A bullied young woman finds an unusual path to revenge
Sneak Preview Screening: "Wasabi - Not a Fairy Tale (Fukushu no Wasabi)"
followed by a Q&A with director Hemant Singh and
actors Julian Koike and Keisuke Nomura

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 6:00 pm*
*Please note early start time.

In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan 2024 119 minutes

Written and Directed by: Hemant Singh
Produced by: Nodoka Matsumoto, Hemant Singh
Starring: Julian Koike, Miho Fujiwara, Keisuke Nomura,
Honoka Kawabe, Yuta Inoue, Kohei Mashiba, Kei Ichimura

Film courtesy of Saigate

Tokyo-based Indian director Hemant Singh's "Wasabi - Not a Fairy Tale" punches way above the weight of a low-budget debut in this genre-busting extravaganza of a film. As it opens, the audience is treated to a deeply sensitive portrayal of the relationship between alcoholic mother Motoko (Fujiwara) and daughter Kano (played by the brilliant Julian Koike), whom she depends on for moral (and financial) support.

Just when the audience is lulled into believing they are watching a family drama that is safely chugging along like a train on which they have ridden dozens of times, it's revealed they have been inside a tunnel ascending a hill and the train is, in fact, a roller coaster. But before they have time to realize what’s happening, Singh hurls them down the first drop of a story line that contains enough barrel rolls, corkscrews and loops to give some of the world's craziest roller-coaster hunters the ride of their life.

Following the sudden loss of her mother, Kano is reborn into the hero (anti-hero?) Wasabi, who leads a ragtag team of friends, which includes her mother's boyfriend, Hiro (Nomura) on a path of revenge. Difficult to describe without spoiling the surprise, the film never veers from its central theme of anti-bullying, even as the director whips the story and his characters at neck-breaking speeds through multiple film genres - superhero, crime/thriller and even yakuza (!).

Singh may bring the film safely back to the station by the end, but not all of his characters survive. Like the effects of the adrenaline rush that thrill seekers desire, the audience may get off feeling a bit dizzy, but they'll leave wanting another ride.

Please join us for this sneak preview of "Wasabi - Not a Fairy Tale" before the Japan release on February 9, 2024.

For more (in Japanese and English): https://hemafilms.com/wasabi-en/

Writer, director, producer HEMANT SINGH was born in Uttarakhand, India. His journey in the film industry began when he appeared on (and won!) a Channel V reality show. Moving to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting, he eventually joined the team at the world-renowned post-production studio Prime Focus (now known as DNEG) as an online editor. Moving to Tokyo in 2016, Singh was inspired to write the script for his debut feature during the pandemic lockdown. Wanting to focus on the importance of love and kindness to others during a time that saw so many people becoming isolated, the lockdown provided the time and space to write and develop the script for his first feature film.

Actor JULIAN KOIKE has appeared in numerous stage productions, television commercials, and television shows, including the Netflix Original Drama "Good Morning Call." Her film credits include "Vise" (2019) and "Sampaguita" (2023), which she wrote and directed and in which she stars.

Actor KEISUKE NOMURA has appeared in numerous stage productions, commercials and films, including "Ten Stories" (directed by Ryuya Yamanishi), "Take a Stroll" (directed by Akihiro Toda), "Unfeigned Happy Ending" (directed by Daisuke Matsuo), and "Bolt" (directed by Kaizo Hayashi).  He was a producer of the upcoming "Visitors -Complete Edition-" (directed by Akihiro Toda).

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk 03 3211-3161 or register from below.
All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

- Thomas Ash, Film Committee