Presented by CJLO

Canadian Premiere
Cheval Noir Competition

We Are Little Zombies

Directed by Makoto Nagahisa


Official selection

Sundance 2019, Berlin International Film Festival 2019, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2019, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2019


Sundance Film Festival: World Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality

Berlin International Film Festival: Generation 14plus Special Mention


Makoto Nagahisa


Makoto Nagahisa


Satoshi Mizuno, Sena Nakajima, Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura


NIKKATSU Corporation

Japan 2018 120 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre DramaExperimental

Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi and Takemura, all aged 13, meet by chance at a crematorium. All four have recently lost their parents in absurd circumstances — a car accident, murder, suicide, and an explosion! All four also suffer from the same startling problem: they are unable to feel any emotion about their loss. Faced with uncertain futures and having only one another, the group mutates into a surrogate family amid the ruins of childhood innocence forever lost. From one adventure to the next, they try to find their emotions, until they reinvent themselves completely, donning extravagant outfits and forming a band which might just challenge their deadening malaise and give them a reason to be again. Only one band name could possibly do: they will be called Little Zombies! Soon enough, they are a viral phenomenon taking the country by storm, and quickly attracting the attention of the industry...

The first feature film by the gifted Makoto Nagahisa (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for his short film AND SO WE PUT GOLDFISH IN THE POOL), WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES amazes with its utterly delirious, to-the-max pop sensibility, located somewhere between Hideaki Anno (LOVE & POP), Wes Anderson (MOONRISE KINGDOM), 8-bit videogame culture and J-pop (the iconic style of a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, for example). A veritable cross-section of trends in Japanese popular culture, hyper-contemporary and audaciously edited, embellished with animated sequences and songs that you will stick with you like glue, ZOMBIES marks the arrival of a vital new talent. It’s an incomparable coming-of-age story about grief, authenticity and creativity — impulses so often co-opted by the ruthless world of adults (and packed with cameos from the biggest names in today's Japanese cinema, including Rinko Kikuchi and Sosuke Ikematsu ). – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg