The ACA Cinema Project has announced a new film series showcasing women visionaries in Japanese cinema, The Female Gaze: Women Filmmakers from Japan Cuts and Beyond. A press release announced that the series featuring contemporary and classic directors, producers, cinematographers and screenwriters will be held from November 11 to 20 in New York.
With titles selected by Japan Society and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA), the series will spotlight “the essential roles that female artists play from behind the camera in Japanese cinema — ranging from directing and screenwriting to production and cinematography.”
The North American premiere of Akiko Ohku’s comedy “Wedding High” (“ウェディング・ハイ”) will open the series. The pic tells the story of a couple whose perfect wedding is derailed by wedding guests with questionable agendas.
The Female Gaze will also feature an array of screenings and premieres of both mainstream and independent projects from alumni of JAPAN CUTS, North America’s largest contemporary Japanese film fest, offering a “a much-needed deep dive into the remarkable and overlooked contributions of women in contemporary Japanese cinema.”
The series includes Yukiko Mishima’s “a stitch of life” (“繕い裁つ人”), a portrait of a dressmaker who uses traditional techniques inherited from her grandmother, and “The Nighthawk’s First Love” (“よだかの片想い”), Yuka Yasukawa’s story of a grad student reluctant to pursue love due to a facial birthmark. The former is making its New York premiere and the latter is making its international premiere.
The series will host the international premiere of a 4K restoration of Kon Ichikawa’s 1960 family melodrama “Her Brother” (“おとうと”). Based on Aya Koda’s autobiographical novel, the film is penned by Yoko Mizuki and tells the story of Gen, a lonely woman who must look after her distant writer father and Christian stepmother.
The Female Gaze will also spotlight rising stars in Japanese cinema, including Risa Negishi, whose short “two of us” (“ふたり”), a fragmented, nonlinear narrative about two women facing emotional hardship who lean on each other for mutual support and solidarity, will screen.
The ACA Cinema Project was founded by the Japanese government’s ACA to “create opportunities for the increased exposure, development and appreciation of Japanese cinema overseas through screenings, symposiums and other events held throughout the year,” according to the project’s description in the press release.
Check out the complete lineup for The Female Gaze: Women Filmmakers from Japan Cuts and Beyond on the film series’ website.