Kore-eda Hirokazu will be the star turn at Emerging Japanese Films, a Los Angeles showcase organized by Japan’s Visual Industry Promotion Organization.
The event, running Sept. 27 – Oct. 1, 2022, at the Harmony Gold Preview House, consists of four newly-released, dramatic and awards-worthy Japanese feature films and a retrospective night that honors Kore-eda, whose “Shoplifters” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018.
Kore-eda will take part in a live video conversation after the screening of his “Like Father, Like Son,” a child-swap drama film that Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks previously optioned for remake.
The four newer films to be screened include: Katayama Shinzo’s “Missing,” which recently took Fantasia 2022 by storm; Miyake Sho’s sensitive “Small, Slow But Steady,” which played at the Berlin festival earlier this year; “Riverside Mukolitta,” an emotional journey directed by Ogigami Naoko which has played at major Asian festivals including Busan, Tokyo and Taipei Golden Horse; and Kariyama Shunsuke’s “BL Metamorphosis” a live-action adaptation of a smash-hit, coming-of-age manga franchise.
The ‘BL’ or Boys Love genre, involving gay romance, but not explicit sex, is hugely popular in much of East Asia and is widely consumed by female viewers. The film follows the quest taken on by a 17-year-old schoolgirl and a grandmother who strike up a quirky female friendship and are united by their BL fandom.
Kore-eda’s “Like Father, Like Son” sees a successful workaholic businessman discover that his biological son was switched at birth with another boy. He then faces the difficult decision to choose his biological child or the boy that he and his wife have raised as their own. Variety’s review from the Cannes festival called the film “sublimely moving.”
Kore-eda has returned to Cannes, not only with “Shoplifters,” but also with French-language charmer “The Truth” and his first Korean-language effort “Broker,” which played at this year’s festival.
The ACA Cinema Project is a new initiative organized as part of the “Japan Film Overseas Expansion Enhancement Project,” an ongoing project founded by the government-backed Agency for Cultural Affairs.
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