Interview with “Yan” Director Keisuke Imamura at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020

Yan is the feature debut by Keisuke Imamura, a cinematographer who began his career by teaching himself to shoot independent films while studying at Nihon University’s Department of Fine Arts. After graduation, he apprenticed with KIYO and made his debut as a cinematographer at the age of 24, first with indies before moving on to bigger titles. An early collaboration with the director Michihito Fujii on Kemuri no Machi no Yori Yoki Mirai wa (2012) proved to be the beginning of a fruitful relationship as they would work together again on Tokyo City Girl (2015), Day and Night (2019) and The Journalist (2019). Imamura’s career has encompassed titles as diverse as the drama Phantom Limb (2014) and manga-extravaganza Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (2017).

For his feature debut Yan (review here), Imamura retains the glossy look of his big films but uses it to channel the intimate story of a man discovering his roots and making it as sensuous as possible so we feel his emotions. Tsubame (Long Mizuma) is half-Taiwanese, half-Japanese and living a comfortable existence in Tokyo. However, a request from his father to track down his older brother Ryushin (Takashi Yamanaka) leads to the unearthing of painful memories of a family separation and his own alienation due to his dual-heritage status and the departure of his mother (played by the pop star Hitoto Yo). It’s a universal story that sees Tsubame find peace with himself and connect with a mother he never understood. Imamura sat down after the world premiere of the film at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020 and talked about its background.

This interview was conducted with the help of the translators Keiko Matsushita and Takako Pocklington.

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Heavy Craving 大餓 Dir: Hsieh Pei-ju (2019, Taiwan) [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020]

Heavy Craving    Heavy Craving Film Poster

大餓  Daikatsue

Release Date: June 30th, 2019

Duration: 90 mins.

Director: Hsieh Pei-ju

Writer: Hsieh Pei-ju (Script), 

Starring: Tsai Jia-Yin, Samantha Ko, Yao Chang, Chang En-Wei, Lai Lene, Hsieh Tsu-wu,


One woman’s battle to lose fat forms the basis of this heavy drama that comes wrapped with some light comedy as the weight of societal expectations on the physical appearance of people is skewered.

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POETIC VOICES: A Trip Through the Taiwanese Avant-garde of the 1960s

Presented as part the 2019 Aperture: Asia and Pacific Film Festival, “POETIC VOICES: A Trip Through the Taiwanese Avant-garde of the 1960s” is a collection of four short films that were recently researched and restored by a partnership consisting of the people involved in the making of the original films, the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival curatorial team and the Digital Restoration Department of the Taiwan Film Institute. These films are all fragments of a wider body of experimental works created by artists who were influenced by Western avant-garde movements and eager to make adventurous films of their own whilst living under the control of an authoritarian government. What each of the films do is catch a snapshot of the country and its people during the “Taiwan Miracle”, a period of rapid industrialisation that made the country an economic giant in Asia, just behind Japan. Each film has a unique feel and touches on different aspects of Taiwanese culture and society thus bringing a lost world back to life.

POETIC VOICES A Trip Through the Taiwanese Avant-garde of the 1960s Mountain Film Image

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Asian Film Festival of Dallas

Fans of Asian films in America will be spoiled for choice in July because on the east coast of America there is the 8th annual Japan CUTS film festival which will be held at the Japan Society in New York City. Meanwhile, down south the 13th Asian Film Festival of Dallas will run from July 10th to July 17th with a selection of titles from Japan and Korea, Hong Kong and elsewhere.