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[REPORT] International directors and cast members share their messages, and young stars charms audience, 6/16, Shidax Culture Hall


This is Shun Mizobuchi, your MC/ reporter for day 4 at SHIDAX CULTURE HALL in Shibuya.

The program for the day was composed of [International Program] and [Asia International & Japan Program] films. Many directors and cast members were generous enough to share their time with the audience for Q&A sessions.

The day began with…

[Asia Internation & Japan Program 2]

“The Last Entry” Jeanette Aw (Director)

As an actress in Singapore herself, Aw explained how the story came from her own experience, except it was the story with her godmother. Like in the film, text messages came after the news of her godmothers’ death, and that was because of bad signal on her phone. Aw also explained how it is really expensive to make such films in Singapore.


“Dead Run” Daishi Kato (Director), Kiyoharu Naruse (Cast), Daisuke Matsumoto (Cast)

Kato came to know of an actual competitive track and field team in Japan through a coverage he had done several years ago, and that inspired him to start the project. Naruse confessed how he “couldn’t grasp what Kato was thinking, and I thought he didn’t like me”. Kato explained how he had a hard time gathering extras for some scenes.

[International Program 4]

“Melon Grab” Andrew Lee (Director)

“I’m sure all of you have had a best friend, and went through situations where you had to part with them for one reason or another. I wanted to express that pure emotion of friendship we all felt”, started Lee. The film was shot in an area in Australia where Lee was brought up, and he put in numerous beautiful landscapes and coloration, so that “people will get a better image of the area I grew up in.”


[Asia International & Japan Program 8]

“Life In Other Words” Abrar Athar (Director)

In this film which portrays an ordinary day of an ordinary family in Bangladesh, Athar sprinkled  elements of his own experience. “The model of the mother in the film was my actual grandmother, who was very caring, and was always thinking about feeding her children,” said Athar. He hopes that people would get a taste of how families are, the cooking, school, and love for cricket, is in Bangladesh.


“Has your senior relative ever asked you that “have you got a lover yet??”” Suebboon Kaewpaluek (Director)

This film was a rare musical movie from Thailand among the lineup. In the answer to the question asked about the music Kaewpaluek made for the movie, he spoke of his musical background how he “had always been in touch with musical instruments” since he was small, and that he has been the music producer for his musical shows at his university. There was a comment made from the audience that “it was the best musical piece I have seen in the last few years”.


“Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex” Yee Wei Chai (Director), Andrew Ng (Cast)

Chai explained how the project started with an offer from a Cable TV station in Singapore. Chai expressed his gratitude to SSFF for screening the film full-size, for the scene where the boy licks his coach’s neck was censored in Singapore. This was Ng’s first time to see the completed film, and said “I am so proud of Yee Wei for making such a wonderful film”.


“A Can of Peach” Shinya Kawakami (Director), Chie Tsuji (Cast), Makoto Shinada (Cast)

Kawakami, who’s normally producing TV commercials, decided to make this film while he was attending a screenplay course. “Though short films are short in length, I feel it gives the audience the leeway to imagine on their own”, said Kawakami. A question was raised regarding the whale-shaped cloud at the end, and Kawakami answered how he got the idea from “obon” the Japanese tradition of welcoming back passed souls in August.

[Asia International & Japan Program 1]


“JIEJIE” Feng-I Fiona Roan (Director), Clifford Miu (Associate Producer), Eva Du (Cast)

Eva, who played the older of the two sisters, joined the session. Eva noted that she was “the younger one” in real life. The idea for the last scene where the sisters join hands to make a bubble came from Roan’s own experience. Roan shared the story of how the pressure for shooting the film was so stressful that she had to seek counseling, and that she was able to quit once the last scene was decided.


“SHINJUKU GIRL” Kana Yamada (Director, Screenplay), Kotoha Hiroyama (Producer, Cast)

There was a question from the audience asking if there were any ad-lib acting, since the movie was basically about a single character who was speaking on her own. The audience was surprised to find out that everything was written on the script. “I asked the cameraman to be sure to include the horse-shaped playground equipment in the frame, because it would let the loneliness of the main character stand out”, said Yamada. There was a scene where Roan (director of “JIEJIE”) praised Yamada stating that “as a woman, I would like to applaud her for the wonderful piece she has made”.


“The Mayor’s New Clothes” Hiroyuki Shintani (Director), Masanori Muroichi (Original Book), Kiyoha Soda (Cast)

Shintani started by answering “I decided the cast with the producer, but didn’t expect for our offers to be accepted. Everyone gave their best for the movie”. For the question asking “being the director, have you ever in the situation where you yourself is the ‘Emperor without clothes’?”, Shintani answered “maybe so”. Muroichi, who wrote the original book, introduced the fact that he got the idea when he was at a bar in Kyoto.


The grand festival continues! Be sure not to miss out on the 20th anniversary celebration of the greatest movie festivals in the world!

Reported by Shun Mizobuchi.
Life is SHORT!