutor
South Korea / Dir: Lee Il-hyung

Hardboiled prosecutor Byun, framed for the death of a suspect, isn’t going to let prison walls get in the way of his revenge. A rough, tough, rambunctious legal thriller that ransacked the South Korean box office featuring stars Hwang Jung-min (THE WAILING) and Kang Dong-won (THE PRIESTS). Quebec Premiere.



Fest to open with World Premieres of KING DAVE and KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE! Polish Spotlight, Camera Lucida, Fantasia Underground, and more announced


Violence, heartache and betrayal lie ahead when Dave (MOMMY’s Alexandre Goyette) gets caught up in a calamitous situation, driven by an unstoppable momentum. A tale told in a breathless rush, captured in a single tracking shot by celebrated Quebecois filmmaker Daniel “Podz” Grou (7 DAYS, 10 1/2, MIRACULUM). Also starring Karelle Tremblay and Mylène St-Sauveur.


Re-launching the KICKBOXER franchise, this blistering new film boasts Canadian actor Alain Moussi in the lead and Jean-Claude Van Damme as a muay thai teacher with unconventional methods. Georges St-Pierre and Dave Bautista also star. Directed by John Stockwell (TURISTAS, INTO THE BLUE).


Trailblazing musician and multimedia artist Marilyn Mason will be coming to Fantasia to present the World Premiere of Corey Asraf & John Swab’s gripping and poetic modern Noir LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR. Manson is a producer on the film and co-stars alongside Mark Boone Junior, Niko Nicotera, Sam Quartin, and Michael Potts.


Indie iconoclast Kevin Smith will be coming to Fantasia for a special evening with his uniquely Quebec-centric comedy YOGA HOSERS, the second entry in the filmmaker’s inspired “True North” trilogy centered around outrageously kooky and inventively hallucinatory happenings in our Canuckian neck of the woods.

© 2015″Library Wars -LM-“Movie Project


Shinsuke Sato is one of the most versatile directors in Japan, excelling as the Co-Writer-Director of a family oriented animation film like OBLIVIOUS ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Special Mention at Fantasia 2010) as much as he does at the helm of thrilling gore fest like I AM A HERO. The festival will have the pleasure of welcoming Director Sato again with the Canadian Premiere of LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, part of our Action! section, where paramilitary thrills, comical flourishes and powerful philosophical challenges pervade this sequel to the 2013 Fantasia hit.


A military mission goes deadly wrong when a group of soldiers find themselves stalked by invisible enemies. Co-produced by Ben Wheatley (A FIELD IN ENGLAND, HIGH RISE), Nick Gillespie’s TANK 432 is a gripping and fascinating unnatural thriller where the lines between reality and nightmares dissolve to make room for an exploration into chaos. One of the highlights of the 2016 edition of Fantasia’s Camera Lucida section (full lineup announced later in this release).


Fantasia was among the first festivals to introduce the world to the brilliance of Mike Flanagan (OCCULUS, HUSH) with our screening of the filmmaker’s instant-classic debut ABSENTIA. We’re thrilled to be bringing him back with a special screening of his eerie and poetic horror/fantasy BEFORE I WAKE, starring Jacob Tremblay (ROOM) as a troubled orphan whose dreams spill out into the real-world environment around him when he sleeps – as do his nightmares. Also starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Annabeth Gish.


A beloved figure on the Fantasia screen since the festival’s 1996 inception, Jackie Chan will always hold a special place here. We’re pleased to be presenting the North American premiere of his latest film, Renny Harlin’s SKIPTRACE, in which a detective from Hong Kong teams up with an American gambler (Johnny Knoxville) to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal. Also starring Fan Bingbing, Eric Tsang and Michael Wong.


Arriving at Warp Speed to welcome STAR TREK’s 50th anniversary, FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK celebrates the enduring series by focusing on the franchise’s most popular character and the man who played him. Directed and narrated by Adam Nimoy, this fascinating doc offers a personal, intimate look at the life and livelihood of his late father, beloved actor Leonard Nimoy, and his iconic alter-ego, Mr. Spock. Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival 2016

© 2016 Toho Co. Ltd. / Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc. / Shogakukan Inc. / Amuse Inc. / Cross Company Inc. / Magazine House Co., Ltd. / Lawson HMV Entertainment , Inc. / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. / KDDI Corporation / GYAO Corporation / Nippon Shuppan Hanbai Inc.


A terminally-ill postman with days to live meets the Devil in the guise of his double, who offers him an extra day of life for each thing, linking him to his loved ones, that is forever removed from the surface of the Earth. A poignant Faustian tale full of both sadness and light. Make no mistake, Akira Nagai’s IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD, presented in Canadian Premiere, is among the finest jewels of Fantasia’s 2016 programming and one of the most touching films you will encounter anywhere this year.


Kike Maillo created quite a stir on the festival circuit in 2011 with the Goya-awarded sci-fi film EVA. For his second feature, he brings us a super-realist action film, highly stylized, cleverly written and flawlessly directed, starring Mario Casas (UNIT 7) and Luis Tosar (SLEEP TIGHT).


A rare teen film about outsiders that actually understands them, playwright Ian McAllister-McDonald’s SOME FREAKS (World Premiere) depicts a sweet yet wounding romance between a one-eyed boy (Thomas Mann) and a large girl (Lily Mae Harrington) who come together from shared experiences as high school outcasts. Funny, honest and caustic, this film will charm your heart – and demolish it. Co-executive produced by Neil LaBute.



In tribute to the passing of the great Andrzej Zulawski earlier this year, Fantasia will be presenting a special showcase of Polish genre cinema. Presented in collaboration with the Polish Film Institute, our series will screen four masterpieces of provocative, individualistic filmmaking, three contemporary, one nearly-lost classic in vividly restored new light.


Poland — Dir: Marcin Wrona

This festival favorite offers an ingenious twist on Jewish folklore and myth. Tackling complex ideas — whether the feeling of confronting life’s big changes, or of the lurking national and political histories that bubble to the surface once families are united under the same roof — DEMON is dense with illuminating metaphors, and rich with moments of unsettlingly quiet horror. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016.  Quebec Premiere


Czech Republic-Poland-Slovakia — Dirs: Petr Kazda, Tomas Weinreb

On July 10, 1973, 22-year-old Olga Hepnarová drove a truck into a group of 25 strangers, setting in motion a tragic conclusion to a lonely young life of alienation and rage. A bracingly powerful and tough-minded true story featuring a haunting lead performance by the incredible Michalina Olszanska (THE LURE). Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere.


Poland — Dir: Agnieszka Smoczynska

Heart-eating sister sirens from the sea join an erotic cabaret in the disco mermaid stripper horror/musical/comedy/drama/romance/coming-of-age adult fable you’ve been waiting your entire life for.  A singular masterpiece of the unconventional, THE LURE is an exhilaratingly cool act of filmmaking whose charms are impossible to resist. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Luxembourg City Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

(newly restored)
Poland — Dir: Andrzej Zulawski

Andrzej Zulawski’s long suppressed, now magnificently restored ON THE SILVER GLOBE (1977/1988) features some of the most bizarre and startling imagery ever committed to celluloid: heretics impaled on spikes, a mass underground orgy and (years before MAD MAX) a finned Cadillac screaming through the desert… Shortly before the end of filming, the project was shut down by the Polish Communist authorities. Almost a decade later, Zulawski was invited back to Poland to complete his broken masterpiece. Recently restored from the original camera negative, ON THE SILVER GLOBE presents a terrifying science fiction vision worlds apart from STAR WARS.



For its 7th edition, Camera Lucida once again showcases unique and groundbreaking perspectives on genre cinemas by taking its codes into new directions. Over a dozen titles from around the world have been selected to figure in our 2016 line-up, including festival favorites as well as exciting premieres from promising newcomers. Themes this year cover feminism, urban isolation, conspiracy theories and sexuality.

Switzerland / France — Dir: Tobias Nölle

In this urban fable, a lonely inspector sees his life turned upside down when a mysterious woman initiates him to « telephone walking », an unusual form of therapy. A rare example of audiovisual poetry, the bittersweet ALOYS could be compared to a melancholic variation on Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s AMELIE. Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2016.

France — Dir: Étienne Labroue

The arrival of a humanoid being (an elk, with a big plush head) quickly creates havoc in a small French village. Part mockumentary, conspiracy theory and fantasy fable, this promising debut feature bursts with a refreshing originality. Official Selection: L’étrange festival de Paris 2015. Canadian Premiere.


Denmark-Sweden — Dir: Ali Abbasi

A housekeeper finds a new job in an isolated house in the middle of wilderness. Once there, the two owners ask her to carry their child. Reminiscent of ROSEMARY’S BABY, this modern gothic chiller turns an intimate Bergman-like drama into one of the most surprising horror films of the year. Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North-American Premiere.

IF THERE’S A HELL BELOW (Closing Film: Camera Lucida)
USA — Dir: Nathan Williams

Believing to be on the story of the century, a journalist suddenly finds himself caught in a frantic game of cat and mouse. Quiet yet profoundly suspense, the Closing Film of Camera Lucida 2016 creates a climate of paranoia so paralyzing that it’s almost asphyxiating. Official Selection: Slamdance Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.


Japan — Dir. Yoshihiro Nakamura

A popular mystery writer and a young architecture student investigate a haunted apartment complex, in this clever deconstruction of J-horror tropes from prolific director Yoshihiro Nakamura (FISH STORY, THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE). Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.

(Opening Film: Camera Lucida)
South Korea — Dir. Na Hong-jin

A wave of gruesome murders is tearing the rural village of Goksung apart and its only weapons against these manifestations of pure evil are an incompetent cop, a shy deacon and an exuberant shaman. With the ambient horror thriller THE WAILING, the Opening Film of our Camera Lucida section and one of the most talked about films of Cannes 2016, Writer/Director Na Hong-jin confirm his place among the masters of Korean cinema. Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival 2016, Munich International Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere




Get set for unrestrained eccentricity and mountains of resourceful, raw talent as Fantasia Underground celebrates its third birthday, bringing a homeless street gang, a power-stripped middle-aged superhero, an alienated dog groomer in love and a whole lotta monsters to town for the party.


USA — Dir: Chad Ferrin

Three college students find themselves lost and stranded on Skid Row when they get a flat tire and are captured by an angry homeless gang. Visceral, low-budget grittiness that pays homage to horror, westerns and ’80s action, playing like John Carpenter by way of Jim VanBebber.  World Premiere


USA — Dir: Michael Reich

In an era where we’re regularly seeing films calculated to be “weird” by design, here’s an intoxicatingly insane breath-of-fresh-air coming from a place so genuine and strange it cannot be faked. Is it a comedy? A horror film? A romance? A fever dream? Yes! An experimental observational comedy that doesn’t look or feel like anything else, this is one of the coolest discoveries of 2016.


USA — Dir: Duane Anderson

A former crime-fighter whose unnatural powers have waned, is plagued by midlife crisis. A witty, surprising and emotionally resonant film about aging, self-acceptance and legacy that brings a fresh perspective on the iconic superhero: you will believe that a man can fly, fall down and get back up again… Truly terrific.  World Premiere

France — Dir: Nathan Ambrosioni

Following the discovery of a home movie left by a pack of missing teenagers, two cops realized they must act quickly in order to save them from a murderous threat. Following the success of last year’s HOSTILE, maverick young filmmaker Nathan Ambrosioni, now a weather-beaten 16 years of age, returns to Fantasia with a frightening and well-crafted new take on the found footage subgenre. World Premiere.

Previously announced Fantasia Underground title: ATMO HORROX


Additional Second Wave Highlights:

USA — Dir: Carson D. Mell

A couple whose vacation home is haunted enlist a hardcore exorcist — and the real problems begin. This parapsychological gem, the feature debut from Carson D. Mell, a writer on EASTBOUND & DOWN and SILICON VALLEY, is both a weird, intimate comedy and a different kind of haunted-house chiller. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere

USA-Canada — Dir: Danny Perez

Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly and Mark Webber star in this twisted, surrealistic and grotesque tale of drug addiction and a very unusual kind of pregnancy that stunned audiences at Sundance earlier this year. Official Selection: Boston Underground Film Festival 2016

Japan — Dir. Shunji Iwai

Nanami meets her husband on the Internet, and her life unravels into a complex network of artifice, strange jobs and deceitful relationships. An epic of alienation and love for the age of social media, from master Shunji Iwai (ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU, VAMPIRE)! Official selection: Seattle International Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere

Denmark — Dir: Hans Petter Moland

A message in a bottle comes across the desk of a sleepy cold-case investigation unit in Denmark. It begins with the word ‘Help.’ An exhilaratingly chilling Nordic Noir starring the great Nikolaj Lie Kaas, A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH broke a 15-year Opening Weekend box office record in Denmark. Official Selection: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

USA — Dir: Sean Byrne

A vivid new take on the Satanic haunted-house thriller by way of a home-invasion siege nightmare, complete with a ferociously effective doom-metal sound design that will have the cinema’s walls shaking with demonic force to match director Byrne’s exhilarating storytelling chops. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Fantastic Fest 2015. Quebec Premiere.

USA — Dir: Nicolas Pesce

First-time writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s B&W nightmare had everyone talking–and screaming–during its Sundance debut, and now makes its bloody mark on Fantasia. This rural horror show jangles the nerves from the get-go, when a lunatic arrives at the remote homestead of an odd family. But that’s just the tip of this chilling iceberg that evokes Takashi Miike at his most disturbing and Terrence Malick at his most evocative. Canadian Premiere.

Hong Kong — Dir: Jody Luk Yee-Sum

An audacious and unsettling coming of age story of three girls reaching adulthood in Hong Kong from 1st time director Jody Luk Yee-Sum, a regular co-writer (LOVE IN THE BUFF & VULGARIA) for award winning director Pang Ho-Cheung (who also serves as producer). Official Selection: Tokyo Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Five Flavors Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, Canadian Premiere.

USA — Dir: Anna Biller

A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in VIVA director Anna Biller’s tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas. Dazzlingly decked out in the filmmaker’s aesthetic signature of personally hand crafted costumes and art direction (Biller also scripted, edited and scored the film). Official Selection: Maryland Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

USA — Dir: Bobby Miller

Heartbroken Paul (Johnny Galecki) joins an unusual spiritual retreat, where the approach to inner growth is perhaps a touch too literal. An intimately whimsical black comedy about personal baggage and the monsters it can become.  The long awaited feature debut from Bobby Miller, whose brilliant short TUB astonished audiences at Fantasia in 2010. Also starring Anna Friel, Kyle Gallner and Anjelica Huston. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.

USA — Dir: Clay Liford

Teenagers Neil (Michael Johnston) and Julia (Hannah Marks) bond over their shared devotion to amateur, erotic fan fiction for sci-fi/fantasy geeks in this smart, empathic, often funny and always convincing coming-of-age drama. Official Selection: BAMCinemaFest 2016, Munich Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere. 8

USA — Dir: John Carchietta

Picture-perfect teens Annie (Nichole Bloom) and Jules (Fabianne Therese) are in love, and have made a plan. A cautionary tale of sorts about mad teenage love, growing up on the Internet, and the kind of poor decisions that characterize life lived to its fullest… or shortest. Also starring Pat Healy. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.

Hong Kong — Dir: Johnnie To

A Crook, a cop and a surgeon with dark secrets converge in a hospital leading to deadly results. Director Johnnie To returns to the action genre after a three-year hiatus! Filmed entirely in a hospital in Southern China and without a full script, To is back in full force, creating tense cat and mouse games and a thrilling climatic shoot-out that he can do so effortlessly with fresh vigor! Official Selection: Taipei Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

South Korea – Dir. Lee Joon-ik

The horrible death of Prince Sado, condemned by his father King Yeongjo to die of thirst in a rice chest, is among most tragic events in Korea’s history. Lee Joon-ik masterfully turns this national drama in an intimate family tragedy where the great Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in lead stellar cast. A multiple award-winner, THE THRONE was South Korea’s runner up for the latest Academy Awards. Official Selection: Hawaii International Film Festival 2015 and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere

Japan — Dir. Yoji Yamada

Living legend Yoji Yamada (TORA-SAN, TWILIGHT SAMURAI) reunites with the cast of his 2013 remake of Yasujiro Ozu’s TOKYO STORY for this comedic tour-de-force; a rip-roaring slapstick take on elderly divorce, and the generational gap that molds traditional values through time. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2016, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere

The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal from July 14 through August 2, 2016, once again returning to the SGWU Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University.

July 12, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Military/ Seminar/ TV – C SPAN 3 to televise NYMAS ESPIONAGE CONFERENCE

The opening 2 hours of NYMAS’s April Espionage Conference with be on C-SPAN 3 / American History TV twice this weekend:

Saturday afternoon, July 9 at 1:50pm ET

Sunday morning, July 10 at 5:50am ET

(NYC TWC/Spectrum cable: Channel 227)

Robert Rowen
Director of Operations and Programs
The New York Military Affairs Symposium
On the web at
Email to
Phone: 718-834-1414
Cell: 347-513-9578

Fax: 718-709-8670

NYMAS is devoted to increasing public
knowledge, awareness, and understanding
of the interrelationship of war, society, and
culture through the presentation and
dissemination of diverse scholarly viewpoints.

See clip at


1964 photo – Robert Rowen, NYMAS Program and Ops Director, in uniform on the right.

NYMAS Spring 2016 2-Day Conference
Produced & moderated by Robert Miller
Espionage: from Cold War to Asymmetric Conflict

Joseph Fitsanakis specializes in intelligence and national security with an emphasis on international espionage.  He has taught and written extensively on intelligence policy and practice, intelligence history, communications interception, cyber espionage, and transnational criminal networks.  His writings have been translated into several languages and referenced in media outlets including The Washington Post, BBC, ABC, NPR, Newsweek, The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Wired.  Before joining Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Fitsanakis built the Security and Intelligence Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies. At Coastal, he teaches courses on national security, intelligence communications, intelligence analysis, intelligence operations, and espionage during the Cold War, among other subjects.  Dr. Fitsanakis is also deputy director of the European Intelligence Academy and senior editor at, an ACI-indexed scholarly blog that is cataloged through the United States Library of Congress.


Mark Kramer is Director of Cold War Studies at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.  Originally trained in mathematics, he went on to study international relations as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and was also an Academy Fellow in Harvard’s Academy of International and Area Studies.  He has published many books and articles.

His latest books are Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East‐Central Europe, 1945‐1990 (2013), Reassessing History on Two Continents (2013), Der Kreml und die Wende 1989 (2014), and Der Kreml und die Wiedervereinigung (2015), and he is also the editor of a three‐volume collection, The Fate of Communist Regimes, 1989‐1991, to be published in late 2016.

___________________________ __

Mark Mazzetti is a correspondent for The New York Times, where he has covered national security from the newspaper’s Washington bureau since April 2006.  In 2009, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the intensifying violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Washington’s response. The previous year, he was a Pulitzer finalist for revelations about the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.  He is the author of The Way of the Knife (Penguin 2013) a bestselling account of the CIA’s covert action forces.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, he has made several reporting trips to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Mazzetti received a 2011 Polk Award (with colleague Dexter Filkins) for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was the recipient of the 2006 Gerald R Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.

NYMAS talks are free and open to the public.
NYMAS is supported in part by a grant from the
New York Council for the Humanities.
NYMAS is associated with the Society for Military History, Region 2.
Unless otherwise noted, these talks are held on Friday evenings at
The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmens’ Club
283 Lexington Avenue (between 36th and 37th Streets)
New York, NY 10016-3540
from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. These Friday lectures are usually held on the 2nd floor in the historic South Lounge.Topics and speakers may be subject to change without notice. A current updated schedule is always available at this website (http//
Robert Rowen
The New York Military Affairs Symposium
On the web at
Email to
Phone: 718-834-1414
Cell: 347-513-9578

NYMAS is devoted to increasing public
knowledge, awareness, and understanding
of the interrelationship of war, society, and
culture through the presentation and
dissemination of diverse scholarly viewpoints.

To opt-out of these notifications, please just click here to reply to this email.


July 12, 2016 Posted by | BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, TECHNOLOGY, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/FESTIVALS — JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film Announces Full Slate of NY Premieres 7/14-24/16 *nyc

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film Announces Full Slate of NY Premieres


Dynamic 10th Edition Bursting with Nearly 30 Features, Over 20 Shorts, Special Sections, Industry Panel and Unprecedented Number of Special Guests


July 14-24, 2016, at Japan Society


“No other film showcase on Earth can compete with its culture-specific authority—or the quality of its titles.” –Time Out New York


“[A] cinematic cornucopia… interest clearly lies with the idiosyncratic, the eccentric, the experimental and the weird, a taste that Japan rewards as richly as any country, even the United States.” –The New York Times


“JAPAN CUTS stands apart from film festivals that pander to contemporary trends, encouraging attendees to revisit the past through an eclectic slate of both new and repertory titles.” –The Village Voice


New York, NY — JAPAN CUTS, North America’s largest festival of new Japanese film, returns for its 10th anniversary edition July 14-24, offering eleven days of impossible-to-see-anywhere-else screenings of the best new movies made in and around Japan, with special guest filmmakers and stars, post-screening Q&As, parties, giveaways and much more.


This year’s expansive and eclectic slate of never before seen in NYC titles boasts 29 features (1 World Premiere, 1 International, 14 North American, 2 U.S., 6 New York, 1 NYC, and 1 Special Sneak Preview), 21 shorts (4 International Premieres, 9 North American, 1 U.S., 1 East Coast, 6 New York, plus a World Premiere of approximately 12 works produced in our Animation Film Workshop), and over 20 special guests—the most in the festival’s history.


Kicking off the festival with a rocking celebration, the Opening Film is the North American Premiere of Mohican Comes Home, a heartwarming, offbeat comedy about a punk rocker who heads back to the country with his girlfriend by JAPAN CUTS alum Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman and the Rain, JAPAN CUTS 2012). The director will be in attendance along with star and former AKB48 idol Atsuko Maeda for a post-screening Q&A, followed by the Opening Night Party.


As previously announced, this year’s recipient of the CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film is the venerated actor Lily Franky, who will appear for the North American Premiere of the Centerpiece Presentation title The Shell Collector, an enigmatic and sensual second feature by emerging auteur Yoshifumi Tsubota. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and beach-themed Underwater Dream Party with members of the cast and crew in attendance. One of Japan’s most sought-after actors, Franky’s appearance follows a string of memorable performances in films by Japan’s biggest and brightest directors including Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son, for which he was awarded the Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor, among a number of other prestigious awards.


In the Closing Film slot, JAPAN CUTS is proud to present the North American Premiere of arthouse director Satoko Yokohama’s The Actor. Anchored by Ken Yasuda’s irresistible lead performance, The Actor is a reflexive comedy that pays tribute to the quotidian characters of the film industry with an unpredictable postmodern twist. Director Yokohama will appear at the post-screening Q&A.


The Feature Slate offers an exciting and thought-provoking lineup that represents the rich diversity of contemporary Japanese cinema, from independents to blockbusters, introducing emerging new talents alongside the latest by revered directors and festival favorites. More than half of the films will be screening in North America for the first time, and all are new to NYC. This year JAPAN CUTS broadens its impact and resonance by inviting many new filmmakers, as well as celebrating returning stalwarts the festival has seen become masters of their craft.


Among the Feature Slate’s many in-person highlights is influential auteur Sion Sono, who was a guest at the very first edition of JAPAN CUTS, and will return to premiere his long-gestating passion project Love & Peace as well as the black-and-white sci-fi The Whispering Star, starring Megumi Kagurazaka, who will also be in attendance. The celebrated director of The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015), Mipo O, will also make a rare appearance to introduce the New York Premiere of her latest heart-rending drama Being Good.


Playwright and filmmaker Shiro Maeda is back with his second feature, the North American Premiere of Kako: My Sullen Past, a tale of radical politics and teen angst starring Kyoko Koizumi and Fumi Nikaido. Also a previous guest of the festival, Hitoshi Yazaki returns with the North American Premiere of A Cappella, a dark romance set amidst the countercultural movements of 1969, and the legendary Masao Adachi will introduce the North American Premiere of The Artist of Fasting via video from Japan. (Forbidden to leave the country by authorities, this is the radical filmmaker’s first film in nearly a decade). For anime and manga fans, director Hitoshi One will join to present the North American Premiere of his innovative Bakuman, the story of two aspiring manga-ka (comic book artists) that is sure to set the new standard for live-action manga adaptations.


Fresh off a big win for his recent film Harmonium, receiving the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, Koji Fukada’s Sayonara makes its North American debut at JAPAN CUTS, the first film to feature an android performing in the lead cast, in a haunting story of post-nuclear disaster in a near-future. Yoji Yamada also joins the lineup with the U.S. Premiere of postwar melodrama Nagasaki: Memories of My Son, scored by the immensely influential musician, producer and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who will introduce the screening. Also included in this year’s record-breaking guest lineup is director Eiji Uchida, who will be joined by stars Denden and Kanji Furutachi for the North American Premiere of Lowlife Love, a comically cringe-worthy satire of the lecherous underbelly of Japan’s film industry.


Classics: Flash-back / Flash-forward re-works the festival’s restoration showcase in celebration of JAPAN CUTS’ 10th anniversary, presenting filmmakers’ influential works from the past (all on 35mm!) alongside their contemporary creations. The festival will reintroduce Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii’s visionary 1982 Burst City, which borrowed from the original Mad Max to become a harbinger of Japan’s cyberpunk movement, as well the New York Premiere of Ishii’s latest, Bitter Honey, an emasculating inversion of a male writer’s fantasy love affair with a goldfish (played by Fumi Nikaido). One of the biggest discoveries this year is the North American Premiere of Junji Sakamoto and Naomi Fujiyama’s The Projects. Audiences will be able to flash-back to their original collaboration, Face [2000], a wildly transgressive take on the “fallen woman” genre epitomized by Mizoguchi. Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s groundbreaking 2001 dramedy Hush!, about a gay couple asked to father a child by an offbeat stranger, will be paired with the New York Premiere of the filmmaker’sThree Stories of Love, winner of the 2015 Kinema Junpo Awards for Best Japanese Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best New Actor.


The Documentary Focus section is also significantly expanded for this year’s 10th edition, with four outstanding portraits of artists whose work ripples out to the larger context of contemporary life in Japan. Titles include a special sneak preview of acclaimed director Tatsuya Mori’s FAKE, about the media scandal behind composer Mamoru Samuragochi, Japan’s “digital-age Beethoven,” and Arata Oshima’s (Nagisa Oshima’s son) North American Premiere of The Sion Sono, about the titular filmmaker. (Filmmaker Mori will be in attendance for a Q&A moderated by the esteemed documentarian Kazuhiro Soda). Two rigorous self-portraits from Japanese punk legend Michiro Endo, Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face, and artist Yuko Nakamura, A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light, round out the program—Endo’s film will be introduced by poet Mizuki Misumi.


With Experimental Spotlight: Anime Vanguard, the festival continues its commitment to independent artistic visions in cinema by offering a program of vibrant short-form animations. Award-winning filmmaker Onohana will present a number of her playfully poetic works alongside other short pieces by Mirai Mizue, Masanobu Hiraoka, Sawako Kabuki, Atsushi Wada, Yoko Yuki, and Ryo Hirano. Preceded by completed works made by participants from the MONO NO AWARE Hand-Drawn Animation Film Workshop (held at Japan Society on June 18).


Continuing this year’s theme of exploring the present, past, and future of Japanese cinema, the festival introduces a free Panel Discussion, “Japanese Film Culture In & Out of Japan,” featuring film industry professionals sharing their thoughts on the current state of Japanese cinema. Distinguished panelists include Pia Film Festival director Keiko Araki, award-winning filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda, and Harvard University professor and former Nippon Connection program director Alexander Zahlten.


Between screenings in the auditorium in Japan Society’s landmark Manhattan building, audiences are invited to drop into the Microcinema installed in the Murase Room on the first floor, where a decade-spanning selection of shorts by up-and-coming filmmakers will be screening on loop.


In their curatorial statement, festival programmers Aiko Masubuchi, Kazu Watanabe, and Joel Neville Anderson note: “Since its founding in 2007, the festival has offered a unique window on contemporary Japanese cinema and a direct line to Japanese film culture through its invited filmmakers and stars, many of whom have gone on to earn fans amongst festival audiences all over the world. With this landmark 10th edition, JAPAN CUTS celebrates a decade of the best new Japanese cinema and bolsters its commitment to exploring Japan’s dynamic film culture and entertaining New York audiences now and for years to come as the premier venue for Japanese film in North America.


Tickets: $14/$11 seniors and students/$10 Japan Society members. $20/$17/$15 for the July 14 screening of Mohican Comes Home and July 21 screening of The Shell Collectorincluding after parties. Special offer: purchase tickets for at least 5 different films in the same transaction and receive $2 off each ticket. Offer available only at Japan Society box office or by telephone at  (offer not available online and not valid for the July 14 screening of Mohican Comes Home and July 21 screening of The Shell Collector). Order tickets or call or visit the Japan Society box office, Mon.-Fri. 11 am to 6 pm and weekends during the festival, 212-715-1258.



All films are in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.




A Cappella

Fri., July 22 at 9:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro with producer Risa Toyama

Japan. 2016. 132 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hitoshi Yazaki. With Riko Narumi, Sosuke Ikematsu, Takumi Saito, Nina Endo, Wakana Matsumoto.

Radicalized amidst the countercultural movements of 1969, Sendai high schooler Kyoko goes from leading feminist interruptions of her school’s sexist uniform policies to helmeted protest actions. Bruised from a clash with riot police, Kyoko takes refuge in A Cappella, a serene coffee shop with baroque music played from records on request, where she meets bohemian college students Wataru and Yunosuke. The older aesthetes’ nihilism challenges her activist ideals, and she falls for Wataru. As Kyoko spends her days with Wataru, Yunosuke and his girlfriend Ema, this love square tumbles into an uncertain future of political conviction and sexual identity. A celebrated director of works of daring intimacy such as Strawberry Shortcakes (2006) and Sweet Little Lies (2010), Hitoshi Yazaki renders Mariko Koike’s novel with a nostalgia touched by erotic desperation and the imminent horror of our neoliberal present.


Adapted from Naoki Prize winning author Mariko Koike’s 1990 novel


Closing Film

The Actor

Sun., July 24 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Satoko Yokohama

Japan. 2015. 123 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Satoko Yokohama. With Ken Yasuda, Kumiko Aso, Shohei Uno, Hirofumi Arai, Shota Sometani.

Takuji Kameoka has made a career out of masterful performances for the silver screen and he would be a household name—if it weren’t for the fact that his filmography consists entirely of bit parts. As the prospect of a breakout role in a foreign arthouse director’s newest work appears, so too does the possibility of winning the heart of izakaya owner Azumi Murota. In her hotly anticipated follow-up to the breakout Bare Essence of Life (aka Ultra Miracle Love Story, JAPAN CUTS 2010), director Satoko Yokohama adapts Akito Inui’s original novel, crafting this quietly daring tribute to the workaday human magic underlying the gleam of cinema. Ken Yasuda, known for TEAM NACS and many voice performances for Studio Ghibli, is irresistible in the film’s title role, while Yokohama regular Kumiko Aso shines just as brightly.


“Yokohama’s little salute to the Japanese film industry” Kaori Shoji, The Japan Times


The Artist of Fasting

Sat., July 23 at 4:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Video introduction with director Masao Adachi

Japan. 2015. 105 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Masao Adachi. With Hiroshi Yamamoto, Taizo Sakurai, Sho Ryuzanji, Shoichi Honda, Hiroko Ito.

After a decade-long hiatus, legendary filmmaker and political firebrand Masao Adachi returns with a characteristically transgressive, critical new film that adapts Kafka’s short story “The Hunger Artist” for the modern era. An anonymous man sits down in the middle of a shopping arcade and refuses to eat, speak or move. He is soon visited by a throng of onlookers who project their own meaning onto his assumed act of protest or claim to speak on his behalf. An absurdist satire that unfolds in episodic fashion with avant-garde interludes, Adachi’s film uses its fable-like narrative framework to approach controversial topics and historic atrocities while leaving room for ambiguity. Even well into his 70s, Adachi’s unique brand of political cinema remains as radical and confrontational as ever.


18+ This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.


“Adachi is a true revolutionary artist, a filmmaker whose unshakable political beliefs have shaped his vision of cinema as an intense engagement with its audience and with its time.”–Haden Guest, Harvard Film Archive



Sun., July 17 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro with director Hitoshi One

Japan. 2015. 119 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hitoshi One. With Takeru Satoh, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Shota Sometani, Lily Franky.

High schoolers Moritaka “Saiko” Mashiro (Takeru Satoh) and Akito “Shujin” Takagi (Ryunosuke Kamiki) have one burning desire—to make it into Weekly Shonen Jump, the most widely-read, influential manga magazine in Japan. Although the novice writer/illustrator team show exceptional promise, the competition is fierce. They battle for the top against a legion of talented artists—including Niizuma (Shota Sometani), an eccentric genius manga-ka their same age—all of whom are ultimately judged by Jump‘s discerning chief editor (Lily Franky). Based on the popular manga of the same name, Bakuman is an earnest tribute to the artistic process that sets a new standard for live-action manga adaptations. Featuring innovative motion graphics and CG animation and a propulsive soundtrack by rock band Sakanaction.


Winner, 2016 Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Music, Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing and Most Popular Film.


Being Good

Fri., July 22 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Mipo O

Japan. 2015. 121 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Mipo O. With Kengo Kora, Machiko Ono, Chizuru Ikewaki, Kazuya Takahashi, Michie Kita.

Suburban Hokkaido schoolteacher Tadashi (Kengo Kora) can barely make his pupils sit still, so when he suspects a student is being mistreated at home, he’s unsure of what to do. With her husband abroad, Masami (Machiko Ono) has taken on full-time parenting responsibilities, including punishing her daughter, a growing concern for her acquaintance Yoko (Chizuru Ikewaki). Accosted as a shoplifter after forgetting to pay for groceries, Akiko (Michie Kita) is elderly and alone when an autistic child may be in need of help. Based on Hatsue Nakawaki’s omnibus novel, these intertwining interventions may suggest a populist follow-up to Mipo O’s The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015), however Being Good is an even more harrowing drama, fearlessly gazing at generations of abuse, the precarious structures of Japanese society, and the glory and horror of taking responsibility for another’s life.


“Emphatically one of the best films to emerge from Japan this year, and in recent memory.” Don Brown, The Asahi Shimbun


NETPAC Award, 2015 Moscow International Film Festival


Bitter Honey

Fri., July 15 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2016. 82 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Gakuryu Ishii. With Fumi Nikaido, Ren Osugi, Yoko Maki, Kengo Kora, Masatoshi Nagase.

Akako, a shape-shifting goldfish in the form of a coquettish nymphet clad in diaphanous red dresses (Fumi Nikaido), naively plays the role of erotic muse and adoring pet for an aging writer seeking greatness (Ren Osugi). Things quickly get complicated for the odd couple, however, when the writer’s deceased former student/lover (Yoko Maki) enters the picture as a ghost and helps Akako realize her own desires, activating her agency and frustrating the one-sided male fantasy the writer is so keen to continue. Miles away from the punk-inspired material that distinguished his early career, director Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii displays the versatility of his talent by transforming this strange supernatural fable adapted from Saisei Muro’s novel into a heavily stylized, sensual comic fantasy full of visual wit and seamless, unpredictable shifts in tone.


“It’s hard to overstate the importance of [Ishii] for Japanese cinema.” –Nippon Connection retrospective, 2013



Sun., July 24 at 4:30 pm

**World Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Kensaku Watanabe

Japan. 2016. 88 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Kensaku Watanabe. With Ryu Morioka, Tomoya Maeno, Haru Kuroki, Hirofumi Arai, Mari Yamachi.

Up-and-coming manzai stand-up comedy duo Emi-Abi has lost consummate funny man Unno (a surprisingly touching Tomoya Maeno) to an accident, leaving conceited straight man Jitsudo (Ryu Morioka) to contend with his diminished career prospects as a bland, pretty face entertainer. Guided by his manager Natsumi (Haru Kuroki), who demonstrates stronger comedy chops than her own star, Jitsudo comes to learn the circumstances of his friend’s passing, as well as the life-and-death stakes of a career in comedy. Demonstrating a careful balance of tone across tragedy and deadpan and gross-out humor, writer/director Kensaku Watanabe expands Emi-Abi‘s hilarious premise into a strikingly assured meditation on artistic rivalry and self-actualization.


Director Kensaku Watanabe awarded Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay for Yuya Ishii’s The Great Passage


Flying Colors

Sun., July 24 at 12:30 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2015. 117 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Nobuhiro Doi. With Kasumi Arimura, Atsushi Ito, Shuhei Nomura, Tetsushi Tanaka, Yo Yoshida.

This smash-hit comedic drama stars newcomer Kasumi Arimura as Sayaka, a ditzy high school material girl who is unexpectedly encouraged by an overly-optimistic and unconventional cram school teacher (Atsushi Ito) to apply for admission to one of the toughest universities in Japan—a prospect that her friends and family initially laugh off. Inspired to reach her goal and prove a point, Sayaka completely throws herself to the task at hand, burying herself in textbooks and sacrificing her social life along the way. Based on a true story, Nobuhiro Doi’s whip-smart direction effortlessly hits all the sweet spots in delivering what could easily be considered Japan’s winking response to Legally Blonde.


Winner, 2016 Japan Academy Prize for Rookie of the Year (Kasumi Arimura)


I Am a Monk

Sat., July 23 at 12 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2015. 99 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yukinori Makabe. With Atsushi Ito, Mizuki Yamamoto, Junpei Mizobata, Gaku Hamada, Miyuki Matsuda.

After the sudden death of his grandfather, 24-year-old bookstore clerk Koen (Atsushi Ito) cautiously accepts his inherited role as abbot of the Eifuku-ji Temple in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, 57th stop along Shikoku’s famous 88 temple pilgrimage. As he learns the ropes of monkhood — from memorizing ritual prayers to buying the right set of head clippers — the film offers an inside look at the day-to-day life of a monk (including after-hours drinking and baseball practice), humorously bringing to relief the relatable, earnest human beings behind the traditional robes and shaved heads. An often moving and poignant coming-of-age story, I Am a Monk uses Koen’s bumpy journey toward self-realization to ask universal questions about life’s purpose while ultimately leaving all possibilities open.


Based on an autobiographical essay “Boku wa Bosan” by Missei Shirakawa


Kako: My Sullen Past

Sun., July 24 at 2 pm

**North American Premiere

  1. 120 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Shiro Maeda. With Kyoko Koizumi, Fumi Nikaido, Kengo Kora, Itsuji Itao, Mochika Yamada.

Ah, the wistful summers of near adulthood—or, for high schooler Kako (the ever-amazing Fumi Nikaido), drudging through the humid months of caring for her young niece at her family’s sleepy restaurant in Kitashinagawa, Tokyo. However that all changes when her aunt Mikiko (Kyoko Koizumi), thought to have died 18 years ago in an explosive accident, suddenly returns, bringing with her rumors of anti-government terrorist plots, international intrigue and maternal drama. A follow-up to The Extreme Sukiyaki (JAPAN CUTS 2014) by acclaimed playwright, novelist and screenwriter Shiro Maeda, winner of the 52nd Kishida Drama Award and 22nd Yukio Mishima Prize, Kako: My Sullen Past finds Maeda in full control of his cinematic instrument, channeling his characteristic dialogue and parodic cynicism through his wonderful cast and engrossing tale of radical politics and quotidian angst.


“Maeda has succeeded in capturing the values and lifestyles of a generation unfettered by the burden of finding meaning in life.” –Performing Arts Network Japan


Ken and Kazu

Sat., July 23 at 2 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 98 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hiroshi Shoji. With Shinsuke Kato, Katsuya Maiguma, Kisetsu Fujiwara, Shuna Iijima, Haruki Takano.

The long-awaited feature film debut by newcomer Hiroshi Shoji based on his eponymous 2011 short. Ken (Shinsuke Kato) and Kazu (Katsuya Maiguma) are small-time drug dealers and partners in crime operating out of a car repair shop under the watchful eye of a local yakuza boss. When Ken’s girlfriend becomes pregnant he makes plans to go straight, but Kazu has other ideas. Working on a shoestring budget, director Shoji manages to deliver a thrilling jolt of realism to the often overfamiliar yakuza genre. He amplifies the intensity of the actors’ performances by shooting largely in close-up with tightly framed compositions, creating a nerve-wracking sense of danger and instability that is sustained from the film’s first punch to its final sigh.


Official Selection of the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam.


Love & Peace

Sat., July 16 at 7:30 pm

**NYC Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Sion Sono

  1. 117 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Sion Sono. With Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Makita Sports.

Decades in the making, Love & Peace returns to director Sion Sono’s most persistent themes: purity, passion and cult power. A chilling, candy-colored fantasy of the nuclear age, this story of a coward turned Bowie-esque rock god is a frantic meditation on artistic integrity and political responsibility at a time when Sono’s own career is mutating beyond the Japanese stadium. Office clerk Ryoichi’s dreams have been squelched by fear, however a fateful meeting with a turtle sends him toward stardom. Provocatively named “Pikadon,” after the Japanese descriptor of the atomic bomb’s brilliant light (pika) and blast (don), the turtle returns just in time.


“The hardest working man in Japanese cinema, prolific cult auteur Sion Sono’s latest surreal offering feels like a genre-warping mash-up of Godzilla, Toy Story and Miracle on 34th Street.”Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter


Lowlife Love

Fri., July 15 at 8:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Eiji Uchida, star Denden

Japan. 2016. 105 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Eiji Uchida. With Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Denden, Shugo Oshinari, Maya Okano, Chika Uchida, Kanji Furutachi.

Director Eiji Uchida’s follow-up to Greatful Dead (JAPAN CUTS 2014) is a relentlessly cynical black comedy that takes a look under the rug of the Japanese film industry, where scheming lowlife producers, filmmakers and actors get by through exploitation and intimidation. The biggest lowlife is Tetsuo (Kiyohiko Shibukawa), who made a minor indie hit many years ago but has since then coasted by shooting cheap pornos for cash and half-heartedly running an acting workshop where he sexually harasses newbie actresses. When two talented new students sign up for his workshop, however, one with an exciting original script and the other with star potential, Tetsuo sees an opportunity and makes plans for his comeback.


Official Selection, 2016 Film Festival Rotterdam


18+ This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.


The Magnificent Nine

Sat., July 16 at 12 pm

**U.S. Premiere

Japan. 2016. 129 min., in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura. With Sadao Abe, Eita, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Karen Iwata, Yuko Takeuchi Ryuhei Matsuda.

Things seem hopeless for the residents of a poor post-town in 18th century Japan who suffer from land taxes and an oppressive law requiring them to bear the costs of transporting goods for their lord. That is until an ingenious idea is introduced that could turn their fortunes around—lend money to their financially strapped lord and redistribute the interest to the townspeople. Pulling together every resource they have, an unlikely group of nine small business owners and farmers set the plan in motion, risking their own heads for the sake of the town’s survival. Based on a true story, this inspiring period comedy helmed by versatile director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story, JAPAN CUTS 2009) is a celebration of the power of collective action in response to tyranny.


Based on the novel Mushi no Nihonjin by Michifumi Isoda


Opening Film, followed by OPENING NIGHT PARTY!

Mohican Comes Home

Thurs., July 14 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Shuichi Okita and star Atsuko Maeda

Japan. 2016. 125 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Shuhei Okita. With Atsuko Maeda, Ryuhei Matsuda, Akira Emoto, Masako Motai, Yudai Chiba.

After years of trying to make it in Tokyo as a punk singer, deadbeat Eikichi (Ryuhei Matsuda) decides to go back to his island home in Hiroshima along with his wide-eyed, clumsy girlfriend Yuka (Atsuko Maeda) to share the news that she is pregnant. Though Eikichi’s old-school father (Akira Emoto) initially reacts badly, he soon calls the entire town over to celebrate his grandchild—only to collapse in pain during the party. Along with his family, Eikichi tries his best to make his bedridden father happy, with hilarious results. With a nod to Carmen Comes Home (1951), director Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman and the Rain, JAPAN CUTS 2012) masterfully cuts a slice of life out of this perfect intersection of comedy and drama that leaves the heart as breezy and warm as the island air.


“An endearingly loud dramedy which reminds one that not all Japanese family dramas are gentle and restrained.” Maggie Lee, Variety


Nagasaki: Memories of My Son

Sun., July 17 at 4:15 pm

**U.S. Premiere

**Featuring Introduction with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto

Japan. 2015. 130 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoji Yamada. With Sayuri Yoshinaga, Kazuya Ninomiya, Haru Kuroki, Tadanobu Asano, Kenichi Kato.

August 9, 1948. Nagasaki, Japan. An aging midwife named Nobuko (Sayuri Yoshinaga) is visited by the ghost of her son Koji (Kazuya Ninomiya), whom she lost to the atomic bomb. From then on Koji visits his mother frequently to reminisce and catch up on lost time. Their biggest topic of conversation is Koji’s kind-hearted fiancée Machiko (Haru Kuroki), who regularly visited Nobuko over the three years since Koji’s death. Machiko and Koji both seem unable to fully accept Koji’s death, but Nobuko slowly encourages them to move on. Yoji Yamada’s moving, star-studded film is a complementary response to playwright Hisashi Inoue’s seminal work The Face of Jizo, about a father-daughter relationship in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, and the master director’s self-proclaimed attempt at making “the most important film in his life.”


Winner of 11 awards at the 2016 Japan Academy Prize including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress.


The Projects

Tue., July 19 at 6:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2016. 104 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Junji Sakamoto. With Naomi Fujiyama, Ittoku Kishibe, Michiyo Okusu, Renji Ishibashi, Takumi Saito.

Whether it’s someone mixing burnables and recyclables or noise from a neighbor’s domestic spat, there’s always something occupying the residents of a housing project in the suburbs of Osaka. However Hinako (Naomi Fujiyama) and Seiji (Ittoku Kishibe) couldn’t care less. Having moved in just six months ago after the closure of their herbal medicine shop, the old couple is reluctantly putting their life back together. But when Seiji disappears, the apartment rumor mill churns: divorce, murder, dismemberment? As the story spins out of control, and a mysterious man with a parasol puts in a tall order of natural remedies, the truth turns out to be even more fantastic than gossip. Ranging from incisive comedy of errors to absurdist adventure to moving late life romance, The Projects is one of the biggest surprises of the year.


Reunites stage actress and comedian Naomi Fujiyama with director Junji Sakamoto 15 years after her starring debut in the smash hit Face.


A Road

Wed., July 20at 6:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 85 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Daichi Sugimoto. With Daichi Sugimoto, Yuta Katsukura, Rika Sugimoto, Masato Ikariishi, Yoji Kondo.

Prompted by a film school assignment to capture an episode of his life on video, Daichi (played by director Daichi Sugimoto) searches his memory for a moment when he felt most like himself. He settles on his childhood hobby of catching lizards, something that used to bring him the kind of pure joy he finds missing from his life as a young adult now entering his college years. With this simple premise, first-time filmmaker Sugimoto creates a refreshingly inspired take on a contemporary coming-of-age story that gracefully blends documentary footage within an autobiographical narrative feature. An earnest exploration of the possibilities of cinema to capture, preserve, and represent the truth of personal experience.


Grand Prize, Pia Film Festival Award Competition 2015


Preceded by:

Born With It

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro with director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.

Japan. 2014. 16 min. Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.

Young Keisuke moves from Tokyo to rural Japan where, for the first time, he encounters classroom prejudice due to his dark skin. Unsure how to respond, he turns to his mother for answers.



Sun., July 17 at 1:45 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 112 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Koji Fukada. With Bryerly Long, Hirofumi Arai, Geminoid F, Makiko Murata, Nijiro Murakami.

One of the most highly regarded Japanese directors on the international scene, Koji Fukada finds a near-future Japan in the midst of a national evacuation brought about by a nuclear disaster in Sayonara. Tanya (Bryerly Long), a South African raised in Japan suffering from a terminal illness, is at the bottom of the departures list. She spends her days with her friend Sano and lover Satoshi, however her constant companion is android caregiver Leona (Geminoid F). Created by robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, Geminoid F reprises her role with Long, both featured in the play by Oriza Hirata on which the film is based. While the post-disaster scenario is ambiguous, it clearly references Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Addressing politically charged taboos, Sayonara asks the question “Can life as we know it survive nuclear catastrophe?”


Adapted from Oriza Hirata’s stage play Sayonara II


The Shell Collector

Thu., July 21 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere – CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Yoshifumi Tsubota and star Lily Franky, with CUT ABOVE award ceremony, followed by the Underwater Dream Party!

Japan. 2016. 89 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoshifumi Tsubota. With Lily Franky, Shinobu Terajima, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ai Hashimoto, Akira Fukuhara.

Living alone along the white sand and turquoise waters of Okinawa is a blind professor (Lily Franky) who spends his days collecting and writing about seashells. His solitude is interrupted when a woman (Shinobu Terajima) washes up unconscious on the shore. Restored to health, the young woman is stung by one of the professor’s poisonous shellfish and unexpectedly cured of a rare disease. News about the shellfish’s healing power spreads quickly and soon everyone seeks out the professor’s cure, including his estranged son (Sosuke Ikematsu). Director Yoshifumi Tsubota delivers a hypnotically beautiful, impressionistic dream of a film that ponders the connection between man and nature. Featuring stunning location cinematography by Akiko Ashizawa and a spare, haunting score by Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin & Wood).


Adapted from the story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr


Three Stories of Love

Mon., July 18 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

  1. 140 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With Atsushi Shinohara, Toko Narushima, Ryo Ikeda, Daisuke Kuroda, Chika Uchida, Lily Franky.

Named the best Japanese movie of 2015 by Kinema Junpo, this immensely rich and expertly crafted original drama by groundbreaking writer/director Ryosuke Hashiguchi centers on the lives of three heartsick characters suffering because of love: Atsushi, a gifted bridge inspector whose wife is murdered in a random attack; Toko, a housewife trapped in a suffocating, loveless marriage; and Ryo, a successful, but emotionally unfulfilled lawyer secretly pining for a childhood friend. Much like the unforgettable character of Atsushi, who can instinctively identify bridge damage by delicately tapping on the tower foundations with a hammer, Hashiguchi is able to identify the emotional damage of his fragile, lonely characters with a seemingly effortless touch, tapping in on their moments of quiet desperation to speak volumes about the loneliness of modern life.


“Three Stories of Love is the best film I’ve seen all year.” Mark Schilling, The Japan Times.


Winner, Kinema Junpo Awards for Best Japanese Film, Best Director, Best Screenwriter, and Best New Actor (Atsushi Shinohara)


The Whispering Star

Sat., July 16 at 4:45 pm

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Sion Sono and star Megumi Kagurazaka

Japan. 2016. 100 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Sion Sono. With Megumi Kagurazaka, Kenji Endo, Yuto Ikeda, Koko Mori.

Sion Sono’s first feature with his newly established independent production company is the realization of a script he wrote two decades ago but reworked to reflect the present. Humanoid delivery woman Yoko Suzuki (Megumi Kagurazaka) makes her rounds through space, landing on isolated planets and meeting near-extinct human beings along the way. Whispering to Yoko is the child-like voice of her spaceship’s operating machine. Neither understands why humans have the need to send each other seemingly insignificant objects that take years to be delivered. Shot in black and white, Sono’s beautifully crafted sci-fi setting is reminiscent of the films of Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky. The empty landscapes that Yoko visits were filmed in the evacuated zones of Fukushima, featuring many people that Sono interviewed while making his post-3/11 film, The Land of Hope(2012).


“Sion Sono… can always be counted on for something extraordinary, and The Whispering Star is one of his most imaginative films yet.” Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival





Sat., July 23 at 7 pm

**Special Sneak Preview

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Tatsuya Mori, moderated by filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda

Japan. 2016. 109 min. (Japan version). DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tatsuya Mori. With Mamoru Samuragochi, Takashi Niigaki, Tatsuya Mori.

Born to atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, Mamoru Samuragochi, a self-taught classical composer with a degenerative condition causing deafness, was celebrated as a “Japanese Beethoven” for the digital age. However, just prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, where Samuragochi’s Sonatina for Violin was to accompany figure skater Daisuke Takahashi, part-time university lecturer Takashi Niigaki revealed that he had served as the composer’s ghostwriter for 18 years, that Samuragochi couldn’t notate music and, in fact, could hear perfectly. As Samuragochi’s recordings were pulled and performances cancelled, Niigaki enjoyed success on TV talk shows. Filmmaker Tatsuya Mori finds Samuragochi holed up in his small Yokohama apartment with his wife and cat, ready to tell his side of the story. A mesmerizing character study skewering media duplicity and constructions of ability/disability, in which Samuragochi’s career has collapsed, taking fact and fiction with it.


“The entreaty ‘you’d better not film this’ seems to be a signal for [Mori] to zoom in even closer on his subject.” –International Documentary Film Amsterdam on Tatsuya Mori’s A2


Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face

Wed., July 20 at 8:45 pm

**International Premiere

**Featuring Intro with poet Mizuki Misumi and percussionist Takashi Itani

Japan. 2016. 103 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Michiro Endo. With Michiro Endo, Mizuki Misumi, Takao Morishima, Takehara Pistol, Yoshihide Otomo.

Pig heads, intestines, megaphones: all these and more have been thrown into crowds of loyal fans following the influential punk band THE STALIN or any of number of Michiro Endo’s other bands since 1980. Taking a step in front of the camera, however, Endo offers a very different kind of encounter in this inspiring self-portrait. Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face follows the artist, a native of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima, on the 2011 nationwide solo tour celebrating his 60th birthday, which was interrupted by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Traveling, performing and talking with fellow musicians and activists, Endo reflects on the past and future of Fukushima, the legacy of Hiroshima, his upbringing and his feelings about his mother, communicated in the song from which the documentary is named.


“A partial but engaging picture of a galvanizing artist and human being… it harnesses one of the main reasons Endo has remained vital while other punks have fallen by the wayside: It rocks.”Don Brown, The Asahi Shimbun


A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light

Sun., July 17 at 12 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 87 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yuko Nakamura. With Rei Naito, Ran Taniguchi, Hina Yukawa, Keiko Oyama, Nobuko Numakura, Kyoko Tanaka.

On an island in the Seto Inland Sea, the Teshima Art Museum integrates the serene seaside environment with an architectural structure by Ryue Nishizawa and the artwork “Matrix” by Rei Naito. The remote museum’s single installation suspends light, air and droplets of underground water in constant play, defining a unique, meditative space barred from filming. An innovative portrait in which the mysterious artist refuses to appear onscreen, Yuko Nakamura’s documentary explores five women’s interactions with the dynamic space of “Matrix” in unprecedented access to the site while delving into Naito’s body of work, beginning with her projects in Hiroshima. Foregrounding a deep connection with tangible and intangible elements of human experience and generations of Japanese women, Nakamura’s film takes full advantage of the cinematic medium to confront Naito’s artworks and the existential themes they evoke.


“Highlighting the two-year communications between Naito, an artist who has never revealed her creating processes to the outside world, and director Yuko Nakamura, this film shows the quest of five women, all invariably enchanted by Naito’s art, as they explore her artistic world based on the question of whether it is in itself a blessing to be alive.” –Aichi International Women’s Film Festival


The Sion Sono

Sat., July 16 at 2:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2016. 97 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Arata Oshima. With Sion Sono, Shota Sometani, Fumi Nikaido, Megumi Kagurazaka.

The ever-evolving Sion Sono, who burst onto the Japanese film scene with I Am Sion Sono!! in 1984, has made a name for himself in world cinema as a multiple award-winner, festival favorite and provocateur. Directed by Arata Oshima, son of rebel filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, who had praised Sono’s early work before his passing, this documentary gives insight into the man, the poet, the painter, the scriptwriter, the husband and the boy who will eventually grow up to be the Sion Sono. Lineage, history and the past meeting the present are themes in this film in which Oshima connects the dots in Sono’s creative life by taking the camera to the site of his upbringing and following the production of his most recent film The Whispering Star, also screening at this year’s JAPAN CUTS.


“It goes without saying that the director of Heya, Strange Circus and Love Exposure is one of the most influential Japanese filmmakers of recent decades.” –Berlinale Forum program notes




Burst City

Sat., July 23 at 10 pm

Japan. 1982. 117 min. 35mm, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Gakuryu Ishii (as Sogo Ishii). With Machizo Machida, Michiro Endo, Shigeru Izumiya, Shigeru Muroi, Shinya Ohe.

Sogo (Gakuryu) Ishii’s hugely influential film kicked off the Japanese cyberpunk movement of the late 1980s by taking Mad Max’s futuristic, dystopian biker gang aesthetic and smashing it together with the frenetic energy and antiauthoritarian sneering of the contemporary Japanese punk scene while foregrounding a hyper-inventive, groundbreaking visual style heavy on fast cutting, alternating film speeds, and concert documentary shooting. The loose, frenzied plot revolving around a violent confrontation between several gangs of punk musicians, yakuza, bikers and cops over the attempted construction of a nuclear power plant quite literally erupts into an explosive finale. A peerless punk cinema manifesto, Burst City remains as vibrant today as it did when it roared new life into Japanese cinema over 30 years ago.


“A seminal and visionary work… [Burst City] can be regarded as the starting point of contemporary Japanese cinema, making it one of the most important films in that cinema’s history.” Tom Mes, Midnight Eye



Tue., July 19 at 8:45 pm

Japan. 2000. 123 min. 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Junji Sakamoto. With Naomi Fujiyama, Michiyo Okusu, Etsushi Toyokawa, Ittoku Kishibe, Jun Kunimura.

An independent cinema sensation at the time of its release, Face is a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of middle-aged seamstress Masako, set free from the emotional abuse and isolation of her family’s dry cleaning business in a shocking act of violence. Painfully shy and clumsy, she is an unlikely fugitive from the law when the nationwide manhunt for her is interrupted by the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. Masako’s life on the lam brings her in contact with a host of lonely characters, who see the face of this sympathetic killer change from humiliation to self-assurance. With Face, Junji Sakamoto sharpened his keen balance of violence and humor, moving from masculinist heroics to this unruly take on the fallen woman genre anchored by stage actress and comedian Naomi Fujiyama in her mesmerizing star debut.


“Sakamoto’s subtly subversive [Face] delves so deeply into the heart of a killer on the lam that by the end of the movie you are rooting for the murderer to continue eluding the law and achieve a measure of self-fulfillment that seemed unthinkable at the beginning.”Stephen Holden, The New York Times



Mon., July 18 at 9:30 pm

Japan. 2001. 135 min. 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With Seiichi Tanabe, Kazuya Takahashi, Reiko Kataoka, Yoko Akino, Manami Fuji.

When Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s first feature A Touch of Fever hit Japanese cinemas in 1993, the young filmmaker burst doors open for independent Japanese cinema by generating a huge box office success while simultaneously creating space for public discourse on gay life in Japan, virtually absent from mainstream movie screens until then. With Hush!, Hashiguchi continued to mine the complex theme of individual freedom in conflict with restrictive social pressures through gay characters, this time focusing on adults instead of adolescents. Soon after Naoya (Kazuya Takahashi) and Katsuhiro (Seiichi Tanabe) start to settle into a relationship, a slightly unhinged young woman (Reiko Kataoka) asks Katsuhiro to father her child. From this simple premise Hashiguchi develops a deeply human story told with honesty and humor about three people doing their best to do the right thing.


Official Selection, 2001 Cannes Film Festival (Director’s Fortnight)

Winner, Best Film, Best Actor (Seiichi Tanabe), Best Director at 2003 Yokohama Film Festival                   

Winner, Best Actress (Reiko Kataoka) 2002 Kinema Junpo Award




Experimental Spotlight: Anime Vanguard

Sunday, July 17 at 9:30 pm

**Featuring Intro with Onohana

An exciting selection of experimental animated works from Japan never before screened in New York City, representing a broad range of contemporary avant-garde practice. The titles range from 3-14 minutes, adopting the full breadth of styles in new animation: from visual music to raunchy music videos, digital processes to analogue filmmaking, and from minimalist atmospheric shorts to narratively rich miniature epics. All evoke completely unique worlds. 18+ These films are unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.


Mono No Aware Hand-Drawn Animation Workshop Films 2016. Approx. 8 min. Digital.

Various works from the participants of Mono No Aware’s Hand-Drawn Animation Workshop held at Japan Society on June 18. World Premiere.


AGE OF OBSCURE, Mirai Mizue and Onohana. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

A grand collision of Mizue’s signature visual music forms and Onohana’s mesmerizing impressionistic illustrations, featuring music by Twoth. North American Premiere.


Ouch, Chou Chou, Onohana. 2016. 12 min. Digital.

Onohana’s expansive imagination and visual style here recounts the touching saga of a cabbage and pea’s friendship across bullying and interdimensional travel. North American Premiere.


Land, Masanobu Hiraoka. 2013. 4 min. Digital.

Shape shifting animal and geometric forms stun in this piece with music and sound by Aimar Molero. New York Premiere.


MASTER BLASTER, Sawako Kabuki. 2014. 4 min. Digital.

Coital psychedelia featuring the music of Shinsuke Sugahara, a wild imaginary of physical intimacy. New York Premiere.


The Great Rabbit, Atsushi Wada. 2012. 7 min. Digital.

“If you believe in the Rabbit, it means that you’ll believe anything. If you don’t believe in the Rabbit, it means that you wouldn’t believe anything.” New York Premiere.


lost summer vacation, Yoko Yuki. 2015. 3 min. Digital.

The mystical happenings of a tropical island are pictured in an animated scroll. North American Premiere.


Don’t tell Mom, Sawako Kabuki. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

A naughty musical sex-ed film for siblings. New York Premiere.


HOLIDAY, Ryo Hirano. 2011. 14 min. Digital.

Delirious, deeply romantic tale of love and loss featuring a girl, golden nude, and akahara imori newt in a gondola resort. New York Premiere.


TENSAI BANPAKU, Mirai Mizue. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

The mutating forms of Tensai Banpaku, or “Genius Expo” create a stunning abstract orchestra. New York Premiere.


ZDRAVSTVUITE!, Yoko Yuki. 2015. 6 min. Digital.

“On a summer day a strange man who teaches Russian at the beach took me to a town.” East Coast Premiere.


such a good place to die, Onohana. 2015. 3 min. Digital.

Forms shift like a landscape of memory in this enchanting work featuring music by Tatsuki Tsushima. North American Premiere.



Japanese Film Culture In & Out of Japan

Wed., July 20 at 4 pm

For the past 10 years, JAPAN CUTS has been introducing new Japanese films to New York audiences amidst numerous shifts in film culture as well as production, distribution and exhibition practices in Japan and beyond. What are the social, economic and political pressures that help determine the types of films that get made in Japan and how they are sold abroad? How has the international perception of Japanese cinema changed in recent years? What are the efforts being made and what more can be done to increase its exposure? This panel of diverse film industry veterans is assembled to address these questions and to consider the role of festivals like JAPAN CUTS – as well as distribution companies, academia, technology and beyond–in determining the direction of Japanese cinema.


This event is free. Seating is limited. Customers will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Approx. 60 min.




Keiko Araki is the Festival Director for Pia Film Festival (since 1992); focusing on the discovery and nurturing of new filmmakers, PFF is the longest running film festival in Japan (founded in 1977).


Kazuhiro Soda is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York known for his observational method and style of documentary production, and the author of many books published in Japan.


Alexander Zahlten is an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, and was Program Director for Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany from 2002 to 2010.



New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC)

July 14-24, screening daily from starting at 11 am

An outstanding program supporting the development of a vibrant film culture in Japan, New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC) gives up-and-coming filmmakers the opportunity to produce a professional quality thirty minute short, shot on 35mm film. In recognition of their recent 10th anniversary, JAPAN CUTS offers a selection 10 highlights from 2006-2015. The JAPAN CUTS Microcinema is installed in the Murase Room on the first floor of Japan Society. All films 30 minutes in length, and are projected in digital video, in Japanese with English subtitles.


Hana, Kujira, and Her Father

  1. Directed by Takahiro Horie. With Mei Kurokawa, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Yuji Nakamura.

A pro wrestler trains to slug her deadbeat dad, but when she finds him he claims amnesia. International Premiere.



  1. Directed by Kohei Yoshino. With Takahiro Miura, Denden, Masahiro Kuno.

An aging man makes increasingly preposterous demands to Nakamoto who is still new to his job as a funeral coordinator. North American Premiere.


Buy Bling, Get One Free

  1. Directed by Kosuke Takaya. With Wataru Kora, Takashika Kobayashi, Rumi Hiragi.

A satirical comedy that pokes fun at the fashion-obsessed. Think Harajuku meets Zoolander. North American Premiere.


Turning Tides

  1. Directed by Teruaki Shoji. With Hanae Kan, Ryoya Fujita, Tomomitsu Adachi.

Two unlikely friends reject pressures of the cynical adult world and explore fantasies of renewal. North American Premiere



  1. Directed by Yukihisa Shichiji. With Reina Aoi, Anna Aoi, Hajime Inoue

Twins Manami and Misora could always feel each other’s presence no matter how far apart they are. Until one day, when Misora suddenly disappears… International Premiere.



  1. Directed by Daishi Matsunaga. With Naoya Shimizu,Takuya Yoshihara, Chika Uchida.

A tenderly brutal portrayal of two high school boys bullied at school and their struggle to reach out for human connection. Director of Pieta in the Toilet (JAPAN CUTS 2015). North American Premiere.



  1. Directed by Nao Shimizu. With Yurine Hanada, Shunsuke Sawada, Hiromi Miyagawa.

A sweet childhood story approaching robot toys and the rituals of death. North American Premiere.



  1. Directed by Madoka Kumagai. With Yuko Miyamoto, Reiko Saito, Ryosuke Watabe.

Yuriko’s languid life as a piano teacher is suddenly disrupted by the curse of being labeled a “cheating bitch.” North American Premiere.



  1. Directed by Kenta Tatenai. With Satoshi Yamanaka, Aona Kawai, Noriko Eguchi.

Men are weak but earthquakes are strong in this love triangle comedy involving a catfish. International Premiere.



  1. Directed by Hiroyuki Nakao. With Eri Fuse, Ryuhei Ueshima, Masanobu Katsumura.

Hilarious comedy ensues when a middle-aged couple attempts to steal from the safe of an insurance company president. International Premiere.




Lily Franky (The Shell Collector)

Recipient of the CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film

Lily Franky is a Japanese actor, illustrator, essayist, and author of the best-selling autobiographical novel Tokyo Tower: Me and Mom, and Sometimes Dad, which was adapted into a film in 2007. Since beginning his acting career in 2001, he has distinguished himself as one of the most highly sought-out, versatile actors in Japanese cinema, often playing scene-stealing supporting characters. He is best known to international film audiences for his memorable performance in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son (2013), for which he won multiple awards including the Kinema Junpo Award and Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to The Shell Collector, his first leading role since Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s All Around Us (JAPAN CUTS 2009), Franky can be seen in Bakuman and Three Stories of Love.


Denden (Lowlife Love)

Venerable character actor Denden first appeared in Yoshimitsu Morita’s Something Like It in 1981 and has since acted in over 100 films and TV shows. His impressive career includes turns in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (1997) and Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on (2000), among many others. He is best known for his role in Sion Sono’s Cold Fish (2010), for which he won multiple awards including the Kinema Junpo Award and Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor.


Megumi Kagurazaka (The Whispering Star)

With breakthrough roles in Sion Sono’s 2011 films Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance, model and actress Kagurazaka revealed an ability to portray complex characters charged with delicate, ecstatic energy. Kagurazaka has continued this versatility, often collaborating with Sono, her husband, including standout roles in Himizu, The Land of Hope, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Love & Peace, and a brave lead as the android heroine of The Whispering Star.


Atsuko Maeda (Mohican Comes Home)

Maeda shot to mega-stardom as one of the most prominent members of AKB48. Since graduating from the idol group in 2012, she has become an in-demand actress, starring in TV dramas as well as working with some of Japan’s most well-respected film directors such as Ryuichi Hiroki, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hideo Nakata, Nobuhiro Yamashita, portraying against type characters complicating her previous girl group star image while demonstrating fantastic talents as a performer.


Mizuki Misumi (Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face) (hyperlink)

One of the vibrant artists appearing in Endo’s documentary, Kagoshima native Misumi is a poet known for her performances, published collections, and music albums. She was awarded the Gendaishi Techo (Modern Poetry Notebook) Award in 2004, received the 10th Chuya Nakahara Prize for her first book of poetry Overkill, and her following collection received the Rekitei Prize for Young Poets and the Southern Japan Literature Award.


Tatsuya Mori (FAKE)

Born in Hiroshima, Mori is a filmmaker and writer renowned for the award-winning A (1998) and A2 (2001), on Aum Shinrikyo and the aftermath of the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks. His 2011 film 311 is a collaborative documentary about the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Winner of the Kodansha prize for nonfiction, Mori has published over 30 best-selling books on social issues and the media.


Mipo O (Being Good)

From Mie Prefecture, O studied at Osaka University of Arts, later working under Nobuhiko Obayashi. After her Harmony received the Digital Short Grand Prix Award at Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival, she directed her first feature The Sakai’s Happiness, which won the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. Her recent The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015) was Japan’s Best Foreign Language Film entry for the 2015 Academy Awards.


Shuichi Okita (Mohican Comes Home)

Born in Saitama, Okita began his career making short films, eventually winning the Grand Prix at the 7th Mito Short Film Festival for his short Sharing a Hotpot (2002), later moving on to feature films. His breakthrough feature The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), starring Koji Yakusho, was the centerpiece presentation at JAPAN CUTS 2012 and won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival.


Hitoshi One (Bakuman)

A veteran TV director, One made his feature debut with the popular romantic drama Love Strikes (JAPAN CUTS 2012) and followed up with sex comedy Be My Baby (aka The Vortex of Love) in 2013. A visually dynamic filmmaker with a gift for comedy, One quickly found an international audience at festivals such as Udine Far East Film Festival, Nippon Connection, and Fantasia, among others. Bakuman is his third feature.


Onohana (Experimental Spotlight)

From Iwate, Onohana’s Tokyo University of the Arts’ Department of Animation thesis received the Noburo Ofuji Award at the Mainichi Film Concours, and her works have debuted throughout Japan and internationally, including TOKYO ANIMA!, Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival, FANTOCHE, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. A skilled and versatile animator, her works evoke fantastical worlds of imagination and landscapes of the mind.


Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr. (Born With It)

Born and raised in Houston, Texas to a Ghanaian immigrant family, Osei-Kuffour fell in love with the storytelling sensibilities of Japanese cinema upon his first visit. For the past 6 years he lived in Japan working as a director/producer, with premieres in international festivals such as Cannes and Toronto. Now in Los Angeles, he is working on his first feature, to take place in the U.S. and Japan.


Ryuichi Sakamoto (Nagasaki: Memories of My Son)

A world-renowned composer, producer and musician, Sakamoto began his career as a founding member of pioneering techno-pop supergroup Yellow Magic Orchestra. His first film score for Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (in which he also acted) brought immense critical acclaim, followed by an Academy Award win for his score to Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. He recently scored Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant with Alva Noto.


Sion Sono (Love & Peace, The Sion Sono, The Whispering Star)

A poet and provocateur, Sono began his career making experimental 8mm films, eventually leading to a Pia Film Festival fellowship used to make his first 16mm feature Bicycle Sighs (1991). Since his breakthrough 2001 Suicide Circle, Sono has remained one of the most visible, prolific Japanese filmmakers working. He was a guest at the first JAPAN CUTS in 2007 with Exte: Hair Extensions, returning in 2009 for the New York premiere of Love Exposure.


Yoshifumi Tsubota (The Shell Collector)

Born in Kanagawa, Japan, Tsubota started creating under the influence of his father, a manga artist and illustrator. His experimental film Big Spectacles received the Grand Prix at the 2000 Image Forum Festival. His first narrative feature film, Miyoko, premiered in the Tiger Competition of the 2010 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Tsubota maintains a career working as a production designer and director of commercials and music videos while writing novels.


Adam Torel (Lowlife Love)

Torel is a film producer, programmer and the Managing Director of Third Window Films, the UK’s leading distributor of Asian contemporary cinema, through which he has helped bring greater international attention to filmmakers such as Sion Sono, Tetsuya Nakashima and Shinya Tsukamoto, among others. In addition to Lowlife Love, he has producing credits for Sono’s The Land of Hope and Yosuke Fujita’s Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats.


Eiji Uchida (Lowlife Love)

A prolific writer/director known for his genre-inflected films, Uchida is best known for his unique slasher/black comedy The Greatful Dead (JAPAN CUTS 2014), which screened in 30 countries worldwide and received critical acclaim at film festivals including the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Raindance and more. With 13 features credited to his name since 2004, the tireless filmmaker is already at work on his next project.


Kensaku Watanabe (Emi-Abi)

Born in Fukushima, Watanabe joined producer Genjiro Arato’s office in 1990, and worked as an assistant director for Seijun Suzuki’s Yumeji, making his writer/director debut withThe Story of Pupu in 1998, followed by Chinchiromai, Loved Gun, Invisible War, and Cheer Cheer Cheer!. He produced and also played a lead role in Hiroshi Okuhara’s Wave (NETPAC Award, 2002 Rotterdam International Film Festival), and appeared in Satoko Yokohama’s 2011 short Midnight Jump. He received the Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay for Yuya Ishii’s 2013 The Great Passage (JAPAN CUTS 2014).


Satoko Yokohama (The Actor)

Awarded Best Film in Osaka’s CO2 Open Competition for her Film School of Tokyo thesis, Yokohama’s debut feature German + Rain (2007) received the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award and Osaka’s Grand Prix. Bursting onto the international scene with Bare Essence of Life (aka Ultra Miracle Love Story) set in her native Aomori, she continued to amaze with outstanding shorts (Granny Girl, Midnight Jump, A Girl in the Apple Farm) and now The Actor.




Founded in 2007, JAPAN CUTS gives cinephiles their first (and sometimes only) chance to discover the next waves of film from Japan today. The festival traditionally presents a range of titles from the biggest of Japanese blockbusters, raucous genre flicks, peerless independents, arthouse gems, radical documentaries and avant-garde forms, along with unique collaborative programs put together with the cooperation of other international organizations. Special guest actors and filmmakers join the festivities for Q&As, award ceremonies, and the wild themed parties and receptions audiences have come to expect, with live music, food and drink.


Japan Society has actively introduced Japanese cinema to New York’s international audiences since the 1970s, presenting works by the era’s new giants such as Shohei Imamura, Seijun Suzuki, and Hiroshi Teshigahara upon their first release, and groundbreaking retrospectives on now canonical figures such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Special guests such as Akira Kurosawa, Machiko Kyo, Toshiro Mifune, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, and Hideko Takamine had already been part of Japan Society’s events before JAPAN CUTS’ inception in 2007.


Since then the festival has attracted nearly 45,000 filmgoers and over 250 feature films, many never-before seen in the U.S. The first annual JAPAN CUTS was one of the most successful single events in the Society’s 2007-08 centennial celebration. Noted for its “rich and varied selection of recent Japanese films” (The New York Times), JAPAN CUTS has premiered several films that have gone on to garner international acclaim, including: 0.5mm, 100 Yen Love, About Her Brother, Buy a Suit, Confessions, Death Note, Fish Story,Kamome Diner, Love Exposure, Milocrorze: A Love Story, The Mourning Forest, Ninja Kids!!!, Sawako Decides, Sukiyaki Western Django, Sway, Sketches of Kaitan City, The Tale of Iya, and United Red Army.


The Japan Society Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions, including retrospectives, thematic repertory film series, and U.S. premiere screenings. Its aim is to entertain, educate, and support activities in the Society’s arts and culture programs.


Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.


Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit


# # #



*Guest intro and/or Q&A



Thursday, July 14

7:00 PM – Mohican Comes Home* + Opening Night Party


Friday, July 15

6:30 PM – Bitter Honey

8:30 PM – Lowlife Love*


Saturday, July 16

12:00 PM – The Magnificent Nine

2:30 PM – The Sion Sono

4:45 PM – The Whispering Star*

7:30 PM – Love & Peace*


Sunday, July 17

12:00 PM – A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light

1:45 PM – Sayonara

4:15 PM – Nagasaki: Memories of My Son*

7:00 PM – Bakuman

9:30 PM – Experimental Spotlight*


Monday, July 18-

6:30 PM – Three Stories of Love

9:30 PM – Hush!


Tuesday, July 19

6:30 PM – The Projects

8:45 PM – Face


Wednesday, July 20

4:00 PM – Panel Discussion

6:30 PM – A Road preceded by Born With It*

8:45 PM – Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face*


Thursday, July 21

7:00 PM – The Shell Collector* + Underwater Dream Party

Friday, July 22

6:30 PM – Being Good*

9:30 PM – A Cappella*


Saturday, July 23

12:00 PM – I Am a Monk

2:00 PM – Ken and Kazu

4:30 PM – The Artist of Fasting

7:00 PM – FAKE*

10:00 PM – Burst City


Sunday, July 24

12:30 PM – Flying Colors

2:00 PM – Kako: My Sullen Past

4:30 PM – Emi-Abi*

7:00 PM – The Actor*

June 10, 2016 Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment





JUNE 22 – JULY 9, 2016






NEW YORK, NY (MAY 31, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Subway Cinema announced today the complete lineup for the 15th NEW
YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL (NYAFF), which will take place from June
22 to July 5 at the Film Society and July 6 to 9 at the SVA Theatre
(333 West 23rd Street). North America’s leading festival of popular
Asian cinema will showcase 51 feature films, including one World
Premiere, one International Premiere, 16 North American premieres, 2 U.S.
Premieres, and 14 films making their New York City debuts.

Featuring in-person appearances by more than 30 international filmmakers and
celebrity guests from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.

The Opening Night gala will be the World Premiere of Kazuya Shiraishi’s wild crime epic _Twisted Justice_,based on Yoshiaki Inaba’s autobiography and starring Japan’s hottest actor (and Rising Star honoree) Go Ayano as his country’s most corrupt police detective.

The Centerpiece Gala is the North American Premiere of Ralston Jover’s Hamog_ (Haze), an empowering, thrilling and impassioned tale of a gang of street kids, headlined by (Rising Star honoree) Teri Malvar.

Closing Night is the International Premiere of Adam Tsuei’s _The Tenants Downstairs_.Based on a screenplay and story by former NYAFF guest Giddens Ko (_You Are the Apple of My Eye_), the blackly comic, sexually explicit thriller features Simon Yam as a landlord spying on and manipulating the lives of his tenants. Filmmakers and cast members from the three movies will be in attendance at their respective screenings.

“We set out this year to champion a much broader range of Asian cinema,” said NYAFF Executive Director Samuel Jamier. “For example, we are particularly excited by a new breed of noir film, rooted in social issues, that is emerging in both China and Southeast Asia. With these and other selections in the lineup, we want to show that Asian films are still exploring new directions for world cinema.”

Faithful to its Chinatown roots and central to its lineup, the festival will feature a HONG KONG PANORAMA, showcasing the most innovative films from the Special Administrative Region, with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York. From a
coming-of-age drama about high-school girls who become involved in the sex trade (_Lazy Hazy Crazy_), to a feel-good baseball movie set within Hong Kong’s public-housing system (_Weeds on Fire_), to a hard-boiled gangster omnibus (the Johnnie To-produced_Triviṣa_),
these films are revitalizing local genre staples with a fresh spin.
The program also includes Nick Cheung’s _Keeper of Darkness_,
Herman Yau’s _The Mobfathers_, and Adam Wong’s _She Remembers, He Forgets_.

THE SOUTH KOREAN CINEMA lineup includes a vibrant mix of thrillers (both supernatural and surreal) from first- and second-time directors that are daring twists on genre films (_Alone_, _The Boys Who Cried Wolf_, and_ The Priests_), and insightful art-house dramas focusing on social issues from established directors (Jung Ji-woo’s _Fourth
Place_ about how much we demand from the next generation, and E J-yong’s
_The Bacchus Lady _about the plight of the country’s abandoned elderly).
In co-presentation with the Korean Movie Night New York Master Series, NYAFF will feature the two latest films by Lee Joon-ik, who will attend screenings of _Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet_ (with producer and screenwriter Shin Yeon-shick) and _The Throne_. Together with Lee Jong-pil’s _The Sound of a Flower_, the triptych examines the scars
of South Korea’s troubled history. The festival’s 11 South Korean films are presented with the support of the Korean Cultural Center New York.

NYAFF’s TAIWAN CINEMA NOW! section defies genres with first films by
new directors Adam Tsuei (_The Tenants Downstairs_), Vic Cheng (_The Tag-Along_), and Lee Chung (_The Laundryman_) that expand the horizons of the island’s genre cinema. The section, presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, is completed by two powerful dramas from established filmmakers Tom Lin (_Zinnia Flower_) and Cheng Wen-tang (_Maverick_) that explore loss and redemption.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN CINEMA receives greater focus this year, reflecting how the region is making some of the world’s most innovative films.
Highlights include the Tamil-language _Jagat _(_Brutal_) from Malaysia, the acutely observed _Heart Attack_ from Thailand, and empowering youth noir _Haze (Hamog) _from the Philippines. Proving that stars from the region are just as glamorous and talented as
their Northern neighbors, we are joined by John Lloyd Cruz, Teri Malvar, Sid Lucero, Gwen Zamora, and Annicka Dolonius (stars of the Philippines’ sensuous surfing drama _Apocalypse Child_), and Apinya Sakuljaroensuk (from the social-media slasher flick _Grace_).

SPECIAL SCREENINGS include a full day of films on July 4 from noon until midnight celebrating the indie spirit of Hong Kong cinema.
The day will conclude with the hotly anticipated _10 Years_, winner of Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards, which examines life in Hong Kong in an imaginary future when Cantonese is a second-class language and where the island has completely fallen under Mainland control.

Special screenings also include a Founding Fathers Tribute, a focus on the favorite films of the festival’s programmers, from Michael Arias’s madcap animated feature _Tekkonkinkreet_ to Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo: The Iron Man_ and Pang Ho-cheung’s _Love in the Buff_ starring Miriam Yeung, alongside a Surprise Screening of a contemporary classic that holds special significance to the founders of NYAFF.
The 2016 STAR ASIA AWARDS honorees are Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung, the Philippines’ John Lloyd Cruz, and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun, and all three box-office mega-stars will be in New York in person to discuss their newest films and their careers. Yeung, whose charismatic girl-next-door persona epitomizes the anything-is-possible spirit of Hong Kong, stars in in Adam Wong’s romantic drama _She Remembers, He Forgets. _The film is her return to the screen after headlining the biggest local hit of 2015, _Little Big Master_. Cruz, the Philippines’ most popular movie star, who broke box-office records in last year’s romantic drama _Second Chance_, transforms his image as a father who will do anything in festival selection _Honor Thy Father_,a powerful crime epic from Erik Matti. Lee, South Korean cinema’s leading man and one of the few to successfully cross over to Hollywood, stars in _Inside Men_, Woo Min-ho’s takedown of the corruption at the heart of South Korea’s institutions. Lee has been seen in multiple blockbuster action franchises (_G.I. Joe, Red 2, Terminator Genisys_), is best known for South Korean films _The Good, the Bad, the Weird_, _I Saw the Devil_, and _Bittersweet Life _(by Kim Jee-woon); as well as the tormented soldier in Park Chan-wook’s_ Joint Security Area_ and the lowlife-turned-king in Choo Chang-min’s _Masquerade_.


· LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – IWAI SHUNJI. The first Japanese recipient of the award, he will present his three cinematic epics–_Swallowtail Butterfly _(1996), _All About Lily Chou-Chou_ (2001), and _A Bride for Rip Van Winkle_ (2016), also starring
Ayano–during the festival’s opening weekend. Iwai has proven himself one of Asia’s most influential filmmakers since his mid-1990s Undo_, _Picnic_, and _Love Letter_. He is recognized for capturing the spirit of the times, and stretching the cinematic language of Asian cinema. Despite his early successes, he has continued to reinvent himself, recently directing his first animated feature.

Lin made a powerful debut this year, showcasing her natural comedic
skills in Stephen Chow’s fish-out-of-water tale (China’s highest-grossing
film) _The Mermaid_; 15-year-old Malvar has already proven herself one
of Asia’s most naturally gifted actresses, and stars in festival selection _Hamog _(_Haze_), in which her violent street kid character is kidnapped into a twisted household to work as its maid; and Ayano, Japan’s hottest actor of 2016 is being recognized for his
chameleon-like range, stars in two of the festival’s key films, Twisted Justice_ and _A Bride for Rip Van Winkle_.

· DANIEL A. CRAFT AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ACTION CINEMA – YUE SONG. The Chinese actor, director, and stunt choreographer will be honored for his old-school, balls-to-the-wall instant-classic kung-fu flick _The Bodyguard_. Yue found fame online by uploading action-packed training videos and short films that became cult hits in China, before making his first feature _King of the Street_. His new film has found a natural home in our anniversary edition.


_Curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, senior programmer Stephen Cremin, and programmers Rufus de Rham and Claire Marty. _

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and takes place from June 22 to July 5 at Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater, and July 6 to 9 at SVA Theatre.

Keep up to date with information at [3] [1]
and [4] [2].

Subway Cinema can be followed on
Facebook at [5] [3] and Twitter at [6] [4].

*Guests in attendance; see next section for complete list

CHINA (4):
– _The Bodyguard_ (dir. Yue Song, 2016)*
– _Mr. Six_ (dir. Guan Hu, 2015)
– _Saving Mr. Wu_ (dir. Ding Sheng, 2015)
– _What’s in the Darkness_ (dir. Wang Yichun, 2016)*

Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office



– _The Bodyguard _(dir. Sammo Hung, 2016)

– _Keeper of Darkness_ (dir. Nick Cheung, 2015)

– _Lazy Hazy Crazy_ (dir. Luk Yee-sum, 2015)

– _Love in the Buff_ (dir. Pang Ho-cheung, 2012)

– _The Mermaid_ (dir. Stephen Chow, 2016)*

– _The Mobfathers_ (dir. Herman Yau, 2016) w/short _Killer and
Undercover_ (dir. Lau Ho-Leung, 2016)

– _She Remembers, He Forgets_ (dir. Adam Wong, 2015)*

– _Triviṣa _(dirs. Frank Hui, Jevons Au & Vicky Wong, 2016) *

– _Weeds on Fire_ (dir. Chan Chi-fat, 2016)


– _10 Years_ (dirs. Kwok Zune, Chow Kwun-wai, Jevons Au, Ng


Wong Fei-pang, 2015)*

JAPAN (13):
– _All About Lily Chou-Chou_ (dir. Iwai Shunji, 2001)*
– _A Bride for Rip Van Winkle_ (dir. Iwai Shunji, 2016)*
– _Creepy_ (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016)
– _Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis_ (dir. Yuichi Fukuda, 2016)
– _Kiyamachi Daruma_ (dir. Hideo Sakaki, 2015)
– _Miss Hokusai_ (dir. Keiichi Hara, 2015)
– _Swallowtail Butterfly_ (dir. Iwai Shunji, 1996)*
– _Tekkonkinkreet_ (dir. Michael Arias, 2006)*
– _Tetsuo: The Iron Man_ (dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)
– _Twisted Justice _(dir. Kazuya Shiraishi, 2016)
– _What a Wonderful Family!_ (Yoji Yamada, 2016)
Plus, an additional two titles to be announced at a later date


Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York
– _Alone_ (dir. Park Hong-min, 2015)
– _The Bacchus Lady_ (dir. E J-yong, 2016)
– _The Boys Who Cried Wolf_ (dir. Kim Jin-hwang, 2015)*
– _Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet_ (dir. Lee Joon-ik, 2016)*
– _Fourth Place_ (dir. Jung Ji-woo, 2015)
– _Inside Men_ (dir. Woo Min-ho, 2015)*
– _The Priests_ (dir. Jang Jae-hyun, 2015)
– _Seoul Station_ (dir. Yeon Sang-ho, 2015)
– _The Sound of a Flower_ (dir. Lee Jong-pil, 2015)
– _The Throne_ (dir. Lee Joon-ik, 2015)*
– _A_ _Violent Prosecutor_ (dir. Lee Il-hyeong, 2016)

– _Apocalypse Child_ (dir. Mario Cornejo, 2015)*
– _Grace_ (dirs. Ornusa Donsawai & Pun Homchuen, 2016)*
– _Hamog _(_Haze_) (dir. Ralston Jover, 2015)*
– _Heart Attack_ (dir. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, 2015)
– _Honor Thy Father (_dir. Erik Matti, 2015)*
– _Jagat_ (_Brutal_) (dir. Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, 2015)*
– _Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass_ (dir. Victor Vu, 2015)

Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO
New York

– _The Laundryman_ (dir. Lee Chung, 2015)
– _Maverick_ (dir. Cheng Wen-tang, 2015)
– _The Tag-Along_ (dir. Cheng Wei-hao, 2015)
– _The Tenants Downstairs_ (dir. Adam Tsuei, 2016)*
– _Zinnia Flower_ (dir. Tom Lin, 2015)


CHINA (3):
– Jelly Lin (actress); _The Mermaid_
– Wang Yichun (director); _What’s in the Darkness_
– Yue Song (actor/director); _The Bodyguard_

– Jevons Au (director); _Triviṣa _& _10 Years_
– Andrew Choi (producer); _10 Years_

– Chow Kwun-wai (director); _10 Years_
– Kwok Zune (director); _10 Years_
– Ng Ka-leung (director/producer); _10 Years_
– Adam Wong (director); _She Remembers, He Forgets_
– Wong Fei-pang (director); _10 Years_
– Miriam Yeung (actress); _She Remember, He Forgets_ & _Love in

– Michael Arias (director); _Tekkonkinkreet_
– Go Ayano (actor); _Twisted Justice_ & _A Bride for Rip Van
– Yoshinori Chiba (producer); _Twisted Justice_

– Hideo Sakaki (director); _Kiyamachi Daruma_
– Iwai Shunji (director); _All About Lily Chou-Chou_, _A Bride for


Van Winkle_ & Swallowtail Butterfly

– Kazuya Shiraishi (director); _Twisted Justice_

– Kim Jin-hwang (director); _The Boys Who Cried Wolf_

– Lee Byung-hun (actor); _Inside Men_
– Lee Joon-ik (director); _Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet_ & _The
– Shin Yeon-shick (producer/screenwriter); _Dongju: The Portrait



– Annicka Dolonius (actress); _Apocalypse Child_
– John Lloyd Cruz (actor/producer); _Honor Thy Father_
– Monster Jimenez (producer); _Apocalypse Child_
– Sid Lucero (actor); _Apocalypse Child_
– Teri Malvar (actress); _Hamog _(_Haze_)
– Dondon Monteverde (producer); _Honor Thy Father_
– Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (director); _Jagat _(_Brutal_)
– Apinya Sakuljaroensuk (actress); _Grace_
– Gwen Zamora (actress); _Apocalypse Child_

– Adam Tsuei (director); _The Tenants Downstairs_
– Ivy Shao (actress); _The Tenants Downstairs_
– Li Xing (actress); _The Tenants Downstairs_

June 10, 2016 Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Yearly magnificence.

Pop ConferenceFrom soul singers and goth-punk wailer Siouxsie Sioux to warbling rapper Future and pop-rock duo Hall & Oates, explore the profound role of voice in music through ambitious music writing of every kind at our biggest Pop Conference yet!

Featuring a group of more than 140 presenters made up of musicians, fans, academics, and critics, including: Daphne Brooks, María Elena Cepeda, Greil Marcus, Charles Mudede, Ann Powers, David Ritz, Karen Tongson, Oliver Wang, Steve Waksman, and Eric Weisbard.

While you’re planning your conference schedule, kick off the weekend at Record Store Showdown, a competition of music wits by Seattle’s independent record stores in honor of Record Store Day. Hosted by Greg Vandy of KEXP 90.3 FM’s The Roadhouse.

Pop Conference
April 14–17, 2016; session times vary daily; Hyatt House and EMP Museum
Free and open to the public. Registration required (opens March 4).

Record Store Showdown
Thursday, April 14, 2016; 9:00pm; The Lounge at EMP Museum


Thursday, April 14






Friday, April 15








Saturday, April 16







Sunday, April 17





April 3, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, Music, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/CROWDFUNDING — Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum to Collaborate on Crowdfunded Documentary/Gothic Horror Film

Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum to Collaborate with Director Ronni Thomas on Crowdfunded Documentary/Gothic Horror Film, No Place for the Living

Feature will tell the story of a notorious Key West necrophile, combing expert interviews and puppet reenactments with narrations by celebrated indie director Richard Stanley. 
Kickstarter campaign to run from March 28th to April 26. 

NO PLACE FOR THE LIVING will chronicle the true account of the life and strange obsessions of ‘Count’ Carl Von Cosel, who authorities discovered had lived with the corpse of Elena Hoyos for seven years. Von Cosel claimed to be in communication with her spirit and, like a latter-day Dr. Frankenstein, was convinced he could use groundbreaking scientific methods to bring her back to life. When the world learned the truth, their macabre “relationship” became a media sensation, now forgotten.

The feature documentary film proposed, envisioned and directed by Ronni Thomas (award-winning short, WALTER POTTER: THE MAN WHO MARRIED KITTENS, web series The Midnight Archive, and producer of the Ramone’s doc HEY IS DEE DEE HOME?), will be developed in collaboration with the esteemed Morbid Anatomy Museum, where Thomas is filmmaker-in-residence. Thomas is seeking $50,000 in funding for the film through a Kickstarter campaign scheduled to run March 28 through April 26, 2016.

“The idea is not only to tell this bizarre story, but to understand it as well,” said filmmaker Ronni Thomas. “I want to make a film that challenges viewers to accept and even like Von Cosel, the way the world did when they first heard his story.”

NO PLACE FOR THE LIVING will feature experts including Key West historians, authorities on the occult, artists and psychologists to provide insight into Von Cosel’s story as it connects to the age old conflict between science and spirituality that has absorbed mankind to this very day. Taking inspiration from the poetic dreamscapes of filmmakers like Tim Burton and David Lynch, Thomas will tell the Ed Wood-Like story of Carl Von Cosel and his sensational tale of macabre matrimony with the help of artfully made puppets used to reenact key moments of his life, as described in detail in Von Cosel’s own published journal.

“Puppetry is the art of animating the inanimate, making it the perfect approach for a story like this,” said Thomas. “Von Cosel not only pulled the strings on a physical corpse he was trying to reanimate, but metaphorically he pulled everyone’s strings, manipulating Hoyos’ family, the justice system, even public opinion.”

Working alongside Thomas to bring this story to life are puppeteer Robin Frohardt, special FX designer Shane Morton and his Silver Scream FX lab, and composer Stephen Coates (lead singer, The Real Tuesday Weld). Among our list of specialists who have jumped to the occasion to discuss this captivating window into the wayward are true crime author Harold Schechter, occult expert Mitch Horowitz, TV’s ODDITIES co-star Evan Michaelson, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead frontman Conrad Keely, and author of Von Cosel’s biography, Tom Swicegood. The film will feature narration from Von Cosel’s journal read by celebrated indie filmmaker Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL).

You can find the Kickstarter page HERE and a link to our pitch video HERE
For official stills pertaining to the Kickstarter please go HERE.

April 3, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The Wire Conference

Friday, April 8, 2016 – Saturday, April 9, 2016


Panels 1-5: 301 Pulitzer Hall
Panels 6-7: 501 Schermerhorn Hall
Panels 8 and 9: Cowin Auditorium, Teachers College


Panels 1-7: Free and Open to the Public; No Registration
Panels 8-9: Purchase tickets here:


A consideration of the achievement, the afterlife, and the legacies of the HBO series The Wire—by some of the actors, writers, and musicians who created it, the academics who teach and study it, and those who in their communities continue to engage the issues it raises. The conference will culminate in a ticketed “Actors and Activism” panel, featuring actors from The Wire, and a performance by the Moving Mountains Theater Company, a nonprofit organization that trains inner city youth in the performing arts, founded by The Wire star Jamie Hector.

Although critically acclaimed from the start, the HBO series The Wire was far less widely viewed during its original presentation (2002-08) than it has been in the succeeding years.  It is one of the very few television series that has become both more popular and more revered over time–consistently ranking on top-ten lists as one of the best series in television history—despite never having been heavily publicized or available for viewing free of charge.  And it is the only series to have been so widely incorporated into the academic curriculum in both the US and abroad.  For almost a decade, The Wire has been showing up on the syllabi of courses in sociology, English, African-American Studies, anthropology, film, education, religion, law, urban studies, criminal justice, and media studies at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Duke, UC Berkeley, Middlebury, Rutgers-Newark, University of Washington-Spokane, Syracuse, Loyola University New Orleans, University of Michigan (and the list of both disciplines and institutions goes on).

This two-day conference considers the afterlife and legacies of The Wire. For those involved with its creation, the experience of The Wire was unusually transformative.  The same might be said for those who study and learn from it.  What accounts for the unique status of The Wire as an object of multi-disciplinary inquiry?  Why does it appeal so strongly to those in the academy, and increasingly so as the years go by? In what ways has its unusual degree of creative collaboration led to other forms of collaborative work for creators and consumers (community activism, public humanities, team-teaching across disciplines)?  How does its status as a multi-part realist narrative (written as a whole rather than season by season) shape how we read it?  What effect does its subtly traversing the borderline between fact and fiction have on interpretation?

Friday panels address teaching The Wire and the issues it raises in different contexts; scholarship on The Wire, focusing on questions of seriality and narrative experience (including Linda Williams, Frank Kelleter, and Jason Mittell); a discussion about “immersive journalism” with June Cross, Leon Dash, Lynnell Hancock, among others, and the systemic urban problems that most affect the economically disadvantaged; and a “public square” panel, organized by Sheri Parks (University of MD), on Baltimore as a site for examining the interplay of race, racism, and the roles of the police, city officials, black youth (profiled as such), and other community actors.  There will be an early evening discussion and performance of music from The Wire, organized by the composer Blake Leyh, the music producer of The Wire.

Saturday sessions focus on mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline (organized by the Center for Justice at Columbia); the intersection of race, religion, and politics in the inner city (organized by the Institute for Research in African-American Studies); actors and activism (a roundtable organized by Jamie Hector and including other Wire activist-actors).  There will be an early evening performance by the Moving Mountains Theatre Company.

Conference Schedule

Friday, 8 April 2016 – 8:30am-7:00pm 305 Pulitzer Hall | Free and open to the public

Coffee and Opening Remarks – 8:30am-9:30am

  1. Teaching The Wire – 9:30am-11:00am
    Organized by the Heyman Center for the Humanities
    Fran Bartowski, University of New Jersey, Newark Sherri-Ann Butterfield, University of New Jersey, Newark Toby Gordon, Johns Hopkins University
    Arvind Rajagopal, New York University
    Moderator: Marcellus Blount, Columbia University
  2. Break – 11:00am-11:15am
  3. Seriality and Narrative Experience – 11:15am-12:45pm Organized by the Film Division, School of the Arts Frank Kelleter, Freie Universität, Berlin
    Jason Mittell, Middlebury College
  4. Linda Williams, University of California, Berkeley

Lunch – 12:45pm-2:00pm

  1. Immersion Journalism – 2:00pm-3:30pm Organized by the School of Journalism June Cross, Columbia University Andrea Elliott, New York Times LynNell Hancock, Columbia University Others TBABreak – 3:30pm-3:45pm
  2. Baltimore Stories in the “Public Square” – 3:45pm-5:15pm Organized by Sheri Parks, University of Maryland
    Sheri Parks, University of Maryland
    Other panelists TBA
  3. Break – 5:15pm-5:30pm
  4. Music from The Wire – 5:30pm-7:00pm
    Organized by Blake Leyh, Musical Supervisor on The Wire Juan Donovan Bell, Darkroom Productions
    Blake Leyh, Musical Supervisor on The Wire
    Others TBA

Saturday, 9 April 2016 – Morning Panels 501 Schermerhorn Hall | Free and open to the public

  1. Mass Incarceration and the School-to-Prison Pipeline – 10:00am-11:30am Organized by the Center for Justice
    Mariame Kaba, Project Nia
    Desmond U. Patton, Columbia University Break – 11:30am-11:45am
  2. Carla Shedd, Columbia University Columbia JustArts program participants
  3. Religion, Race, Politics in the Inner City – 11:45am-1:15pm
    Organized and Moderated by the Institute for Research on African American Studies: Monica R. Miller, Lehigh University
    Michael Leo Owens, Emory University
    Josef Sorett, Columbia University
    Rev. LaKeesha Walrond, First Corinthian Baptist Church, New York City
    Joseph R. Winters II, Duke University
  4. Lunch – 1:15pm-3:00pm

Saturday, 9 April 2016 – Afternoon/Evening Panels Cowin Auditorium, Horace Mann Hall, Teachers College
GA Tickets: $15; Student Tickets: $7 | Click here to purchase tickets All proceeds support Moving Mountains Theater Company

  1. Actors and Activism – 3:00pm-4:30pm
    A roundtable featuring actors from The Wire, organized by Jamie Hector Jamie Hector
    Felicia Pearson
    Wendell Pierce
    Sonja Sohn
    Moderator: Jamal Joseph, Columbia University
  2. Intermission – 4:30pm-5:00pm
  3. Performance by the Moving Mountains Theater Company 5:00pm-6:30pm


Heyman Center for the Humanities; School of the Arts; Center for Justice; School of Journalism; Institute for Research in African-American Studies


March 28, 2016 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film – FESTIVALS New Directors /New Films — Full Lineup March 16-27, 2016 *nyc #NDNF #MoMA #FSLC

We Highly Recommend this series, especially THIS YEAR!

Celebrating its 45th edition in 2016, New Directors/New Films introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Throughout its rich history, New Directors has uncovered talents like Pedro Almódovar, Darren Aronofsky, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Lee, Kelly Reichardt, and Steven Spielberg.

Film Society and MoMA members may purchase tickets starting at noon on Monday, February 29. Tickets will be available for purchase by the general public at noon on Friday, March 4. To become a member of the Film Society or MoMA please visit and, respectively.

Please note: New Directors does not accept open submissions.

New Directors/New Films is supported by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, American Airlines, and Stella Artois.


Under the Shadow

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art have revealed the complete lineup for the 45th annual New Directors/New Films, which will take place March 16-27. Since 1972, the festival has been an annual rite of early spring in New York City, bringing exciting discoveries from around the world to adventurous moviegoers. Dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging and dynamic filmmaking talent, this year’s festival will screen 27 features and 10 shorts.

“So much of the conversation about the state of cinema skews negative these days. Think of New Directors/New Films as an antidote to that pessimism,” said Film Society of Lincoln Center Director of Programming Dennis Lim. “This year’s lineup is full of new and emerging voices who are taking big risks and pushing boundaries, often against considerable odds, and rethinking the possibilities of the art form, in ways big and small. If this is even a small glimpse into the future of cinema, there are many reasons to be hopeful.”

Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at The Museum of Modern Art, said, “Sometimes, especially when the industry faces challenges that risk alienating audiences and emerging voices, it’s important to remember that filmmaking is an art form that has the power to inspire, transport as well as entertain. Only when we are allowed to laugh, cry and think at the same time does cinema reach its full potential. I’m thrilled to say that we’ve found a new group of filmmakers firing on all pistons!”



Opening the festival is Babak Anvari’s debut feature Under the Shadow, about a mother and daughter haunted by a sinister, largely unseen presence during the Iran-Iraq War. Brimming with a mounting sense of dread until its ominous finish, this expertly crafted, politically charged thriller was a breakout hit at Sundance, called “the first great horror movie of the year” (Eric Kohn, Indiewire).

The Closing Night selection is Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson, a remarkable chronicle of the cinematographer-turned-director’s life through her collaborations with documentary icons Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, and others. A self-described memoir, Johnson’s first solo directorial effort examines the delicate, complex relationship between filmmaker and subject and is one of nine festival features and four shorts directed by women.

This year’s slate includes a number of films that have won major awards on the festival circuit, including Josh Kriegman and Elyse Sternberg’s Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinner Weiner; Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour, for which the main cast shared Locarno’s Best Actress award; Avishai Sivan’s Tikkun and Pascale Breton’s Suite Armoricaine, winners of the Locarno Special Jury and critics’ prizes, respectively; and Bi Gan’s Kaili Blues, which took home both the Golden Horse Award for Best New Director and Locarno’s honors for Emerging Artist and Best First Feature.



Among the feature debuts are Zhang Hanyi’s Life After Life, executive-produced by Chinese master Jia Zhangke; Anita Rocha da Silveira’s psychosexual coming-of-age story Kill Me Please; Tamer El Said’s Cairo-set film within a film In the Last Days of the City; and Ted Fendt’s Short Stay, the only film in the festival to screen on 35mm.

Previously announced titles include Zhao Liang’s Behemoth, Marcin Wrona’s Demon, Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits, Pietro Marcello’s Lost and Beautiful, Yaelle Kayam’s Mountain, Gabriel Mascaro’s Neon Bull, Raam Reddy’s Thithi, and Clément Cogitore’s The Wakhan Front.

The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations: from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Dennis Lim, Florence Almozini, Marian Masone, and Gavin Smith, and from The Museum of Modern Art, Rajendra Roy, Joshua Siegel, and Sophie Cavoulacos.

Film Society and MoMA members may purchase tickets starting at noon on Monday, February 29. Tickets will be available for purchase by the general public at noon on Friday, March 4. To become a member of the Film Society or MoMA please visit and, respectively.

The Apostate

The Apostate


Opening Night
Under the Shadow
Babak Anvari, UK/Jordan/Qatar, 2016, 84m
Farsi with English subtitles
It’s eight years into the Iran-Iraq War, but the troubles of wife and mother in Tehran have only just begun. Shideh (Narges Rashidi) is thwarted in her attempts to return to medical school because of past political activities. And as Iraqi bombs close in, her husband is sent off to serve in the military, neighbors begin to flee, and she is left alone with her young daughter, Dorsa, who refuses to be separated from her favorite doll. At first, Dorsa’s tantrums seem to simply be the complaints of a cranky child. But soon she’s in conversation with an invisible woman—no imaginary friend, this one—and the cracks in the walls and ceilings of their apartment could just be the result of something more than air raids. And what is that she sees down the hall, from the corner of her eye? Though Shideh is a woman of science, she begins to suspect that a malevolent spirit, a djinn, is stalking them. A political horror story that rises up from the rubble of war, Babak Anvari’s feature debut boasts a terrific performance by Rashidi as a woman with more than one war going on in her home and in her head, who must save her daughter from dangers both physical and supernatural.

Closing Night
Kirsten Johnson, USA, 2016, 102m
How much of one’s self can be captured in the images shot of and for others? Kirsten Johnson may be a first-time (solo) feature-film director, but her work as a director of photography and camera operator has helped earn her documentary collaborators (Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Kirby Dick, Barbara Kopple) nearly every accolade and award possible. Recontextualizing the stunning images inside, around, and beyond the works she has shot, Johnson constructs a visceral and vibrant self-portrait of an artist who has traveled the globe, venturing into landscapes and lives that bear the scars of trauma both active and historic. Rigorous yet nimble in its ability to move from heartache to humor, Cameraperson provides an essential lens on the things that make us human.

The Apostate / El apóstata
Federico Veiroj, Spain/France/Uruguay, 2015, 80m
Spanish with English subtitles
With wry humor and deep conviction, Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj (A Useful Life, ND/NF 2010) observes a young Spaniard’s maddening efforts to abandon the Catholic Church. Petitioning the local bishop in Madrid to hand over his baptismal records, the philosophy student is soon confronted with a stubborn bureaucracy and comically agonized tests of his fidelity and patience. Scenes of pithy theological discussion (performed by the film’s excellent ensemble cast) are interspersed with oneiric flights of imagination, cohering to produce a work that is by turns seriously philosophical and irreverently funny. While Veiroj’s tone may be more gently ironic than that of Luis Buñuel (his spiritual forebear), The Apostate nonetheless traces in bracing fashion the competing forces of conformity and rebellion, spiritual yearning and carnal desire, at war within us all.

Screening with:
Concerning the Bodyguard
Kasra Farahani, USA, 2015, 10m
This stylish adaptation of Donald Barthelme’s story, narrated by Salman Rushdie, takes on the power structures of a dictatorship with brio.

Donald Cried

Donald Cried

Behemoth / Beixi moshuo
Zhao Liang, China/France, 2015, 91m
Mandarin with English subtitles
Political documentarian Zhao Liang draws inspiration from The Divine Comedy for this simultaneously intoxicating and terrifying glimpse at the ravages wrought upon Inner Mongolia by its coal and iron industries. A poetic voiceover speaks of the insatiability of desire on top of stunning images of landscapes (and their decimation), machines (and their spectacular functions), and people (and the toll of their labor). Interspersed are sublime tableaux of a prone nude body—asleep? just born? dead?—posed against a refracted horizon. A wholly absorbing guided tour of exploding hillsides, dank mine shafts, cacophonous factories, and vacant cities, Behemoth builds upon Zhao’s previous exposés (2009’s Petition, 2007’s Crime and Punishment) by combining his muckraking streak with a painterly vision of a social and ecological nightmare otherwise unfolding out of sight, out of mind. Winner of the environmental Green Drop Award at the Venice Film Festival. North American Premiere

Marcin Wrona, Poland/Israel, 2015, 94m
English, Polish, and Yiddish with English subtitles
Newly arrived from England to marry his fiancée Zaneta, Peter has been given a gift of her family’s ramshackle country house in rural Poland. It’s a total fixer-upper, and while inspecting the premises on the eve of the wedding, he falls into a pile of human remains. The ceremony proceeds, but strange things begin to happen… During the wild reception, Peter begins to come undone, and a dybbuk, that iconic ancient figure from Jewish folklore, takes a toehold in this present-day celebration—for a very particular reason, as it turns out. The final work by Marcin Wrona, who died just as Demon was set to premiere in Poland, is an eerie, richly atmospheric film—part absurdist comedy, part love story—that scares, amuses, and charms in equal measure. Winner of Best Horror Feature at Fantastic Fest. An Orchard release.

Donald Cried
Kris Avedisian, USA, 2016, 85m
Trust me, you can’t go home again. Kris Avedisian’s unhinged first feature is a brilliant twist on the family-reunion melodrama and the classic buddy comedy. Returning after 20 years to Warwick, Rhode Island, for his grandmother’s funeral, Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman), now a slick city financier, has to endure a blast from the past and relive some very cringeworthy moments when hanging out with his former high-school bestie, the obnoxious Donald Treebeck (Avedisian). By turns depressing and funny while subtly shifting our sympathies thanks to sharp dialogue and extremely well-written characters, Donald Cried can perhaps best be summed up as The Color Wheel meets Planes, Trains and Automobiles.


Eldorado XXI

Eldorado XXI
Salomé Lamas, Portugal/France, 2016, 125m
Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara with English subtitles
Salomé Lamas’s Eldorado XXI immerses the viewer in the breathtaking views and extreme conditions of La Rinconada in the Peruvian Andes, the highest-elevation permanent human settlement in the world. Here, some 17,000 feet above sea level, miners face misery and lawlessness in the hopes of striking gold, chewing coca leaves to stave off exhaustion. They toil for weeks without pay under the inhumane lottery system known as cachorreo, gambling on an eventual fortune if they can survive the despoiled landscape long enough. Life in this remotest outpost of civilization seems to unfold in the grip of an illusion, and the film itself frequently resembles a hallucination, not least in an extended tour-de-force shot that reveals an endless stream of miners trekking up and down the mountain as we hear radio reports and stories of their daily lives. Full of unforgettable images and sounds, Eldorado XXI is a transporting, fundamentally mysterious experience that renews the possibilities of the ethnographic film. North American Premiere

Evolution / Évolution
Lucile Hadžihalilović, France, 2015, 81m
French with English subtitles
On a remote island, populated solely by women and young boys, 10-year-old Nicolas plays with other children, but not in a carefree manner. And while the women may have maternal instincts, something is awry: they gather on the beach at night for a strange ritual that Nicolas struggles to understand, and the boys are taken to a hospital regularly for mysterious treatments. And water is everywhere. This is the stuff nightmares are made of, and Nicolas appears to be living out one of his own. In the follow-up to her directorial debut, Innocence, Lucile Hadžihalilović continues her exploration of growing up—where we’re going and what we’re leaving behind. As Nicolas discovers more, feelings of fear, melancholy, and also eroticism bubble to the surface. Hadžihalilović has created a dark fantasy that we are invited to explore and make our own discoveries, however macabre they may be. An Alchemy release.

the fits ND NF 2016 image

The Fits
Anna Rose Holmer, USA, 2015, 72m
The transition from girlhood to young womanhood is one that’s nearly invisible in cinema. Enter Anna Rose Holmer, whose complex and absorbing narrative feature debut elegantly depicts a captivating 11-year-old’s journey of discovery. Toni (played by the majestically named Royalty Hightower) is a budding boxer drawn to a group of dancers training at the same rec center in Cincinnati. She begins aligning herself with one of the two troupes, the Lionesses, becoming immersed in their world, which Holmer conveys with a hypnotic sense of rhythm and a rare gift for rendering physicality—evident most of all when a mysterious, convulsive condition begins to afflict a number of girls. Set entirely within the intimate confines of a few familiar settings (public school, the gym), and pulsating with bodies in motion, The Fits encourages us to recall the confused magic of entering the second decade of life. An Oscilloscope release.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour

Happy Hour
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan, 2015, 317m
Japanese with English subtitles
Four thirtysomething female friends in the misty seaside city of Kobe navigate the unsteady currents of their work, domestic, and romantic lives. They speak solace in one another’s company, but a sudden revelation creates a rift, and rouses each woman to take stock. Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s wise, precisely observed, compulsively watchable drama of friendship and midlife awakening runs over five hours, yet the leisurely duration is not an indulgence but a careful strategy—to show what other films leave out, to create a space for everyday moments that is nonetheless charged with possibility, and to yield an emotional density rarely available to a feature-length movie. Developed through workshops with a cast of mostly newcomers (the extraordinary lead quartet shared the Best Actress award at the Locarno Film Festival), and filled with absorbing sequences that flow almost in real time, Happy Hour has a novelistic depth and texture. But it’s also the kind of immersive, intensely moving experience that remains unique to cinema.

In the Last Days of the City / Akher Ayam El Madina
Tamer El Said, Egypt/Germany/Great Britain/United Arab Emirates, 2016, 118m
Arabic with English subtitles
This film within a film is a haunting yet lyric chronicle of recent years in the Arab world, where revolutions seemed to spark hope for change and yield further instability in one stroke. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, The Square) plays the protagonist of Tamer El Said’s ambitious feature debut, a filmmaker in Cairo attempting to capture the zeitgeist of his city as the world changes around him—from personal love and loss to the fall of the Mubarak regime. Throughout, friends send footage and stories from Berlin, Baghdad, and Beirut, creating a powerful, multilayered meditation on togetherness, the tactile hold of cities, and the meaning of homeland. Shot in 2008 and completed this year, the film explores the weight of cinematic images as record and storytelling in an ongoing time of change. North American Premiere

I Promise You Anarchy / Te prometo anarquía
Julio Hernández Cordón, Mexico/Germany, 2015, 100m         
Spanish with English subtitles
Miguel (Diego Calva) and Johnny (Eduardo Eliseo Martinez) are in deep. Badass skater-bros, crazy-in-love blood hustlers, they’re flowing inevitably toward a sea swimming with narco-sharks. This is Mexico City today, and for two boys from different worlds but the same house—Johnny is the son of Miguel’s family maid—there is no future. On the days they do have at their disposal, they will live as hard as they can, even if it means total destruction for everyone around them. A harrowing vision of the 21st century replete with garishly lit sex scenes, inebriated slow motion, and an exhilarating, eclectic pop soundtrack, and winner of numerous prizes at festivals in Latin America, Julio Hernández Cordón’s film is exploding with beats, sweat, and pain—an ecstatic and anguished portrait of youth teetering on the brink of nihilism. U.S. Premiere

In the Last Days of the City

In the Last Days of the City

Kaili Blues / Lu bian ye can
Bi Gan, China, 2015, 113m
Mandarin with English subtitles
A multiple prizewinner at the Locarno Film Festival and one of the most audacious and innovative debuts of recent years, Bi Gan’s endlessly surprising shape-shifter comes to assume the uncanny quality of a waking dream as it poetically and mysteriously interweaves the past, present, and future. Chen Sheng, a country doctor in the Guizhou province who has served time in prison, is concerned for the well-being of his nephew, Weiwei, whom he believes his thug brother Crazy Face intends to sell. Weiwei soon vanishes, and Chen sets out to find him, embarking on a mystical quest that takes him to the riverside city of Kaili and the town of Dang Mai. Through a remarkable arsenal of stylistic techniques, the film develops into a one-of-a-kind road movie, at once magical and materialist, traversing both space and time. U.S. Premiere

Kill Me Please / Mate-me por favor
Anita Rocha da Silveira, Brazil/Argentina, 2015, 101m
Portuguese with English subtitles
Anita Rocha da Silveira’s vibrantly morbid debut feature is a coming-of-age story in which passive aggression on the handball court, jealousy among friends, and teenage angst unfold in the foreground of a slasher flick. In Rio de Janeiro’s Barra da Tijuca—a newly formed upper-middle-class neighborhood of car-lined thoroughfares, gigantic malls, and monolithic white condos—a clique of teenage girls become fearfully captivated by a string of gruesome murders. The most fascinated is Bia (Valentina Herszage), whose own sexual discoveries evolve alongside the mounting deaths in this skewed world of wild colors and transformative desires. With nods to Brian De Palma’s Carrie, Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People, and the atmospheres of David Lynch, Rocha da Silveira’s contribution to the genre is nonetheless entirely her own.

Life After Life / Zhi fan ye mao
Zhang Hanyi, China, 2016, 80m
Mandarin with English subtitles
Zhang Hanyi’s exquisitely restrained ghost story combines the gentle supernaturalism of Apichatpong Weerasethakul with the clear-eyed social realism of Jia Zhangke (one of the film’s executive producers). A young boy, Leilei, becomes possessed by his late mother, Xiuying, whose spirit has wandered the Shanxi Province’s disintegrating cave homes for years. With the help of Leilei’s father (who receives his late wife’s return with matter-of-fact equanimity), they set out to move a tree from her family’s courtyard before she departs again. In ethereal, beautifully composed sequences of a barren rural-industrial village on the edge of collapse, itself a kind of purgatorial space, Zhang captures the spectral gap between life and oblivion. North American Premiere


I Promise You Anarchy

Lost and Beautiful / Bella e perduta
Pietro Marcello, Italy/France, 2015, 87m
Italian with English subtitles
Pietro Marcello continues his intrepid work along the borderline of fiction and documentary with this beautiful and beguiling film, by turns neorealist and fabulist, worthy of Pasolini in its matter-of-fact lyricism and political conviction. Shot on expired 16mm film stock and freely incorporating archival footage and folkloric tropes, it begins as a portrait of the shepherd Tommaso, a local hero in the Campania region of southern Italy, who volunteered to look after the abandoned Bourbon palace of Carditello despite the state’s apathy and threats from the Mafia. Tommaso suffers a fatal heart attack in the course of shooting, and Marcello’s bold and generous response is to grant his subject’s dying wish: for a Pulcinella straight out of the commedia dell’arte to appear on the scene and rescue a buffalo calf from the palace. With Lost and Beautiful, a documentary that soars into the realm of myth, Marcello has crafted a uniquely multifaceted and enormously moving work of political cine-poetry. Winner of two awards at the Locarno Film Festival. U.S. Premiere

Mountain / Ha’har
Yaelle Kayam, Denmark/Israel, 2015, 83m
Hebrew with English subtitles
Atop Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, Zvia, a Jewish Orthodox woman, lives surrounded by an ancient cemetery with her four children and husband, a Yeshiva teacher who pays scant attention to her. Yaelle Kayam’s feature debut moves beyond the symbolic landscape of a woman’s isolation to offer a subtle and finely paced entryway into the character’s surprising inner life. On a nighttime walk through the tombstones, Zvia encounters a group of prostitutes and their handlers and gradually becomes an unlikely bystander to their after-hours activities, trading home-cooked meals for companionship—an usual sort, perhaps, but one that upends her existence as a mother and wife. Shani Klein’s arresting lead performance challenges clichés of female subjectivity in the filmmaker’s own society, culminating in Zvia’s dramatic attempt to bring change to her life; throughout, keenly observed frames, by turn luminous and moody, asserts the heroine’s volition with intention and finesse.

T.W. Pittman & Kelly Daniela Norris, Ghana/USA, 2016, 90m
Kusaal with English subtitles
When his father dies suddenly, medical-student Iddrisu (Jacob Ayanaba) leaves the good life in the city and returns home to Nakom, a remote farming village. He’s now the head of the family, and he finds he must repay a debt that could destroy them all. Over the course of a growing season, Iddrisu confronts both the tragedy and the beauty of village life and must choose between a future for himself in the city or one for his family and the entire village. Filming in the village of Nakom in northern Ghana, directors T.W. Pittman and Kelly Daniela Norris capture in exquisite detail the lives of people steeped in rural tradition but who yearn to be a part of a new world. Along with writer Isaac Adakudugu and a nonprofessional cast—many of whom are revelations—they have created in Nakom an intimate yet universal story about the search for independence while feeling the pull of tradition. North American Premiere

Kaili Blues

Kaili Blues

Neon Bull / Boi neon
Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil/Uruguay/Netherlands, 2015, 101m
Portuguese with English subtitles
A rodeo movie unlike any other, Gabriel Mascaro’s Venice and Toronto prize-winning follow-up to his 2014 fiction debut August Winds tracks handsome cowboy Iremar (Juliano Cazarré) as he travels around to work at vaquejada rodeos, a Brazilian variation on the sport in which two men on horseback attempt to bring a bull down by its tail. Iremar dreams of becoming a fashion designer, creating flamboyant outfits for his co-worker, single mother Galega (Maeve Jinkings). Along with Galega’s daughter Cacá and a bullpen worker named Zé, these complex characters, drawn with tremendous compassion and not an ounce of condescension, make up an unorthodox family, on the move across the northeast Brazilian countryside. Sensitive to matters of gender and class, and culminating in one of the most audacious and memorable sex scenes in recent memory, Neon Bull is a quietly affirming exploration of desire and labor, a humane and sensual study of bodies at work and at play. A Kino Lorber release.

Peter and the Farm
Tony Stone, USA, 2016, 92m
Peter Dunning is a rugged individualist in the extreme, a hard-drinking loner and former artist who has burned bridges with his wives and children and whose only company, even on harsh winter nights, are the sheep, cows, and pigs he tends on his Vermont farm. Peter is also one of the most complicated, sympathetic documentary subjects to come along in some time, a product of the 1960s counterculture whose poetic idealism has since soured. For all his candor, he slips into drunken self-destructive habits, cursing the splendors of a pastoral landscape that he has spent decades nurturing. Imbued with an aching tenderness, Tony Stone’s documentary is both haunting and heartbreaking, a mosaic of its singular subject’s transitory memories and reflections—however funny, tragic, or angry they may be.

Omer Fast, UK/Germany, 2015, 97m
The feature debut by celebrated video artist Omer Fast is a striking, stylish adaptation of English novelist Tom McCarthy’s landmark 2005 novel. Set in London, the narrative kicks off when the anonymous protagonist (Tom Sturridge) is struck by a large object plummeting from the sky. When he comes to, he has no recollection of what happened, and a reparations settlement nets him millions of pounds. The man channels these resources toward creating preposterously ambitious reconstructions of his own dim memories, in the process raising a host of questions about the relationship between reality and simulation, the minute details essential to our perception of places and events, and the limits of artistic monomania. Fast, who has explored similar themes in his own work, adapts McCarthy’s idea-packed novel with lucidity and wit, and Sturridge is mesmerizing as an existential hero searching the void for a trace of meaning. North American Premiere

Kill Me Please

Kill Me Please

Short Stay
Ted Fendt, USA, 2016, 35mm, 61m
Multi-hyphenate Ted Fendt delivers on the promise of his acclaimed short films without sacrificing an ounce of his singular charm and rigor. Shooting on 16mm (blown up to 35mm), the writer-director-editor here focuses on Mike (Mike MacCherone), an ambitionless resident of Haddonfield, New Jersey, who finds himself subletting a friend’s room in Philadelphia and (ineptly) covering his shifts at a by-donation walking-tour company. Mike floats, as if in a trance, from one low-key comic folly to another, each one a strange and subtle moral tale. Fendt’s economy of expression, expert handling of his nonprofessional cast, and incomparable nose for the tragicomic dimension of the everyday distinguishes Short Stay as a truly anomalous work in contemporary American cinema: a film made entirely on its maker’s terms. North American Premiere

Suite Armoricaine
Pascale Breton, France, 2015, 148m
French with English subtitles
In her first feature since her distinctive 2004 debut, Illumination, Pascale Breton returns to her native region of Brittany for this rapturous ensemble film about the persistence of the past in the present. Françoise (Valérie Dréville), an accomplished art historian, leaves Paris to teach at her alma mater in Rennes. Most of her former schoolmates never left town, it turns out, and are curiously eyeing her return. Meanwhile, Ion (Kaou Langoët), a sensitive geography student, falls in love with the blind Lydie (Manon Evenat), and clashes with his estranged, now-homeless mother, Moon (Elina Löwensohn), one of Françoise’s closest friends from the old punk-rock days… As these idiosyncratic, richly drawn characters intersect, their points of view overlap and the tricks of time and memory become apparent. Bursting with ideas and emotion, Suite Armoricaine is a work of symphonic scope and grand themes (love and death, art and beauty, language and music) that finds deep wells of meaning in the smallest and most surprising details and gestures. North American Premiere

Raam Reddy, India/USA, 2015, 120m
Hindi with English subtitles
Raam Reddy’s bold, vibrant first feature is closer to Émile Zola than it is to Bollywood. Filmed in India’s southern Karnataka state with all nonprofessional actors, the sprawling narrative follows three generations of sons following the death of the family’s patriarch, their 101-year-old grandfather known as “Century Gowda.” The men’s respective vices—ranging from greed to womanizing to cut-and-dry escapism—bring deliciously comedic misadventures to their village in the days leading up to the thithi, a funeral celebration traditionally held 11 days after a death. This incisive portrait of a community in a time of radical change (while some are looking after their sheep, others are lost in their cell phones) yields exemplary humanist comedy. Winner of two awards at the Locarno Film Festival, the film equally affirms the advent of a new realism within Indian cinema, as well as an engaging new voice in contemporary world cinema.



Avishai Sivan, Israel, 2015, 120m
Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles
In Avishai Sivan’s intense and provocative Tikkun, a prizewinner at the Jerusalem and Locarno Film Festivals, an ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva student experiences a crisis of faith—and visions of earthly delights—when his father brings him back from the brink of death. Was the young man’s improbable survival a violation of God’s will, or was it “tikkun,” a way toward enlightenment and redemption? Sivan imbues the narrative with an indeterminate, hypnotic blend of black comedy and alienated modernism, effecting a singularly uncanny atmosphere. Nonprofessional actor Aharon Traitel, himself a former Hasidic Jew, gives a nuanced, knowing performance as the anguished prodigy, and the black-and-white chiaroscuro photography casts the devoutly private, regimented Hasidic community of old Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim in a morally shaded light. A Kino Lorber release.

The Wakhan Front / Ni le ciel ni la terre
Clément Cogitore, France/Belgium, 2015, 100m
French and Persian with English subtitles
The ingenious conceit of The Wakhan Front, a critical success at Cannes, is to transform the Afghan battlefield—dust and boredom and jolts of explosive violence—into the backdrop for a metaphysical thriller. Jérémie Renier stars as a French army commander who begins to lose the loyalty of his company, as well as his sanity, when soldiers start mysteriously disappearing one by one. Rarely is the madness of war conveyed on screen with such simmering tension and existential fear. Rarely, too, is the ignorance and mistrust between cultures—are the shepherd villagers innocent civilians or Taliban spies?—limned with such poetic insight. A Film Movement release. U.S. Premiere

Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, USA, 2016, 100m
Truly compelling vérité filmmaking requires several key factors to coalesce: intimate access, cinematographic acumen, genuine inquisitiveness, and fascinating subjects. Directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg brilliantly meld these elements to create one of the most engaging and entertaining works of nonfiction film in recent years. A truly 21st-century hybrid of classic documentary techniques and reality-based dramatic storytelling, Weiner follows the mayoral election bid of former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner in 2013, an attempted comeback that, as we all know now, was doomed to failure. By turns Shakespearean in its tragedy (it’s clear that Weiner and his inner circle have real political talent) and Christopher Guest-ian in its comedic portrayal of what devolves into a Waiting for Guffman–esque campaign, this is the perfect political film for our time. A Sundance Selects release.



Shorts Program 1:

Under the Sun / Ri Guang Zhi Xia
Yang Qiu, China, 2015, 19m
Chinese with English subtitles
An incident of random nature entangles two families and brings their plights into sharp focus.

Darius Clark Monroe, USA, 2014, 7m
With an unsettling lyricism all his own, Darius Clark Monroe traces an evocative and elliptical portrait of a dirty deed.

Marte Vold, Norway, 2015, 20m
Norwegian with English subtitles
In seemingly idyllic Oslo, a couple demonstrates the discontents of intimacy with wit and biting honesty. U.S. Premiere

Reluctantly Queer
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/USA, 2016, 8m
In a letter home to his beloved mother, a young Ghanaian man attempts to unpack his queerness in light of her love.

Isabella Morra
Isabel Pagliai, France, 2015, 22m
French with English subtitles
The courtyards of a housing project become a de facto stage on which unsupervised children perform, spreading rumors and shouting insults in an imitation of adulthood. North American Premiere

Short Stay

Short Stay

Shorts Program 2:

The Digger
Ali Cherri, Lebanon/France/UAE, 2015, 24m
Arabic and Pashto with English subtitles
With ritualistic serenity, a lone caretaker maintains ancient graves in the Sharjah Desert long after the bodies are gone. North American Premiere

We All Love the Seashore / Tout le Monde Aime le Bord de la Mer
Keina Espiñeira, Spain, 2016, 16m
French and Pulaar with English subtitles
A poetic distillation of the liminal space of refugees and migrants, developed collaboratively through encounters on the African coast of the Mediterranean. North American Premiere

Of a Few Days
Timothy Fryett, USA, 2016, 14m
On the South Side of Chicago, final touches on one’s journey on Earth are meticulously made in a decades-old community funeral home. North American Premiere

The Park / Le Park
Randa Maroufi, France, 2015, 14m
French and Arabic with English subtitles
A series of tableaux vivants mesmerizingly locate the intersection of public space, inner lives, and social media within an abandoned Casablanca amusement park. U.S. Premiere


February 19, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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