By Ibarra C. Mateo
The Japan Foundation Manila is screening two films by two award-winning Japanese directors as part of the 2020 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival which runs on Aug. 7 to 16, 2020.
Hiroaki Uesugi, Japan Foundation Manila director, said Tomoki Misato’s “My Little Goat” and Masanao Kawajiri’s “A Japanese Boy Who Draws” are joining films by Filipino directors at this year’s Cinemalaya.
My Little Goat won in the 2019 Short Shorts Film Festival and in the Asia 2019 Best Short Award (Japan Competition). A Japanese Boy Who Draws also won in the 2019 Short Shorts Film Festival and the Asia 2019 (Japan) Japan Competition Audience Award.
During the press launch of the 2020 Cinemalaya, Uesugi said the Japan Foundation’s participation in Cinemalaya is under their partnership as allied festivals.
Under the Cinemalaya and Japanese Film Festival (Eiga Sai) partnership, Japanese films are given a place of honor by screening them at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Japanese directors, who visit Manila, are also afforded the opportunity to interact directly with the Filipino audience.
However, given the Covid19 pandemic, the Japanese films will be screened online.
Uesugi told the online media event the Cinemalaya and Eiga Sai cooperation aims to increase awareness and understanding of Japanese films among Filipinos and Cinemalaya fans.
“Many Fiiipinos are looking forward to watching Cinemalaya films. Personally, I have been watching Cinemalaya films, which I really enjoyed. It is a pity that there will be no big cinema screening this year,” Uesugi said.
“However, in spite of this difficult situation, I am very happy that Cinemalaya will push through in the form of online film festival,” Uesugi said.
My Little Goat
My Little Goat is stop-motion animation using imagery to consistently engaged viewers.
The story is about a mother goat rescuing her kids from the belly of a wolf. But her eldest son Toruku is missing.
One day, Toruku returns home and has to confront his own fears as well as the disfigured bodies of his brothers and sisters.
As the wolf once again approaches, secrets of Toruku’s absence come to light as the flock fights for survival.
A Japanese Boy Who Draws
This film is an experimental animation-documentary depicting the life of a man who dreams to be a comic writer, told alongside the imagery that develops with him.
Tomoki Misato was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1992 and graduated from the Musashino Art University, Department of Visual Communication with a degree in design in 2016.
In 2018, Misato received his master’s degree from the Department of Animation of the Tokyo University of the Arts – Graduate School of Film and New Media. In 2019, he became an awardee for Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia 2019 Best Short Award (Japan Competition).
Masanao Kawajiri was born in Kagoshima in 1987. During his studies at the Osaka University of Arts, he was especially inspired by the animator Keiichi Hara, who led him into the world of animation.
After working at an animation studio, he founded his own film production company and had worked on projects such as “Summer of Nipponitesu” and “Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3.”
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