【Archive】Films 2015

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2015 Guests


Tadanobu Asano

In 2003, he received the Upstream Prize for Best Actor at the 60th Annual Venice Film Festival for his role in the arthouse film Last Life In The Universe directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. He later portrayed a young Genghis Khan in Sergei Bodrov’s film Mongol, which was nominated … read more


Ken Ishii

Pioneering producer, world-renowned DJ and true Nippon national treasure, Ken Ishii needs no introduction. With no more than a demo and a string of 12″es under his belt, the Japanese techno originator played his firstever live set in front of more than 20,000 people right after debuting… read more


Koji Morimoto

Born December 26, 1959 in Wakayama Prefecture. Supervisor and founder of Creative Team phyΦ. He is best known for his works, MAGNETIC ROSE from anime trilogy MEMORIES, EXTRA , Animatrix, and Dimension Bomb. He received the Cannes Cyber Lions Silver… read more


Erik Shirai
Film Director

Erik Shirai is a NYC based cinematographer and filmmaker; he has worked around the world on numerous, narrative features, documentaries and TV shows. His work can be seen on National Geographic, PBS and on the Emmy award winning show No Reservation with Anthony Bourdainread more


Atsuko Hirayanagi
Film Director

Atsuko Hirayanagi is an award-winning filmmaker based in SF. She is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of The Arts, Asia, with an MFA in Film Production, where she received a three year full-merit scholarship from Singapore’s Cathay Organization… read more

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2015 Films


August 7th (Fri), 2015

Opening Night @ The Castro
August 7th (Fri), 2015 8:00pm
co-presented with J-POP SUMMIT

Join the Film Festival and J-POP SUMMIT opening premiere event at the Castro Theatre with the VIP Pass! VIP Pass also includes a weekend pass to J-POP SUMMIT at Fort Mason Center, an exclusive J-POP goody bag and more! Read more details HERE

(2001/55min/English Subtitles/Directed by Sogo Ishii )
Distributed by WOWOW
★ Special Appearance by Tadanobu Asano

Dragon Eye Morrison (played by Tadanobu Asano) is a reptile investigator who suffers from an intermittent explosive disorder caused by brain damage he sustained in a childhood accident… read more

August 8th (Sat), 2015

Aug 8 (Sat), 2015 @ 12:00pm
(2015/146min/English Subtitles/Directed by Masato Harada)

Divorce in the Samurai Age? – During the Edo period, women seeking divorce or fleeing abusive husbands ran to the Tokei-ji Temple in Kamakura. Nobujiro, a young doctor and author, and his aunt Genbei, mistress of the official inn of the temple…
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The Vancouver Asahi
Aug 8 (Sat), 2015 @ 3:00pm
(2013/132min/English Subtitles/Directed by Yuya Ishii)

Based on the true story, the film is set in the 1930s in Vancouver, where there was a baseball team called the Asahi formed by Canadian-born kids of Japanese immigrants growing up in a small Japantown. Struggling with racism and prejudice…
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My Man
(2014/128min/English Subtitles/Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri)
Aug 8 (Sat), 2015 @ 6:00pm
★ Special Appearance by Tadanobu Asano

When loneliness leads to forbidden love, how far will you go? After losing everything in a tsunami disaster, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by a young distant relative Jungo…
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August 9th (Sun), 2015

Space Brothers #0
Aug 9 (Sun), 2015 @ 12:00pm
(2014/90min/English Subtitles/Directed by Ayumu Watanabe)

Space Brothers #0 functions as a great introduction to the TV anime series “Space Brothers” (Sentai Filmworks) based on the popular manga by Chuya Koyama. The film harks back to the origin of the Namba brothers’ dream…
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The World Of Koji Morimoto
Aug 9 (Sun), 2015 @ 1:50pm
(English Subtitles/All directed by Koji Morimoto)
★ Special Appearance by Director Koji Morimoto

-MEMORIES: Magnetic Rose (45min)
Genius Party Beyond: Dimension Bomb (20min)
Noiseman Sound Insect (15min)
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Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi
Aug 9 (Sun), 2015 @ 4:00pm
(2003/116min/English Subtitles/Directed by Takeshi Kitano)

Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi is a 2003 samurai action film, directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi) as Zatoichi. It co-stars Tadanobu Asano, who plays Ronin Hattori, Zatoichi’s mandatory protagonist. The film is a revival of…
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Aug 9 (Sun), 2015 @ 6:30pm
(2014/126min/English Subtitles/Directed by Daihachi Yoshida)

Based on the bestselling novel “Kami No Tsuki (Paper Moon)” by Mitsuyo Kakuta, and directed by Daihachi Yoshida, the critically acclaimed crime drama unfolds around an obedient housewife…
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August 10th (Mon), 2015

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Aug 10 (Mon), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2013/118min/English Subtitles/Directed by Mami Sunada)

Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli – the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki…
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Harajuku Denier
Aug 10 (Mon), 2015 @ 9:20pm
(2015/89min/English Subtitles/Directed by Hideta Takahata)

The story unfolds in Harajuku, the melting pot of Tokyo and the forefront of popular sub-cultures transmitted everywhere. The lives of the young and dream-filled eccentrics intersect. Teenyboppers, narcissists…
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August 11th (Tue), 2015

Little Forest – Summer & Autumn
Aug 11 (Tue), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2014/112min/English Subtitles/Directed by Junichi Mori)

Here comes the farm-to-table film for foodies! Little Forest, Summer&Autumn is a beautiful adaptation of the popular comic by Daisuke Igarashi about a young woman’s self-discovery through farming, cooking, and eating…
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The Wind Rises
Aug 11 (Tue), 2015 @ 9:15pm
(2013/126min/English Subtitles/Hayao Miyazaki)

Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world…
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August 12th (Wed), 2015

Uzumasa Limelight
Aug 12 (Wed), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2014/103min/English Subtitles/Directed by Ken Ochiai)

A nostalgic portrait of kirare-yaku – an actor whose forte is being “cut to death” with a sword in samurai films, Uzumasa Limelight goes behind the scenes of the distinctive film genre. A professional extra named Kamiyama…
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When Marnie Was There
Aug 12 (Wed), 2015 @ 9:00pm
(2014/103min/English Subtitles/Hiromasa Yonebayashi)

The newest feature from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli is a sweeping story of friendship, mystery and discovery that delivers breathtaking animation that only Ghibli can. When shy and artistic Anna moves to the seaside…
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August 13th (Thu), 2015

The Case of Hana and Alice
Aug 13 (Thu), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2015/110min/English Subtitles/Directed by Shunji Iwai)

Directed by multi-faceted filmmaker Shunji Iwai, The Case of Hana & Alice follows Tetsuko Arisugawa (a.k.a. Alice), a transfer student to Ishinomori Middle School. She hears a strange rumor about the murder case in school…
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Have a Song on Your Lips
Aug 13 (Thu), 2015 @ 9:00pm
(2015/132min/English Subtitles/Directed by Takahiro Miki)

This touching school drama unfolds around Yuri Kashiwagi, once known as a piano prodigy, returns to her hometown to work as a temporary music teacher and supervise the chorus members at the middle school…
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August 14th (Fri), 2015

Our Famiy
Aug 14 (Fri), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2014/117min/English Subtitles/Directed by Yuya Ishii)

From the award-winning director of The Great Passage, this honest adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel about a family that pulls together to fight a terminal illness will resonate close to the heart. Reiko’s daydreams and forgetfulness…
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Kabukicho Love Hotel
Aug 14 (Fri), 2015 @ 9:20pm
(2014/135min/English Subtitles/Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki)

Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, known as one of Japan’s leading directors in the erotic fantasy genre known as pinku (pink films), Kabukicho Love Hotel is an erotically charged drama that traces the intersecting stories…
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August 15th (Sat), 2015

100 Yen Love
Aug 15 (Sat), 2015 @ 12:00pm
(2014/113min/English Subtitles/Directed by Masaharu Take)

32-year-old slacker Ichiko lives with her parents until a fight with her disapproving sister escalates: she moves out and starts working at a local 100-yen-shop. One day she meets boxer Yuji, whom she has watched passing by…
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A New Generation of 5 short films

Aug 15 (Sat), 2015 @ 2:30pm (SF Premiere / English Subtitles)
☆ Co-presented by Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
★ Special Appearance by director Atsuko Hirayanagi

Enjoy colorful mix of shorts of comedy and drama that reflect people’s life in Japan with delicate and witty touch…
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The Birth of Saké
(2015/92min/English Subtitles/Directed by Erik Shirai)
Aug 15 (Sat), 2015 @ 4:30pm
★ Special Appearance by director Erik Shirai

The Birth of Saké is a cinematic documentary that reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old…
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The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
Aug 15 (Sat), 2015 @ 7:00pm
(2015/137min/English Subtitles/Directed by Isao Takahata)

ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE. Legendary Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) revisits Japan’s most famous folktale, and decades in the making. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter…
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August 16th, 2015 (Sun), 2015

The Birth of Saké
Aug 16 (Sun), 2015 @ 12:00pm
(2015/92min/English Subtitles/Directed by Erik Shirai)
★ Special Appearance by director Erik Shirai

The Birth of Saké is a cinematic documentary that reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old…
read more

Aug 16 (Sun), 2015 @ 2:30pm
(2015/110min/English Subtitles/Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi)

Co-starring ex-AKB star Atsuko Maeda and Shota Matsuda, this romantic mystery is based on the bestselling novel set in the late 1980s. A college student in Shizuoka Prefecture named Suzuki begins a romance with a dental hygienist named Mayu…
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Aug 16 (Sun), 2015 @ 5:00pm
(2014/198min/English Subtitles/Directed by Momoko Ando)
☆ Co-presented by Legacy Film Festival on Aging

Director Momoko Ando takes on the big subjects of Japan’s historical, social and emotional psyche with her second feature epic. Based on director’s own novel and starring her sister…
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