Japanese Focus at Show Me Shorts Film Festival 2019
Thursday 29 August 2019
Japan features prominently in the minds of New Zealanders this year with the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The Show Me Shorts Film Festival, too, is bringing Japanese culture into the spotlight by partnering with the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan for this year’s Festival. When Show Me Shorts opens at cinemas across the country on 5 October, audiences in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will get the opportunity to experience a selection of top short films from Japan.
Seven Japanese short films will feature in the Japanese Focus section of the 2019 Show Me Shorts Film Festival, New Zealand’s leading international short film festival. They are Prowler by Toshiharu Yaegashi, The Broom by Yo Kohatsu, Little Miss Sumo by Matt Kay, Boze by Fuyuko Mochizuki,Beard and Raincoat by Kimi Yawata, My Little Goat by Tomoki Misato, and Robu by Kai Hasson.
The seven short films in this collection explore the lives of modern Japanese – their concerns, fears, hopes and dreams. Also animated goats, a comedic search for coins, an obsession with beards, a manga comic book coming to life, a twisted fairy tale, and a documentary about sumo wrestling women. The shorts demonstrate the wide breadth of new filmmaking talent in Japan’s creative sector.
Show Me Shorts, along with the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan are proud to be hosting a delegation of Japanese film industry representatives during the Festival.
Filmmaker Fuyuko Mochizuki will introduce the world premiere of his film Boze at the Japanese Focus launch in Auckland. He will also take part in a pōwhiri welcoming ceremony, the official Opening Night and Awards Ceremony on 5 October, and a moderated Short Film Talk discussing how he made his film. Kimi Yawata will attend Wellington Opening Night, speak about her filmmaking journey at the Short Film Talk and Japanese Focus special events in Wellington, plus other networking events.
The delegation also includes programmer Eiji Shimada from Sapporo International Short Film Festival & Market who will be part of the 2019 Show Me Shorts national awards jury. Sapporo International Short Film Festival is one of Japan and Asia’s largest and most respected showcases of short form cinema.
H.E. Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi, the Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand says, “It is wonderful that Japan’s short films will be showcased for Show Me Shorts. With the ability to draw viewers into the world being portrayed, films are an excellent form of cultural exchange and I am sure that through these short films, people will be able to connect with Japanese culture in a meaningful way. I hope that you will learn, appreciate, and enjoy new aspects of Japan by watching these short films.”
“We’re really excited to be supporting this project,” says Asia New Zealand Foundation arts director Craig
Cooper. “The films that Show Me Shorts have selected perfectly represent the diversity and depth of the
filmmaking coming out of Japan. Audiences will no doubt leave feeling challenged, empowered, joyful or
even unsettled by these cutting-edge works.”
The Japanese Focus section of the programme will screen at Rialto Newmarket in Auckland, Light House Cuba in Wellington and Alice in Christchurch.
There will be special events to launch the premiere of the Japanese Focus short films in Auckland and Wellington:
• 5:45pm for 6:30pm films start on Wednesday 9 October at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket in Auckland. Tickets from www.rialto.co.nz.
• 5:30pm for 6:15pm films start on Wednesday 16 October at Light House Cuba in Wellington. Tickets from www.lighthousecinema.co.nz.
These events will include a pre-screening networking event with complimentary drinks. The films will be introduced by Festival staff and one of the visiting filmmakers will stay for a Q&A after the screening.
Tickets to the Japanese Focus screenings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are now on sale from the cinema websites.
The full programme for the 2019 Show Me Shorts Film Festival will be announced on 12 September.
APPENDIX: FULL LIST OF FILMS
Comedy, 13 mins, Japan
A captivating homeless man searches vigorously for coins under vending machines on a busy street.
Dir/Writ: Toshiharu Yaegashi
Prod: Tatsuo Ito
Drama, 14, Japan
A woman returns to her childhood home to announce her pregnancy. Her mother is delighted, but her father reacts bluntly. The next morning, she finds a handmade broom by her bedside.
Dir/Writ: Yo Kohatsu
Writ: Fukino Kawate
Prod: Ayumi Kondo, Yuya Natsui
Little Miss Sumo
Documentary, 19 mins, Japan, UK
Female sumo wrestlers are forbidden from competing professionally. Women's champion Hiyori confronts obstacles both inside and outside the ring in an attempt to change Japan's national sport.
Dir: Matt Kay
Prod: Didi Mae Hand, Andrew Carver
Documentary, 15 mins, Japan
Within the Tokara Archipelago in Japan, lies the remote island of Akuseki. It's home to 83 residents, and one mysterious visiting deity called Boze.
Dir: Fuyuko Mochizuki
Prod: Yusaku Kanagawa, Josh Povec
Beard and Raincoat
Drama, 12 mins, Japan
When high school girl Kanako touches her boyfriend's brother's beard she can't get that feeling out of her head. It's as if it is burned into her mind and body.
Dir/Writ: Kimi Yawata
Prod: Sunao Nonaka
My Little Goat
Fantasy, 11 mins, Japan
A mother goat rescues her little goats from the wolf's belly. But, she can't find Toruku, her eldest son! Where is Toruku?!
Dir: Tomoki Misato
Prod: Yuich Ito
Science fiction, 19 mins, Japan, USA
Rob is on a four-day quest to find the second issue of his favorite Japanese comic book. His journey introduces him to the world of manga and brings it to life around him.
Dir/Writ: Kai Hasson
Writ: Josh Hallman
Prod: Kenji C Green, Elyse Preiss
- ENDS –
About Show Me Shorts Film Festival
Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust exists to connect New Zealanders with short films and share New Zealand short films with the world. The Trust also creates opportunities for aspiring filmmakers. The resources needed to achieve this are provided by a small staff, supported by dedicated volunteers, industry partners and corporate sponsors. The core of the Trusts work is the annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival. However, the Trust also creates wider opportunities for New Zealand short films to be viewed by audiences outside the festival.
About the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono
The Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono is New Zealand’s leading non-partisan, non-profit
authority on Asia. They provide experiences and resources to help New Zealanders build their knowledge,
skills and confidence to thrive in Asia. Their arts programme aims to make Asia part of mainstream New
Zealand. It supports the presentation of Asian literary, visual, performing and screen arts to New
Zealanders in partnership with New Zealand festivals, galleries and venues. Find out more at
About the Embassy of Japan
The Embassy of Japan in New Zealand, while being the main hub of diplomatic and consular affairs between Japan and New Zealand, also is passionate about cultural exchange between the people of our two countries. With Japanese culture being popular in New Zealand, from food to martial arts, we do our best to support the promotion of Japanese culture in many different areas.