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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The opening of Skip City International D-Cinema Festival 2010

Went to the opening ceremony of Skip City International D-Cinema Festival 2010. My short film, KINGYO, is in competition. 10 shorts were in competition, it's supposed to be a domestic competition for Japanese shorts only, KINGYO was a Japanese short, but its director ain't a Japanese, so that makes me the token foreigner among the nominees, awesome!

I was actually late, missed all of the opening speeches from the ceremony, but I arrived just in time to be introduced on-stage. When I walked into the place, the conversation between me and the staffer was like that:

Her: You're late!
Me: I knowwww, missed the bus!
Her: Never mind, they've only just started introducing the directors!
Me: OH! The directors will be introduced??

At the opening ceremony of the Skip City D-cinema Film Fest 2010

Group photo of Skip City D-cinema Film Fest 2010

After the group photo with the other directors and the jury members. Legendary director Yoji Yamada came out to present the digitally remastered version of his 1977 film, THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF 『幸福の黄色いハンカチ』.


It's the Best Picture winner of the inaugural Japan Academy Awards (while also winning Best Director and Best Screenplay for Yoji Yamada, Best Actor for Ken Takakura, Best Supporting Actor for Tetsuya Takeda and Best Supporting Actress for Kaori Momoi... it was a sweep)

Yoji Yamada before the screening of Yellow Hankerchief

The trailer of the digitally remastered film.

(click here if you can't see embedded video)

It's the first time I've ever seen the film, and not knowing much about it, I was surprised by how entertaining and funny it actually was. It's a very heartwarming, feel-good film that had most people around me crying.

The film was actually recently remade in the US and was released earlier this year. US version starred William Hurt in the Ken Takakura role, Kristen Stewart in the Kaori Momoi role and Eddie Redmayne in the Tetsuya Takeda role.


This is the trailer of the US version.

Click here if can't see embedded video

We headed off to the party.

Click here if can't see embedded video

With DEAR KUMASHIRO director Takano Toru and his lead actor J. Hashiguchi. Toru's only 22, youngest among the bunch. When I was his age 4 years ago, I was still languishing in obscurity (... well, technically I'm still pretty obscure now, but perhaps slightly less than I was back then?)

With DEAR KUMASHIRO director Takano Toru and his lead actor J. Hashiguchi

Hashiguchi again, but with Norihori Niwatsukino, director of STRAWBERRY JAM, which is also currently in competition at the ongoing Pia Film Festival.

With Hashiguchi and STRAWBERRY JAM director Norihiro Niwatsukino

After that, jury members were asked to officiate the opening of the film festival.

Jury members officiating opening of Skip City Film Fest

Roger Garcia and others looking awesome

Video link

And then, a toast. You can see me toasting with the rest of the directors in the short film section.

Video link

We were then asked to go on-stage again. I asked my bud Roger Garcia to help take photos of me. (He's serving as jury member for the feature-length competition)

I went out of control with my camwhoring.

Me going onstage during the opening party

Yay! I'm in Skip City D-Cinema Film Fest 2010!

Directors of the short films in competition. Skip City D-Cinema Film Fest 2010

Director Lisa Takeba was asked to give an impromptu speech on our behalf.

Director Lisa Takeba giving a speech (while I pose)

Director Lisa Takeba giving a speech (while I pose) 2

Silly, I know.

Lisa Takeba finishes her speech

Even the guy next to me disapproved my methods.

Having fun with the limelight

With model and actress of the short film Karakuri, Hitomi Katayama 片山瞳.

With actress/ model Hitomi Katayama

Then I headed home with the cast and crew of Seesaw, the Japanese feature-length film in competition.

Actresses of Seesaw, Maki Murakami (the right one) and Sora. Sora is actually a singer-songwriter, but she has some fabulous photos on her Flickr account. (she's a fellow Canon user)

Actresses of Seesaw, Maki Murakami and Sora

KINGYO is screening on the 27th and 31st of July, I'll be there for the Q and A sessions. I hope I'll be able to catch some other films too.