Short Films at the Nippon Connection Film Festival 2017

Nippon Connection Logo

The Nippon Connection Film Festival takes place from May 23 to 28, 2017 and it will be held in Frankfurt am Main. The organisers released details of the 100+ short and feature length films that will be screened and there are many top titles that audiences can see to get a perfect snapshot of the myriad of stories and talents that the Japanese film industry is producing. There are a whole host of premieres and these will be shown in the presence of many directors and actors who will introduce and talk about their work to the audience.

The short film selection offers audiences a chance to see what new and emerging talents on the indie scene are capable of producing when it comes to this short form style of cinema. Many of these filmmakers have seen their films travel to other festivals and it looks to be a strong selection:

TKY2015 Short Film Series

Website

Six filmmakers use the camera lens to capture different views of Tokyo in the TKY2015 Short Film Series. The folks at Nippon Connection say that this collection of films “presents a variety of perspectives on the people and lifestyles of this unique city.”

Skip City Shorts

Since its founding in 2004, the SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL in Saitama has brought the latest in short films from promising Japanese filmmakers. Nippon Connection are presenting four of these films from the 2016 line-up. I have seen one but the others look promising:

PING PANG

ピンパン Pinpan   

Running Time: 15 mins.

Director: Yoichi Tanaka

Writer: Yoichi Tanaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisa Yanagi, Yu Peng, Seitarou Ishibashi, Norizuke Matsukawa, Tateto Serizawa,

IMDB

I saw this one at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017 and talked briefly with the director. It’s a well-shot drama that should and will be expanded into a feature-length film.

Synopsis: A young woman (Elisa Yanagi) who is sexually harassed at her workplace by her seriously creepy boss (Tateto Serizawa). His hands are all over her at the office and she does her best to ignore the. She finds solace by playing ping pong at a club every day after work. She takes out all of her pent-up frustrations on the laminated top of the table, often playing against a ball machine rather than a human being. All she does is practice hard by herself as if she’s trying to escape reality. Change in her life comes following a chance meeting with a Chinese girl thug…

Son of the Bakery

パン屋の息子 Panya no musuko

Running Time: 22 mins.

Director: Shintaro Hihara

Writers: N/A

Starring: Kotaro Shiga, Takenori Kaneko, Machiko Washio, Sakiko Takao, Junko Iijima, Yukari Obikane, Yui Okumoto

Website IMDB

Synopsis from the festival site: A bakery that has been in business for 50 years finally closes its doors today. The father bakes bread and the mother takes care of the customers as they always do. Their estranged son who lives far away suddenly comes home unannounced.

Vanish

Running Time: 18 mins.

Director: Yusuke Hatai

Writers: N/A

Starring: Shinji Matsubayashi, Yasutomo Yamaguchi, Miku Shimura, Shah Haque, Asad Kanie, Kanji Tsuda

Website

Yusuke Hatai works in film, television and advertising and has acted as first director on the film How Selfish I Am (2013). You can find more of his work on his Vimeo page.

Synopsis: When a man whose job is to take care of dead bodies and a secretive man living a solitary life meet, a strange relationship develops and somehow they begin to see hope.

Lies   Lies Film Poster

嘘をついて Uso wo tsuite

Running Time: 25 mins.

Director: Yuji Mitsuhashi

Writers: N/A

Starring: Chikako Tanaka, Takako Nakamura, Kyoko Takahashi, Teruhiko Nobukuni, Kazuyuki Yamazaki, Ayumu Senbokuya, Yo Hirasawa

Website   IMDB

Synopsis: Chieko is an English teacher. Mikako is a mother of one child. Shoko is an inspiring novelist. Three women tell little lies about themselves, but what are the consequences of those little lies?

W04_PingPang_1

You can find out more about the films screened at Skip City by going directly to the website.

Tokyo University of the Arts 

Two feature shorts, made by students and staff members of the Graduate School for Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts, depict the various facets of Japanese family life.

Icarus and the Son

イカロスと息子 Ikarosu to Musuko」

Running Time: 34 mins.

Director: Kohei Sanada

Writers: Kohei Sanada (Screenplay)

Starring: Yurei Yanagi, Yuriko Onuma, Jukiya Kageyama, Roza Yamamoto, Keiko Ono, Teruo Kowata,

IMDB

I saw this at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and I wasn’t a particular fan. It was well-shot but the story fell flat due to an absence of character development, comedy, and credibility. But that’s just my taste and I was a bigger fan of other films. I would be interested in finding out why this rather than Renkon no Yoru was selected.

Synopsis: A father visits the country for the wedding ceremony of his son after having been away from the family. It will be an awkward reunion because the bride is a foreigner who cannot speak Japanese while the mother is a free-spirited woman with no inhibitions. This is the story of an awkward family.

Snake Beneath the Flower Petals

湖底の蛇 Kotei no ja

Running Time: 59 mins.

Director: Rina Tanaka

Writers: Rina Tanaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Chikako Tanaka, Takako Nakamura, Kyoko Takahashi, Teruhiko Nobukuni, Kazuyuki Yamazaki, Ayumu Senbokuya, Yo Hirasawa

Website

Rina Tanaka will be at the screening of this work.

Synopsis: Three generations of women give their views of family life. Yoh is an illustrator whose career doesn’t live up to her hopes. Her mother Yumi is in an unfulfilling marriage. Yoh’s grandmother Kazuko deals with her impending death.

Venues

The events and screenings will take place at the following locations:

Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

Theater Willy Praml in der Naxoshalle

Mal Seh’n Kino

German Film Museum

Die Käs

Ausstellungsraum Eulengasse

Atelierfrankfurt

The festival’s website gives more information on locations and there’s the Google Maps service which is super useful in finding your way around town.

For more, go to the festival website: www.NipponConnection.com.

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