Guest in Focus: Akihiko YANO

In the 2021 edition of the Nippon Connection Film Festival’s NIPPON VISIONS section, we are showing Akihiko YANO’s new feature film YES, YES, YES.

Akihiko YANO was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1985 and studied film at ENBU Seminar under Kazuyoshi KUMAKIRI. He made his directorial debut with his graduation film IMAGINE in 2010. Afterwards he worked in television before shooting independently produced films. His feature-length debut WHITE PALETTE (2013) was awarded the Encouragement Award at the Fukuoka Independent Film Festival. In addition to his work as a director, he is also a photographer. We thank Akihiko YANO for his interview.

YES, YES, YES is a story about losing a beloved family member. This resonates with a lot of people. What do you hope the audience will take away from watching the film?

I hope the viewers will strongly feel their love towards the important people who are close to them right now. I hope you will be aware once again of how precious this life is, that we will all lose someday, and I hope you won’t lose sight of your love.

(Nippon Connection 2021 – Nippon Visions: yes, yes yes by Akihiko YANO)

The film is shot in beautiful and expressive monochrome. It is set in very few locations and concentrates on only four actors and actresses. What were your reasons for these stylistic choices?

I wanted to show the story in a simple way. I chose this style because I want the audience to focus on the story and the cast’s performance, without adding any unnecessary information.

Was there a particular situation that made you want to create a film about loss and grief?

My niece was born. I saw my father and my mother holding my newborn niece. I saw the wrinkles on their hands and faces and felt they were growing old. Seeing my newborn niece and my aging parents together, it looked to me like the cycle of life, and it made me very depressed. I really wanted to turn these feelings and impressions into a film.

Who are your favorite film directors?

That is a very difficult question… I admire lots of directors but the one I like the most, both for his works and as a person, is Takeshi Kitano. However, the director who has influenced my own work the most is Michael Haneke.

Japan 2021, 75 min
Watch the film from June 1 to 6, 2021
at the 21st Nippon Connection Film Festival
Check out the trailer here!

新作映画『yes, yes, yes』は大切な家族を失うことについての物語です。多くの人に響くと思います。この作品を観た観客の方に、何を感じ取ってくれることを願っていますか。

今、身近にいる大切な方々に対して、愛を感じて欲しいです。 いつか失われる命を、尊いものだと再確認して、愛を見失わずにいて欲しいです。







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