Osaka Asian Film Festival, DeadCenter Film Festival, New York City Independent Film Festival, Worldfest Houston, Greenwich International Film Festival, Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival, Reel HeART International Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, Blue Whiskey Film Festival, Nickel Independent Film Festival
Grand Jury Best Narrative Feature Award – 20th deadCenter Film Festival (USA)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - 11th New York City Independent Film Festival (USA)
BRONZE REMI AWARD - 53rd Worldfest Houston (USA)
Toshiaki Inomata, Toki Koinuma, Hideki Nagai, Itsuki Otaki
Shin Nishimura, Yousuke Sato
Hitoshi Fushimi, Shigehiko Saito
Atshi Gaudi Yamamoto
Middle-aged, solitary photographer Kai (Hideki Nagai) is afraid of women. This doesn’t keep him from shamelessly retouching their photographs when asked; he’s an expert with the Photoshop brush. On a trek in the forest, he encounters Kyoko (Itsuki Otaki), a model strangely perched in a tree with a fresh scar on her chest. Back at the studio, she asks Kai if he can erase the scar in her future photographs. He accepts, and Kyoko’s social media keeps growing. But as time goes, she grows hesitant to show her fans an increasingly manufactured version of herself. Kai feels a rare pang of responsibility, motivated, for the first time, to challenge his perception of women as praying mantis.
A romantic thriller bathed in eerie sunlight, Takeshi Kushida’s WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS is a mysterious and captivating debut, throwing the viewer into an uncertain world of obsession and forgery. And while it faintly recalls the works of Kobo Abe (the wink in the title) or a more romantically inclined De Palma (notice the BLOW OUT-esque sound design), Kushida’s concerns with image-making come across as his own. In a narcissistic, social media-driven world, what does it meant to love others and to love oneself? This results in a potent examination of image-based alienation in our contemporary age or, in the director’s own words, of “the fascination and the passion of two people awakening for the first time to love and empathy”. In our own, it is simply one of the more confident and promising discoveries of the year. – Ariel Esteban Cayer
A lonely office worker in a skyscraper, struggling with anxiety, catches the eye of a window washer. A psychological drama of great finesse.
Obsessive-compulsive misfits Po-ching and Chen Ching seem as perfect as an imperfect pair could be, but will normality derail their love?
They're in love and if Nozomi weren't an inflatable doll, their relationship would be an ideal one. Unique and poignant, a magic-realist meditation.