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Indie Forum 2018

The 2018 Osaka Asian Film Festival once again beckoned with its Indie Forum section offering a mix of surprising, delightful, thoughtful, and once in a while challenging movies thus preserving its position as an important showcase of independent Japanese cinema. Read about the twelve films viewed.


A Look Back

Indievisual went live in April of 2017. It’s been ten months since then and the journey has been amazing. Revisiting filmmakers interviewed, features written, and movies introduced, I look back at a year of learning to crawl before I walk.


The Osaka Asian Film Festival: Beacon in the West

East and West, two directions on a compass which have often taken on much more significance than their navigational meanings. On a macro-scale, the differences between the two play out on an entirely different stage, becoming equally representative of global ideologies. On a micro level, the terms can be more innocuous. Take for example, Los Angeles and New York; representative cities of the east and west coasts of the United States. One could travel from one city to the other in a few hours, but the cultural distance between the two is likely far wider. New York’s high-rise, hustle-and-bustle metropolis is a far cry from the laid back, urban expanse stitched together by miles of congested freeways that is Los Angeles. New York is the capital of theatre. Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood. New York is a melting pot of ethnicities, while it could be argued Los Angeles is more a fusion of cultures. The rivalry and differences between Japan’s Kanto (East) region and Kansai (West) regions, particularly between the cities of Osaka …

Toshiyuki Hasegawa: Mixing Business With Pleasure

Hasegawa Toshiyuki means business. In the sense of being completely earnest in what he says or does, the description is certainly appropriate. However, sitting in a small cafe in Shimbashi where the first floor of a Bauhaus-esque office building has been converted into a shoutengai (a shop area) full of cozy eateries and pubs, and listening to him talk about goals he aspires to achieve, one can also perceive a penchant for seeing how connections between people can lead to opportunities. With regard to the vast landscape of the international film industry, his “people-centric” brand of business savvy is a welcome breeze in the otherwise stuffy confines of Japan’s all too self-congratulatory, sales-figures and awards fixated film industry. A graduate of Nihon University’s College of Art where he studied broadcasting, Hasegawa’s love of movies was born at an early age. One would imagine the titles which captured his interest during those formative years were more children’s fare like the Pippy Longstocking series, or Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Ballon, but this certainly wasn’t the case for …


An Indie Filmmaker in Cannes

Selected as one person who has contributed to and influenced local films in the article by the prominent newspaper, Nikkei Entertainment, titled, ‘100 People Shaking Up Japanese Cinema,’ Tsujioka Masato was motivated to make movies by observing Tsukamoto Shinya’s film making while on Tsukamoto’s set as an actor. He attracted attention in 2003 at the age of 23 with his debut film, Lost by Dead which depicted teens on a self-destructive rampage. His second film Divide was decorated at the Toronto ReelHeART Film Festival in 2006. The film’s opening in Tokyo set a new record for attendance, and with numerous mass media exposure, resulted in the rare theatrical nationwide release for an independent movie. In 2014, Tsujioka took his completely self-produced 7th movie, Black Room, to the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film and booked a screening room in order to generate awareness for it at an international level. He has written his impressions of being at the world’s most prestigious film festival as an independent Japanese filmmaker. Original Japanese Text by Tsujioka Masato Arriving …