New Directions in Japanese Cinema (ndjc) is a programme which has been in operation since 2007 with the express purpose of cultivating talented young filmmakers through putting them together with experienced actors and crews in workshops for the production of a 30-minute narrative short shot on 35mm film. The 2019 selection of shorts are all well-crafted dramas in production terms and deal with themes of either fractured families or the influence of fathers.
サヨナラ家族 「Sayonara Kazoku」
Release Date: March 02nd, 2019
Duration: 29 mins.
Director: Kohei Sanada,
Writer: Kohei Sanada (Screenplay)
Starring: Hoshi Ishida, Toshie Negishi, Yui Murata, Shiori Doi, Kazuhiro Sano, Yosuke Saito,
I first encountered Kohei Sanada’s work at the 2017 edition of the Osaka Asian Film Festival. The title was, Icarus and Son, and its story of a father reconnecting with his son left me cold, not least because the father was unsympathetic and the conclusion of the story too obtuse to actually be moving. Sanada continues to mine father-son relationships in this short film which was the first of the five titles to screen when I saw it at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019.