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.

YES, YES, YES
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。

この作品は美しく豊かなモノクロで撮影されています。また、舞台となる場所はとても少なく、四人の俳優に焦点をあてています。これらのスタイルを選択された理由は何ですか。

とにかく、シンプルに物語を観せたかったです。あまり余計な情報を詰め込まず、ストーリーと俳優陣の演技に集中してもらいたいと思い、このスタイルを選択しました。

喪失や悲しみをテーマにした映画を作りたいと思われたのは、何か特別なきっかけがあったからですか。

姪っ子が産まれました。産まれたての姪を抱く、私の父と母の顔や手には皺があり、老いを感じました。産まれたての姪っ子と、老いていく父と母。まるで、命のサイクルを見ているかのような感覚になり、酷く落ち込みました。この感情、感覚を、どうしても映画にして吐き出したかったです。

一番好きな監督を教えて下さい。

非常に難しい質問ですね、、、。尊敬する監督は沢山いるのですが、作品も、人間的にも一番好きな監督は、北野武監督です。しかし、私が一番映画造りの参考にしている監督はミヒャエル・ハネケ監督です。

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