Nippon Connection 2018- The Daily Highlights (June 2nd)

Hard to believe, but we’re already at the weekend!  Not too much for today is already sold out, so there are still lots of opportunities to enjoy the many cultural events of movie premiers planned for today!


Special Events:

Film Talks

Today’s Film Talk features Hiroshi TAKAHASHI, screenwriter for the occult classic The Ring and director of this year’s Occult Bolshevism.  Tom Mes will moderate.

Nippon Live: Hatobako

This evening’s concert, provided by a musical duo from Heidelberg, is free of admission.

Panel Discussion: Coproducing Documentary Films with Japan

Our new section NIPPON DOCS represents the ascent of the Japanese documentary, which today belongs to the top exports of Japanese film production with respect to quality content. Yet filmmakers from both the field of documentary and fictional films are equally affected by a lack of funding; little money is available, and it is becoming lesser still.  Our panel discussion focuses on the question if money from abroad can secure the future of Japanese documentaries.  The discussion is in English and attendance is free.

Kendama Workshop

Kendama is a game of skill that has been played in Japan for over 300 years. The concept is simple, but it takes a lot of skill and practice. The tool is composed of a handle (ken) and a ball (dama) connected by a thread. The player has to land the ball on the handle. The specialists of Kendama Europe will show you impressive tricks and allow you to try this addictive game out for yourself.  The workshop is in German.

Learn Productive Work from the Germans

This book presentation from Kan SUMITA will examine how and why differences in German and Japanese work culture contribute to Germans being markedly more efficient and productive than their Japanese counterparts.  The presentation is in Japanese with German translation.

Aikido Workshop

This workshop offers insight into a method of self-defense that values the physical integrity of both attacker and defendant. Participants are kindly asked to bring comfortable clothes. No prior experience needed.  Workshop is in German.

Women Portrayed in Films and Songs

Japanese cinema was in a crisis in the 60s and 70s, but, perhaps because of this, it was a clear mirror of the country’s culture and society at the time. Many modern-day classics, including the filmography of SASORI and Meiko KAJI, reflectively caught the mood of the times. Naoki NIIRA, Managing Director of the Japanese Visualmedia Translation Academy, will also use this presentation to reflect on the music of films made during the “Bubble Economy” of the 1980s.  Admission is free and the lecture will be in Japanese with English translation.

Subtitling Workshop

The subtitling of films involves much more than just literal translation. It’s a unique form of art that requires precision and creativity. Participants in the workshop under the direction of Jonathan M. Hall can take a shot at the production of subtitles. No knowledge of Japanese is needed.


Special Premiers:

The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl by Masaaki YUASA

The second work by director YUASA being shown at the festival will premiere at noon in Mousonturm.

Cyclops by Norichika OBA

Tonight is the international premier for this independent noir-thriller, featured in our Nippon Visions section.

Tokyo University of the Arts: Animation

Over the course of its 120-year history, the Tokyo University of the Arts has helped countless artists to launch their careers. The short films presented here are from students of the Masters program at the Institute for Animated Film in Yokohama and cover a wide variety of styles. Yuichi MATSUMOTO, composer and assistant professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, will guide the audience through the program.

NHK-World Exclusive Screenings

Today’s special documentary screenings by NHK tells the story of the remarkable daughter of the famed Japanese artist, Hokusai.


With Shinobu Terajima attending the festival as our guest of honor, this special screening will allow the uninitiated to experience the remarkable performance that first put her on the cinematic map.


Meet the Guests:

Japan Institute of the Moving Image: Short Docs

The director, cinematographer, and producer of this documentary work will be present for its premiere.

River’s Edge by Isao YUKISADA

This dark, coming-of-age drama, adapted from a 90’s comic strip, will premiere at the Mousonturm tonight, and the film’s director will be in attendance.

Enokida Trading Post by Ken IIZUKA

Both this film’s director, as well as its star actor, Kiyohiko SHIBUKAWA, will be present for this film’s world premiere.

Of Love & Law by Hikaru TODA

TODA herself, as well as her editor and associate producer Takeshi HATA, will attend the screening of their remarkable documentary about a gay lawyer duo managing both their personal and professional relationship.

The Name by Akihiro TODA

The film’s director will attend its German premiere tonight.

Oh Lucy! by Atsuko HIRAYANAGI

We are especially pleased that tonight’s screening of Oh Lucy! will be attended by the film’s leading star and this year’s Nippon Honor Award recipient, Shinobu Terajima.


If You Haven’t Been:

Studio Maky

Studio MAKY is the Rotterdam-based artistic duo Kwannie and Man-Yee.  Their gorgeous installations, including delightful cranes, kois, and cherry flowers floating above your heads, can be seen in the Mousonturm.  Also check out their fantastic interactive furniture setup at our Nippon Lounge in Studio 2: You can arrange the colorful blocks into many different shapes, or use them as chairs to rest.

-Noah Franc

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