by Chris MaGee
It's been a long road for filmmaker Atsushi Ogata (above left) to make his upcoming feature-length directorial debut, but at the start of next year Ogata's film "Wakiyaku Monogatari" will be getting its premiere at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The film, a romantic coemedy starring Toru Masuoka, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masahiko Tsugawa and Keiko Matsuzaka, tells the story of an actor who has been relegated to small supporting roles for most of his career who falls in love with an up and coming young starlet. It's through this relationship that he begins to see his life and talent in a different light.
Just how long a road has it been for Ogata to get to this point? Quite a long and interesting one. Born ion Japan Ogata came to America and ended up graduating from Harvard. He would go onto a career as a video artist, then a screenwriter, and then as an actor, taking on parts on Dutch television. Ogata ended up making the switch to short narrative films, with his 2007 short "Eternally Yours" (above right), about a con man who preys on the elderly and the old woman who might just outsmart him, gaining worldwide accliam including the Best Short Film Award at the Bangkok International Film Festival.
Ogata is currently putting the finishing touches on "Wakiyaku Monogatari" before it gets its first screening at MoMA at the very beginning of 2010. Thanks to Tokyograph for the details on this story.