Japanese Films at the Locarno Film Festival 2020 (05th-15th August)

2020 Locarno Film Festival Header

The Locarno Film Festival runs from August 05th to the 15th and they have announced their selection of films. Like last year there are two Japanese films (well, one’s a US-Japan co-production and the other’s a France-Japan co-production) but these are both shorts and were subjects of crowdfunding campaigns. Apparently, you can watch the films online when the festival goes live. Here they are!

Both films are in the Pardi di domani section which is dedicated to finding new talent. Audiences from across the world can watch these films via the Festival’s screening room play.festivalscope.ch. Tickets are already on sale.

Return to Toyama    Return to Toyama Film Poster

フレネルの光Fureneru no Hikari

Release Date: August 05th, 2020

Duration: 24 mins.

Director: Atsushi Hirai

Writer: Atsushi Hirai (Script), 

Starring: Junpei Tanaka, Hisakazu Hirai, Mayuko Hirai, Hiroaki Hirai, Shogo Yamamoto, Yuriko Hirai,

Atsushi Hirai (website) works in France and Japan making short films and it seems that he uses his experience to make this film.

Return to Toyama Film Image 2

Synopsis: After an absence, Takumi returns Toyama, the small port town in northern Japan where his family lives. He has spent time living in France despite his father’s disapproval and now faces his family again after a long absence…

The Chicken  The Chicken Film Poster

Release Date: August 05th, 2020

Duration: 14 mins.

Director: Neo Sora

Writer: Neo Sora (Script), Naoya Shiga (Original Short Story)

Starring: Taiju Naane, Junshin Soga, Sandra Maren Schneider, Alen Chen, Charlie Gillette,

Website IMDB

An adaptation of the short story “An Afternoon On November 3rd” by Naoya Shiga, The Chicken looks at structural violence in daily life through police, access to healthcare, gentrification and other issues that are happening in present-day New York through the lens of being Japanese in America

Synopsis: On an unseasonably hot day in November, Hiro, a young Japanese immigrant in New York City, shows his visiting cousin Kei around the city. The two run into a medical emergency on the street and the situation escalates as they try to help and it makes them consider the ways that their lives are witness to, or complicit in, the structural violence happening all around them…

In the Open Doors section, there is a Vietnamese film with Japanese backing:

Listen, by Min Min Hein –  Myanmar/USA/Japan – 2017

Past coverage:

Japanese Films at the Locarno Film Festival 2019

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