New Docs Japan

Thanks in part to a worldwide documentary fad and a Japanese cinema boom with no end in sight, there’s recently been a steady rise in opportunities for screening Japanese documentaries overseas. New Docs Japan presents a slate of new works by Japanese filmmakers, acclaimed at international film festivals overseas and/or made by established artists.

We can find a panorama of motivations behind this year’s documentaries. Daughter from Yan’an was originally planned as a TV program, but quickly expanded to a scale beyond the small screen. Be More Human—Kokuro’s 15-Year Struggle was prompted by the desire to sum up fifteen years filming about/with the labor movement of former national railway workers. FIVE DAYS is a quirky personal film made by a mainstay artist from the experimental film world, and Now, Where, To? is a young filmmaker’s work, born from a curiosity to re-evaluate the era of his parents’ generation.

Further, Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom will be screened in this program. By Kawase Naomi, New Asian Currents juror this year, it is a personal record filmed in response to the request of a friend with terminal cancer.

Let us celebrate the plethora of inspirations that initiate the making of documentaries in Japan.