Friday, July 23, 2010

Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2010: Day 1

by Marc Saint-Cyr

Yesterday, the second Shinsedai Cinema Festival got off to a good start at Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. It was refreshing to see so many people out to support this event, which was intended by co-programmers Chris MaGee of the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow and Jasper Sharp of Midnight Eye (who sadly couldn't make it this year due to the recent arrival of his newborn son, Thorin) to be a showcase of independent Japanese films that are seldom seen in North America. As one of the pictures below shows, it was nearly a full house for the opening films. They consisted of animator Akino Kondoh's dazzling, black-, white- and red-hued short "Ladybirds' Requiem," followed by the very touching and funny "Kakera: A Piece of Our Life" from debut director Momoko Ando based upon the Erika Sakurazawa manga "Love Vibes." Many notable guests were in attendance for the films and opening reception, including the JCCC's executive director James Heron, Kondoh, Ando, "Confessions of a Dog" director Gen Takahashi, "Locked Out" director Yasunobu Takahashi, comedian and "Gunman Champion" star Shaq, VCinema Podcast host Jon Jung, who I'll be guest hosting some podcast reviews of the festival with in the days to come, and, most surprisingly, acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta.

Scroll below to check out photos from the event, and stay tuned for more coverage of Shinsedai 2010!

"Gunman Champion" star Shaq

Shaq, Jon Jung of VCinema and "Confessions of a Dog" director Gen Takahashi

JCCC executive director James Heron, "Kakera: A Piece of Our Life" director Momoko Ando and Deepa Mehta

From left to right: Shaq, "Locked Out" director Yasunobu Takahashi, Gen Takahashi, "Ladybirds' Requiem" director Akino Kondoh, Momoko Ando and James Heron

The audience for "Ladybirds' Requiem" and "Kakera: A Piece of Our Life"

Shinsedai co-programmer and Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow editor-in-chief Chris MaGee

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