Miyuri, a vulnerable adolescent, has been driven to the brink by pressures from her provincial school and university entrance exams as well as the viciousness of her classmates, who even toss away her only companion, a silkworm. But then a mysterious new student, Tsumugi, suddenly arrives and begins to spin webs of connection, aspiration, secrets, adventure and sensuality that transform Miyuri. But what secrets is Tsumugi herself hiding? And what, indeed, does a silkworm become when it grows up? (HKIFF Catalogue)
A graduate of Toyo University’s Department of Media Communications, director Eda Yuka won consecutive audience awards at the Waseda Film Festival (as well as a Special Jury Prize) while a student. She is also an accomplished photographer who has been commissioned by fashion magazines such ‘ViVi’ among others since her graduation. Marking her feature length debut, Girl’s Encounter first drew attention when Miss iD 2016 Hoshi Moeka and model Motola Serina were cast and its budget was funded through crowdfunding. Its Japanese release achieved a rare two-month extended run through a fervent following which allowed Eda to shoot a spin-off web series (later released as a movie) Hougako Soda Biyori. Apparently tapping her own experiences as a teen, the 24-year-old Eda has spun an interesting tale about those very difficult years in everyone’s lives when we are no longer children, but still are not adults. It is a time we are still forming who we are and sometimes coming out of our own cocoons can be a painful and often frightening affair. Eda’s intimate approach to her script as well as direction are often praised as significant factors the movie has been so beloved by many of its viewers. Of course, one can not ignore the exquisite cinematography resulting from Eda’s photography sensibilities. Girl’s Encounter was invited to the Hong Kong and Shanghai international film festivals and Eda was awarded the Best Director prize at the Barcelona Asian Film Festival. She also was recently bestowed a Best New Director award at the 2019 Japan Movie Critics Awards. Her latest work is an episode in Yamato U-ki’s 21st Century Girls. Often displaying a passion for all genres of movies from around the world on her Instagram, her follow-up feature is certainly worth anticipating.