New York Japan CineFest Part 2

Article by William Kustiono
Photo credit by Niko

The short films presented for New York Japan CineFest: Program 2 and Program 3 was selected from the 7th Sapporo Short Fest in 2012. The eight films introduced offered originality in both subject matter and style. Some meditated on serious issues such as the transience of life, horror of war, and aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Others offered humor and happiness towards absurdity in daily life. Together they provide a glimpse of Japanese culture.


This animated movie presents the formation of Japanese verses. It is directed by Akihito Izuhara, This film has won Sapporo Film Festival’s Best Original Score.


This film portrays a women’s life in role-playing and the change of clothes, from a maid café outfit to a schoolgirl’s uniform. The film is directed by Isamu Hirabayashi.


663114 is film the life story of a 66-year old cicada from his point of view. He shares of his determination to survive the natural environment which poses a great danger for his survival. The film is directed by Isamu Hirabayashi.


This is the story of four people who participates in a ten-minute psychological experiment for a reward of one hundred thousand yen. If the participants are able to complete the experiment, they will receive their reward. The film is directed by Albert Ventura. This film has won Sapporo Film Festival’s Best Screenplay.

Soldier School

Solider School is an animated film about a soldier school during the World War 2. The protagonist discovers the hidden agenda of the school and becomes overwhelmed with fear of war. He decides to pursue his dream of attending college. The film is directed by Saya Ito.


The story is about an isolated schoolgirl named Youko who befriends a new transfer student. The film is directed by Junichi Kanai. It has won Sapporo Film Festival’s Best Director, and Best National Short


It is a film about a recently unemployed man who finds his life dull and meaningless. As the man continues to grow resentful of his life and a note was “sent by God”. The film is directed by Dean Yamada.


Miyoko is about the life of a manga artist Abe Shinichi, who turned his relationship with his girlfriend Miyoko into a graphic novel. Miyoko is a beautiful woman who often models for Shinichi. After becoming lovers and getting married, she continues to pose for his drawings. She soon became the center figure in a series in adult comic stories published in the magazine, Garo. The film is directed by Yoshifumi Tsubota.

The overall New York Japan CineFest was a success and attracted many audiences from various places, not limited to Asian people. The films presented in the festival successfully portrayed the Japanese culture in the film-making and included New York’s vast cultural diversity.

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