Glasgow Film Festival 2021
Dublin International Film Festival 2021
Akaji Maro, Bambi Naka, Masahiro Takashima
Dreams on Fire Inc
Yume has only one dream – to break into the dance world in Japan. She leaves her small town, against her parents' wishes, to move to Tokyo and make her mark in her discipline. She navigates between street dance competitions, hip-hop classes, life in her tiny flat, and the many encounters with colourful characters. All alone in this big city, she also has to take a job as a hostess to help her survive. Far from her initial ambitions, this job may help her to assert herself and gain self-confidence, unless it leads her into a toxic spiral instead.
Director Philippe McKie is a Montrealer who has lived in Japan for the past ten years. A multidisciplinary artist, he has worked in the fashion industry, as a DJ in Tokyo clubs, and has continued to produce short films, several of which were presented at Fantasia (BREAKER and BE MY FIRST). This first feature film is an amalgam of his passions and discoveries in Japan, exploring a wide range of dance and music styles. It is set in the colourful surroundings and stunning iconic locations of Tokyo. Also of note is Bambi Naka, Japan's dance star, who plays her first leading role here.
DREAMS ON FIRE is an electrifying debut feature, a strong and unique homegrown voice making its mark on Japanese cinema. The script uses many of the codes of dance films and infuses them with a unique colour and passion that shines through in every detail. With dynamic direction and rhythmic editing, this is a film tailor-made for the festival audience. Already distributed in Japan, Fantasia is proud to offer the film its North American premiere. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
The legendary Koji Yakusho delivers one of his most moving performances in this repentant yakuza drama by Miwa Nishikawa.
A masterful film with a phenomenal actress, using the codes of the boxing drama to deliver a moving, powerful and hopeful work.
Kin Long Chan
Petty crook Kwan must decide where his loyalties and fortune lie. Drama, suspense, humour and action in the neon-soaked underbelly of Hong Kong.