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Friday, October 09, 2015, 17:00 - 21:30

Special Screening and Q&A in collaboration with TIFF

Special Screening: "Kakekomi (Kakekomi Onna to Kakedashi Otoko)" and Q&A in collaboration with TIFF with director Masato Harada, legendary actress Kirin Kiki,
Japan Now advisor Kohei Ando and TIFF Director General Yasushi Shiina

Friday, October 9  at 5:00 pmKakekomi 4377p
Japan Now panel: 5:00 – 5:45 pm
"Kakekomi" screening: 6:00 – 8:25 pm
In Japanese with English subtitles / Japan, 2015 143 minutes
Q&A session: 8:30 – 9:15 pm

The Film Committee is pleased to welcome our friends at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) as they unveil the initial selections of TIFF's new Japan Now section, and kick it off with a very special English-subtitled screening of "Kakekomi," the early summer blockbuster that marked Masato Harada's first-ever jidaigeki, and his first collaboration with popular actor Yo Oizumi.

Created to showcase outstanding Japanese films from recent and coming months, Japan Now will display the diversity of the domestic film industry, as well as providing a multifaceted look at the country today. The section will also highlight outstanding directors, with special screenings of films to boost their recognition overseas.

The inaugural Director in Focus of Japan Now will be Masato Harada, award-winning helmer of such works as "Bounce Ko Gals," "Climber's High," "Chronicle of My Mother" and "The Emperor in August," which continues to draw crowds to the theaters over a month after opening. Join us for this special opportunity to hear about the plans for Japan Now from TIFF Director General Yasushi Shiina, Programming Advisor Kohei Ando and Masato Harada. They will be joined by legendary actress Kilin Kiki, who won the Japan Academy Award for "Chronicle of My Mother" and also stars in "Kakekomi." Be sure to stay for "Kakekomi" and a Q&A session with the director afterward.

The 28th TIFF will run from October 22 – 31 at Odaiba and Roppongi. The entire festival lineup will be announced on October 29.

"Kakekomi (Kakekomi Onna to Kakedashi Otoko)"
In Japanese with English subtitles / Japan, 2015 143 minutes
Directed by: Masato Harada
Written by: Masato Harada, based on a story by Hisashi Inoue
Produced by: Tadashi Osumi
Starring: Yo Oizumi, Erika Toda, Hikari Mitsushima, Rina Uchiyama, Hana Hizuki, Midoriko Kimura, Katsumi Kiba, Kirin Kiki

Film courtesy of Shochiku
For more (in Japanese):

Who knew that divorce was twice as common in the Edo Period as it is today? (And this is long before women could receive half their husband's pensions!) "Kakekomi" illuminates - with zest, humor and heart - the lives of two completely different women in 1841, when they meet on the road to the Tokeiji temple complex in Kamakura, where they hope to be accepted as "kakekomi" (supplicants) and allowed to register for divorces. Erika Toda is Jogo, an iron-maker who is escaping from her violent husband, and Hikari Mitsushima is O-Gin, mistress of a wealthy merchant whom she suspects of being a murderer. They arrive at the temple gates just as Shinjiro (Yo Oizumi), a novice doctor and nephew of the resident divorce arbitrator (Kirin Kiki), rushes in, on the run from trouble in Edo.

These four, and an exceptional cast filling out an ensemble of colorful characters, bring genuine emotion to a film that encompasses a range of individual stories of marital woe, each tinged with pathos and humor. The women, hailing from every social class, all await the end of their 24 months of safe residence in Tokeiji's nunnery, after which they will receive divorce papers. In the meantime, their men await them on the outside, some with remorse, some with plots to bring the temple down. For anyone who has ever yawned at a period film, "Kakekomi" is for you. It may be filled with more wordplay than swordplay, but there's never a dull moment - and not a single scene that isn't breathtakingly beautiful.

Writer-director MASATO HARADA is highly acclaimed for a range of award-winning films, as well as his roles as villains in Hollywood blockbusters "The Last Samurai" and "Fearless." Among his most well-known works are "Kamikaze Taxi" (1995), "Bounce Ko Gals" (1997), "Jubaku - Spellbound" (1998), "Climber's High" (2008) and "Chronicle of My Mother" (2012). His early-summer release "Kakekomi" and his late-summer "The Emperor in August" have both been box-office hits, as well as being heralded at international festivals.

KIRIN KIKI made a name for herself with many uniquely comedic and eccentric roles on TV, but she slipped into legend when she began anchoring films by Japan's masters. Her role in Hirokazu Kore-eda's 2008 "Still Walking" won her a Best Supporting Actress award at Japan's Oscars, and she also received a Best Actress award for Joji Matsuoka's 2008 "Tokyo Tower - Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad." For Kiki's first collaboration with Masato Harada, "Chronicle of My Mother," she received the Japan Academy Award for Best Actress.

KOHEI ANDO is a professor emeritus at Waseda University, a filmmaker, a producer and a tireless promoter of international collaborations. He began making films under Shuji Terayama and continued creating short art films during a 30-year career with TBS. He has received many awards for his work, from such festivals as Oberhausen, Hawaii and Montreux, and was a pioneer in high-vision filmmaking. Ando's work is in collections at major museums and film libraries in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, and he has been the focus of two French retrospectives.

YASUSHI SHIINA began his career at Sumitomo Corporation Inc., and was appointed Director, General Manager of its Film Division, Asmik in 1991. He became President of Asmik Ace Entertainment in 2000. In 2004, he was named President of Kadokawa Entertainment, and then President of Kadokawa Pictures in 2009. He was appointed a Representative Senior Managing Director of Sumitomo in 2011, and also serves as Director-Executive Advisor of Kadokawa Shoten Co., Ltd. Shiina was named Director General of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF & TIFFCOM) in 2013.

TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF) is the only Japanese film festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).* TIFF started in 1985 as Japan's first major film festival and has grown to become one of the biggest film festivals in Asia. TIFF seeks out excellent films from around the world and brings them to Tokyo, where filmmakers and film fans can enjoy them, meet young filmmakers, and be inspired.

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 film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.         

- Karen Severns, Film Committee

*FIAPF is an international organization that oversees issues related to the film industry and international film festivals.

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