Maki Sakai: Born in Tokyo on May 17, 1970. In 1992, she made her debut as an actress on the Fuji TV drama, “The 90 Days Tottenham Pub.” Since her first movie appearance in 1996 in the movie “Yuri,” she has appeared in many movies, TV dramas and stage plays. In 2009, she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 18th Japan Film Critics Awards and the Special Award at the 23rd Takasaki Film Festival “United Red Army.” Her ｍajor movies include “461 Days of Bento” (20), “How to die without pain,” “Brothers in Brothel,” “The Method of Repulsing the Dove,” “Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai”(21), “I Am What I Am”(22). In 2023, she will appear in “Lost Care,” “Father of the Galactic Railroad,” “Escaped Dream,” “The Water Flows to the Sea” and “Falling in Spring.”
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 1990, he attracted attention in the drama “High School Doodle 2,” and received the Japan Academy Award for Best Newcomer Award and Topic Award for “School,” “Guru Tanjou.” “Where is the Moon?” (95) and CURE (97) also won the Best Supporting Actor Award. Recent appearances include “Fukushima 50” (20), “Shimamori Tower” and “Even if this love disappears from the world tonight” (both 22). “With Love from Spice” and “Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia” will be released in June.
Film director / screenwriter
After graduating from university, she got worked for a company before attending the Film School of Tokyo. Her graduation project “Chiemi-chan to Kokkun Paccho” was well received. She won the 2007 Japan Film Directors Guild Newcomer Award for her first medium-length film “German + Rain.” In 2009, she made her commercial film debut with “Bare Essence of Life” starring Kenichi Matsuyama. Recently she has also directed TV dramas including “The Supporting Actors” and “Kasumi Arimura’s Filming Break.” In 2021, the movie “Ito” set in Aomori was released. The film won both the Audience Award and the Grand Prix at the 16th Osaka Asian Film Festival along with many other awards. Due in August 2023, she will be directing several episodes of “Seasonless City” distributed on Disney Plus. Currently preparing a feature film.
Debuted as film director with the “Pyuupiru” (2011) about a contemporary artist who was a friend for many years. Received the 56th Japan Film Directors Guild Newcomer Award for his first feature film “Pieta in the Toilet” (2015). THE YELLOW MONKEY documentary film “Ototoki” (17). Haruki Murakami’s “Hanalei Bay” (18). Published “Pure Japanese” in 2022.
As a short film, “Utamonogatari -CINEMA FIGHTERS-” project “Canary.” “Asian Three-Fold Mirror” Project 2nd “Hekishu.” CINEMA FIGHTERS project – “On The Way” in the works.
Latest film “The Egoist,” which was released in February, has received critical raves at the 16th Asian Film Awards, as well as film festivals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy, and other countries.
Adam Torel is the head of Third Window Films, the UK’s leading distributor of Asian contemporary cinema and has distributed over 100 films in the UK, as well as handling world sales for many more including the worldwide smash hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’. Adam Torel has also produced and co-produced a few Japanese films including Sion Sono’s ‘The Land of Hope’, Yosuke Fujita’s ‘Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats’, Eiji Uchida’s ‘Lowlife Love’ and ‘Love & Other Cults’, plus Macoto Tezka’s ‘Tezuka’s Barbara’.
Born September 25, 1981 in Okayama Prefecture. Received the 62nd Blue Ribbon Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in the movies “Typhoon Family” (2019) and “Hitoyo” (19). Recently she has expanded her work into film production. The movie “The Drop” (Producer – 2023), TV Tokyo’s “Kanzen ni tsunda Ichiko wa mō karisuma ni naru shika naino” (Executive Producer). She also produced the short film “LAYERS” which was selected as an official selection at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2022.
Born in Tokyo, 1976. Works in the world of words and sounds, mainly writing essays, translating, writing lyrics, music unit “sighboat,” narration, acting, etc. Studied in Japan, the United States, Switzerland, and France. Mother of three. Her books include Paper Movie New Edition (Asahi Publishing), Kaikenki and BROOCH (both published by Little More). Translations of picture books: Important Things (Froebel-Kan) and Father and Daughter : Kishibe no hutari (Kumon Publishing). Film appearances include “Tokyo Tower ~Okan, Me, and sometimes Oton~,” “Waga Haha no Ki,” “Blue Wind Blows,” and “Wandering Moon.” Narrator of E-tele program “no art, no life” (every Sunday from 8:55).
Global Media Executive
Douglas is a 20+ year media and retail executive. During this time, he worked for Walmart Stores integrating newly acquired overseas retail. After this, Montgomery worked 15 years for Warner Bros. in 3 different countries (U.S., Japan, and U.K.) as a strategic advisor for both WB management and major partners. Additionally, he was the Chairman of the 114-year-old Japan America Society of Southern California, which honored Marie Kondo and Shohei Ohtani as “International Citizens”. In 2021, Douglas founded “Global Connects Media”, where he serves as President and CEO. Global Connects Media aids its clients in gaining access to the world entertainment and retail market.
Douglas co-founded and produced “Global Stage Hollywood” Film Festival, focused on providing a platform in Hollywood for diverse groups from around the world. Montgomery also produced and curated the 2021 Taiwan Biennial Film Festival (both in-person and on-line) and served as a judge for the inaugural Ceylon Film Festival 2022 held in Santa Barbara.
Douglas earned an MBA (Dean’s List) from the University of Southern California. Prior to USC, Douglas completed a BComm from the University of Alberta. Douglas splits his time between Los Angeles and Tokyo, Japan.
In 2012, while studying philosophy at Sophia University, she self-taught and directed the film “That girl is dancing on the beach.” In 2016, the movie “Drowning Knife” sold 600,000 tickets, setting an unprecedented box office record for a film directed by a woman in her 20s. Sales were made in over 10 countries. In 2018, she fully planned and produced her first film, “21st Century Girls,” an omnibus with stories based on the fluidity of gender or sexuality.” The film was a special selection and screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival. In 2021, she will be the showrunner and director of her first TV drama “To live or die or father.” She has worked on music videos for many artists including the RADWIMPS, Nogizaka46, and “back number,” as well as advertising videos for major companies. She has a reputation for fresh visual expression that transcends genres.
Born January 12, 1991, Kanagawa Prefecture. After debuting as an actor in the drama “Clone Baby” (TBS) in 2010, he has appeared in numerous dramas, movies, and on the stage.
He appears in the MBS/TBS drama “Tomorrow, I am Someone’s Kanojo – Season 2,” which is broadcasting from May 2nd. “Sorry for the delay, see you later” also due to be released. Serving as a navigator on J-WAVE radio program “ALL GOOD FRIDAY,” which is being broadcast live every Friday at 11:30.
Born in Gifu Prefecture. After graduating from the Department of Design at Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts, she joined the animation production company Madhouse. Participated in various works as storyboardist and director through production. In 2012, she directed her first TV series with “BTOOOM!” As storyboardist and director – TV “Chihayafuru” series (2011, 2013, 2019), “My Story!!” (2015), “No Game No Life” (2014), “Hanayamata” (2014), “Prince of Stride” (2016), theatrical – “No Game No Life Zero” (2017), and many others. Her latest work as director is the feature-length animation work “Kin no Kuni Mizu no Kuni” released in the spring of 2023.
President, Digital Hollywood University (Ph.D. in Engineering)
Born in Tokyo, 1954. Worked as a visiting researcher at MIT Media Lab for 3 years from 1987. After working as the chief researcher at the International Media Research Foundation in 1990 and a full-time instructor at Nihon University Junior College in 1993, established Digital Hollywood Co., LTD. in October, 1994. Opened Digital Hollywood Graduate School (Graduate School of Digital Content) in 2004 which is the first graduate school for specialists run by a corporation in Japan. Opened Digital Hollywood University (School of Digital Communications) in the following year and currently serving as the President of the University.
The e-book “Digital Stream- Re-Designing the Future” (new edition) was published in March 2022.
Chief Jury: Yasuhito Tachibana
Representative of Nemeton / Drama Producer
President of production company “Nemeton.” After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 2001, joined USEN CORPORATION. After working for Dremax Television (now TBS Sparkle), established Nemeton in 2018. Main productions include the hit Netflix show “Naked Director,” “Oh My Jump!” In addition to documentary production for “Jonetsu Tairiku” and stage production for “Akatsuki no Mikado” and “Clover with Love,” he also presides over WorldView Research Institute and Story Lab.
Born in Tokyo in 1982. Studied in high school abroad in England and graduated from the Faculty of Arts, University of London. He then studied filmmaking in New York, worked as an assistant director, and made his debut as a director and screenwriter with “Kakera” in 2010. In 2011, he released his first full-length novel, “0. 5 mm,” which he directed, wrote the screenplay, and made into a movie in 2014. The film won many awards, including the Best Picture Award at the 39th Hochi Film Award, the Best Screenplay Award at the 69th Mainichi Film Concours, and the Best Director Award at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival.
In 2023, the “Kinema Museum,” centered on the theme of emotions and culture through movies, is scheduled to open in the heart of Kochi City as well as current preparations for a film festival in Kochi Prefecture to spread local cultures throughout the nation.
TITAN CO., LTD. CEO
Born in Tokyo in 1964. After graduating from high school, she worked as a magazine model before becoming a TV personality.
In 1990, she married Hikaru Ota of “Bakusho Mondai” fame, who was also a member of the same production company.
The following year, in 1991, she established the entertainment production company Titan, which was incorporated in 1993 and became its president.
Currently, as president, she is busy with a roster of talent, writers, and employees, and also serves as chairman of “Titan’s School.”
Her books include “When I Was a ‘Ningyohime” (Shueisha International), “Okusama wa Boss” (Bunshun Bunko), “Joshi Boss no Elegant and Radical Everyday” (Yamato Shobo), and “Dokuritsu” (Kinobooks).
NewsPicks Studios Board Member / Chief Producer
Established NewsPicks shows such as “The UPDATE” “OFFRECO,” “2 Sides,” etc. After graduating from Waseda University, she joined Toshiba EMI and was in charge of media promotion for the international music division. Moved to the United States in 2008 and became a director for TV Tokyo’s NY branch office. She conducted an interview with Elon Musk, the CEO of SPACEX, and covered news related to major IT companies and the US economy. She was in charge of Forbes Japan’s coverage in Florida, and co-authored articles related to football player Keisuke Honda and actor Will Smith’s Dreamers Fund. After spending 10 years in the US, she returned to Japan and is now a mother of two children.
Executive Officer, International Chief Creative Officer, Hakuhodo / Director, Executive Creative Director, Hakuhodo Kettle
At Hakuhodo, he developed a style that integrates everything from strategy to execution, and established Hakuhodo Kettle in 2006. Producing innovative campaigns and branded content as Co-CEO and ECD. Since 2017, he has been traveling around the world as Chief Creative Officer leading the global business of Hakuhodo Headquarters. He has won more than 150 domestic and international advertising awards, including 10 grand prizes, and has over 30 years of experience judging international advertising awards including Cannes. Most recently, he served as chairman of the jury for film at the London International Advertising Awards and chairman for branded content at the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival. Co-authored “Breakthrough Inspiration is Born from Logic.”
Growth Officer / Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Group Inc.
He was In charge of advertising campaigns such as JR “Ikuze, Tohoku,” Suntory “Orangina,” P&G “Laundry Daimyo,” Iris Ohyama “Kaname Honesty.” Many domestic and international awards, including two Creators of the Year awards. He also worked on the novel “Auto Reverse” and the picture book “Makkuro.” Selected for 2023 Cannes Film Festival Competition. Co-wrote and produced “PERFECTDAYS” directed by Wim Wenders.
Forbes JAPAN Head editor / Linkties Co. Director
Forbes JAPAN Head editor. His book Fukui Model: The Future Begins in the Region (Bungeishunju) was nominated for the 2015 Shincho Documentary Award. In 2016, the Korean version was released, and it was ranked first in the “Book of 2016″ selected by the book reviewers of Korea Ohmy News. In 2017, it was selected as one of the 20 recommended books for university students by the Korea Publishing Culture Agency.”
President & Executive Producer of Plan Be, Inc.
Mr. Besher is a passionate DE&I activist based in Japan. He is currently President & Executive Producer of Plan Be, Inc., a communication planning, content marketing, film produciton, and management consulting firm. Previously, he served as a Director of Branded Entertainment and Sports Marketing at Coca-Cola Japan Company, where he produced branded content in various formats such as film, music, TV programs, and global events such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.