(Leader and co-producer of EXILE,representative director of LDH)
Comment from HIRO
I'm truly looking forward to working together with Tetsuya Bessho, who has kept this film festival going strong for many years, as well as to the start of a new video project. We of LDH have a hit a major milestone this year with EXILE reaching its 15th anniversary, so we would like to go beyond the scope of a mere music or celebrity agency and bring pure entertainment to the world. I think this film project is a part of that plan. I hope that the various filmmakers will let the music inspire them to create radiant films filled with dreams.
EXILE HIRO Artist and producer. Born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, HIRO made his debut in 1990 as a member of dance and vocal unit 'ZOO'. In 2001 he joined J Soul Brothers and gave them a new name - 'EXILE'. On September 27th the same year he made his debut single with EXILE - 'Your eyes only - Aimai na boku no rinkaku'. In December 2013 he became the first person to win the grand prize of the Japan Record Awards 4 times. He has also won a number of other music awards. He retired from performing with EXILE in 2013. In 2015 he won the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award. What with being the leader and co-producer of EXILE, the representative director of LDH, artist, and a staff leader, HIRO also finding time to daily innovate and challenge the entertainment business with his countless ideas.
Comment from Tetsuya Bessho
A project born out of the thought of making HIRO an international star in the movie world. We are fighting hard to make short films a possibility in the 21st century picture entertainment industry. As we already have the consent of film festival and actor, Director Kawase, we are fighting full speed ahead!
Actor / President of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
Tetsuya Bessho debuted in Hollywood in 1990 with the US-Japan film “Solar Crisis.” Since then he has performed in stage productions such as “Les Miserables,” “Nine the Musical,” and “Urinetown.” He founded Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia in 1999, which he remains the president of, and received an award from the chief of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Furthermore, in 2010 he was recipient of the Iwatani Tokiko Award Encouragement Prize from the Iwatani Tokiko Foundation. Meanwhile, he assumed the position of “Visit Japan Ambassador,” part of a Japan Tourism Agency initiative, and is currently also a member of the expert panel to strengthen content at the Cabinet Secretariat’ s Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, a Goodwill Ambassador to the Qatar Friendship Fund, a City of Yokohama Committee Member, and an EIRN (film classification and rating committee) Commission Councilor. In recent years he has also been appointed as a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan “Japan House” Expert Advisory Council, and as an individual in charge of promotion for “Japan” overseas on behalf of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. He is a Tokyo Brand Ambassador, Recipient of the 63rd Yokohama Culture Award, and in 2015 became a “Native” Ambassador of Shimada City.
Comment from Naomi Kawase
It brings back memories of Kotake's lyrics. The scenery, the lights, the warmth... The lyrics all lead to a new story. This is the 'michiyuki', or 'path' for overcoming country borders and continuing to the horizon. A year passes, and another year.
We are looking forward to the possibilities of this new project which will help connect us to future generations.
Kawase continues to make films in Nara, where she was born and raised.
1989 Graduates from Visual Arts Osaka Professional Total Creative (f.k.a. Osaka Institute of Photography) with a degree in Filmmaking Her independent films “Especially for You” and “Katsumori” premiere at the 1995 Yamagata International Documentary Festival, and attracts attention both locally and internationally
1997 Her theatrical debut “Suzaku” makes her the youngest Camera d’Or recipient at the Cannes Film Festival 2007 Returns to Cannes with “The Mourning Forest,” which wins the Grand Prix
2009 Receives the Carrosse d’Or from the Directors’ Fortnight
2013 Serves as a jurist for Cannes films in competition
2015 Receives the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Minister of Culture
2016 Serves as the President of the CInefondation and Short Films Jury In addition to directing, Kawase produces commercials, writes essays, and continues to express her creativity in boundless forms. She is the executive director of this year’s Nara International Film Festival.
Comment from Masato Odake
It doesn't matter what kind of story it is. When people hear my lyrics, if they can imagine their own story and project that image unto the words...those are the kind of lyrics I want to keep writing. I always keep that in mind when I'm writing songs. Having the world in my lyrics turned into films for this project is like a dream. What kind of tale will the energetic directors and creators weave from my lyrics? I'm looking forward to it so much I can hardly stand it. I'm truly happy to be able to participate in this wonderful project.To all the artists who brought my lyrics to life with their singing and performances, to everyone who heard those lyrics and felt something from them, and to everyone related to this project, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Lyricist & Novelist. From Niigata Prefecture. Graduated from California State University. As a lyricist, he has written and provided a large number of pieces for major artists such as Kyoko Koizumi, Miho Nakayama, Fumiya Fujii, Mika Nakashima, Toshinobu Kubota, EXILE, Sandaime J Soul Brothers, E-girls, and FLOWER. The world view of his unique lyrics also receives passionate support from fans of those artists. He wrote the lyrics for the songs "Unfair World" (performed by Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE), which won the 57th Japan Record Award, and "Hanabi" (performed by Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE), which received first place in Recochoku's "Ranking of Most Moving Songs of 2012."