Japanese Films at the We Are One Global Film Festival

Due to COVID-19, film festivals around the world have had to postpone or cancel events. Then, in April, Tribeca and YouTube announced they were teaming up for a 10-day online festival called We Are One and working together with other festivals to create a digital film festival.

We Are One Film Festival Image

The festival will stream a selection of films online on YouTube for FREE from May 29th to June 07th. There will be 31 features and 72 shorts over 10 days, the titles have been co-curated by over 20 film festivals from across the world, including Annecy, Cannes, London, Venice, Sundance, Berlin, Locarno, Toronto and Tokyo. Viewers can also enjoy virtual talks with directors.

The Japanese content consists of two features and a collection of shorts, including the world premiere of Japanese narrative short “Yalta Conference Online” (image below), which was created exclusively for the festival by director Koji Fukada (Human Comedy Tokyo, Hospitalite, Au revoir l’ete, Harmonium, Sayonara) along with Hirata Oriza and Seinendan as a blackly comic take on the historical event. It will be broadcast on June 01st (link). Here’s my review.

There are more Koji Fukada films included in the festival as well as one by Akiko Ooku, Daigo Matsui and Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, The Night is Short, Walk on Girl). Here are the rest of the titles:

Inabe   Inabe Film Poster

いなべ Inabe

Release Date: November 01st, 2013

Running Time: 38 mins.

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay),

Starring: Hiroaki Matsuda, Ami Kurata, Yui Ito, Koji Nishida, Minami Inoue,

Website IMDB

 This one premieres at June 01st (link). Here’s my review.

Synopsis: Tomohiro hasn’t seen his sister Naoko in 17 years so he is surprised and suspicious when she returns to their home in Inabe with a baby. Despite having to work on a pig farm, when she tells him to help her dig a hole he follows. During their journey through Inabe’s landscape, their childhood memories are brought back and they dig up something else…

East of Jefferson

ジェファソンの東 Jefason no Higashi

Release Date: June 16th, 2018

Running Time: 18 mins.

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay)

Starring: Yuri Ogino, Tatsuya Kawamura, Tsuyoshi Kondo,

Website

This one premieres on May 30th (link). 

Synopsis: This is a short that tells the tale of two men and a woman who meet at a love hotel.

Tremble All You Want  

勝手にふるえてろ 「Katte ni Furue teroTremble All You Want Film Poster

Running Time: 117 mins.

Release Date: December 23rd, 2017

Director: Akiko Ooku

Writer: Akiko Ooku (Screenplay), Risa Wataya (Original Novel)

Starring: Mayu Matsuoka, Daichi Watanabe, Takumi Kitamura, Anna Ishibashi, Kanji Furutachi, Hairi Katagiri,

IMDB Website

A person obsessed with ammonites? How quaint. However, I can’t ready the synopsis for this and not think about the Junji Ito manga Uzumaki. This one was at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2017 (alongside the next film) where it won the Audience Award and it has toured the world. Premieres June 05th (link)

Synopsis: Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka) is 24-years-old with a fairly unique hobby: she likes researching ammonite fossils and collects them. Perhaps this explains why she doesn’t have a boyfriend in her life. Or maybe the lack of a man is down to the fact that she pines for her first love, a guy from school named Ichi. One day, Ni, a guy who works at the same company, confesses his feelings for her.

Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops

アイスと雨音 「Aisu to Amaoto」   Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops Film Poster

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director:  Daigo Matsui

Writer: Daigo Matsui (Screenplay),

Starring: Taketo Tanaka, Guama, Yuzu Aoki, Kokoro Morita, Jotaro Tozuka, Kazumasa Kadoi, Mimori Wakasugi, Reiko Tanaka, Momoha,

IMDB Website JFDB

This one is from Daigo Matsui or How Selfish I Am! (2013) and Japanese Girls Never Die (2016). It premieres June 04th (link). Here’s my review.

Synopsis: In 2017, a stage performance is scheduled in a small town. The young actors are to present British playwright Simon Stephens’s “Morning” for the first time in Japan. The savage play has been attracting attention in the theatre world for its story of a violent act by two best friends. The performance is suddenly cancelled, but one actress suggests they continue rehearsing. For a month, the young actors struggle between reality and fiction, as well as between film and the stage, and their story is captured in a single 74-minute shot. The music of the film is played live in the film by rap group MOROHA.

Happy Machine  Genius Party Film Poster

夢みるキカイYumemiru Kikai

Release Date: July 07th, 2007

Duration: 15 mins.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Writer: Masaaki Yuasa (Script), 

Starring: N/A

Animation Production: Studio 4°C

Website ANN MAL

This was part of an omnibus film called Genius Party (2007) which brought together star directors Shinichiro Watanabe, Shoji Kawamori and Masaaki Yuasa, amongst others, to create a collection of seven individual and unique shorts, each with a different story and style

Synopsis: An infant who was living a happy life in a nursery discovers that their surroundings are fake. An adventure in the rough world outside awaits…

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