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Tuesday, November 04, 2014, 19:00 - 21:30

Sneak Preview Screening: "FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS (Fukufukuso no Fukuchan)"
followed by a Q&A with star Miyuki Oshima, director Yosuke Fujita and producer Adam Torel

Tuesday, November 4 at 7:00 pm11042014 FUKU-CHAN OF FUKU FUKU FLATS 2570p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2014 110 minutes  

Writer-director: Yosuke Fujita
Producers: Naoko Arai, Keiko Fujimura, Adam Torel
Coproducers: James Liu, Sabrina Baracetti & Thomas Bertacche, Stephan Holl
Starring: Miyuki Oshima, Asami Mizukawa, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Tateto Serizawa,
Asato Iida, Kami Hiraiwa, Toshiyuki Kitami, Kanji Furutachi, Maho Yamada, Mei Kurokawa

Film courtesy of Phantom Films            

No one can make an audience love a loser the way Yosuke Fujita can. His "Fine, Totally Fine" ("Zenzen Daijobu," 2008) was a deadpan delight about two sadsack best friends who fall for the same klutzy girl, punctuated by outlandishly ghoulish pranks. Thoroughly charming and exceptionally funny, it had a wildly successful ride on the international festival circuit, scooping up numerous awards and several foreign distribution deals.

Fujita's long-awaited follow-up, the equally offbeat "Fuku-Chan of FukuFuku Flats," has been rapturously received overseas, sweeping up prizes from Udine to Montreal, where it won the Best Actress award for Miyuki Oshima (convincingly cross-dressed). Disproving the old saw that comedy is the most difficult genre for crossing borders, the film is already set for release in half a dozen countries, an unprecedented feat for a small Japanese film without Kurosawa or Miike at the helm.

But "Fuku-Chan" has already made history: marking the first-ever Japan-UK-Italy-Taiwan-Germany coproduction, it was backed from the script stage by veteran distributors of Asian film who are hoping to "change the entire playing field and help Japanese non-genre and independent films reach the largest international audience possible."

They've chosen an appropriate story, bittersweet and surreal in equal measure. Tatsuo Fukuda (Oshima) - "Fuku-chan" to his friends - paints buildings by day and beautiful kites by night. But his greatest artistry is reserved for mediating disputes and helping those in need. The misfits in his rundown apartment house keep his loneliness at bay, and his pal Shinmachi (Arakawa, lovable oddball star of "Fine, Totally Fine") tries to light a fire under his love life. But his timidity around women is downright unnatural until one day, when a budding photographer named Chiho (Mizukawa) reenters his life, and we learn the painful truth about his junior high days. Will Chiho heal his wounds or cause further heartbreak…?

Find out by joining us for this sneak preview screening of "Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats" before the film opens in Tokyo on November 8.

For more (in Japanese): http://fukuchan-movie.com/

MIYUKI OSHIMA formed the popular comedy trio Morisanchu with Kazuko Kurosawa and Tomoko Murakami in 1998 and has become an absolutely ubiquitous presence in Japan. She appears regularly on numerous television variety shows, and is also active in film, TV dramas, music and commercials. Her major film roles include "Gu Gu the Cat" (2008), "The Handsome Suit" (2008) and "Miss Kurosawa" (2010). Like Fuku-chan, Oshima was herself bullied in junior high school, but credits the experience with leading her to comedy. "Fuku-Chan" marks her first lead role in a film, and she hopes to become the first actress to win a Best Actor award for her effort.

While still a student, YOSUKE FUJITA won the Grand Prize in the 8mm category at the 1987 Torino Film Festival for his short film "A Terrible Tiger." In 1990, he won the Image Forum Festival's Special Jury Prize for "Kurage Tsuri," and went on to create video segments for theater troupe Otona Keikaku's stage productions, as well as codirecting their play "Saru de Iku" in 1992. Fujita's 2008 feature debut "Fine, Totally Fine" won numerous festival awards and sold over 4,000 DVDs in the UK alone. He has directed the cult movie "Inu-teki" and the TV drama "Saba" (2008), both starring Yoshiyoshi Arakawa; "Mimizu Hime" (2009), a straight-to-DVD work starring comedian Miyuki Torii; and "Cheer Girls," starring Nanami Sakuraba, part of the omnibus film "Quirky Guys and Girls" (2012).

Producer ADAM TOREL is the head of Third Window Films, the UK's leading distributor of contemporary Asian cinema. Focusing on bringing directors with unique visions to wider audiences, the company has been largely responsible for boosting the international presence of directors such as Sion Sono, Tetsuya Nakashima, Satoshi Miki and Yoshihiro Nakamura, among others. Third Window Films also programs many Japanese titles for such UK film festivals as Raindance, Terracotta, East Winds and Aberdeen. Torel's first coproduction was Sono's award-winning "The Land of Hope" in 2012.

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive. All movie screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

- Karen Severns, Movie Committee

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