With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, June 04, 2012


 Frog in the Well
Written, directed, produced and starring Ken Ochiai
USA/Japan, 2010, 15 minutes
Japan CineFest: Short Film Program
When: Friday, June 8, 2012, 6:30 PM
Where: Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC
Map here

Another short in this coming Friday's program at Asia Society, Frog in the Well is about the travels of a young man who serves as the film's narrator. At the behest of his late mother, he leaves his apartment in Tokyo. His first destination is Wakkanai, in Hokkaido Prefecture. Japan's northernmost city, Wakkanai is where his mother was born and raised.

The young man continues his mission southward, eventually arriving on Okinawa, the southernmost part of Japan. Along the way he runs into a woman he knew in high school and sees the variety of sights and experiences that Japan has to offer. Finally he arrives back in Tokyo, a man transformed by his travels, which turn out to have been not merely the fulfilling of the last wishes of a loved one, but something much more.

The film, comprised overwhelmingly of still images (rather reminiscent of Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée), is dedicated to Miwa Ochai. She most certainly was the director's mother given that the film was inspired by actual events.

Frog in the Well has deservedly received many awards, including:

- Minister's Award, Audience Award, Short Shorts Film Festival
- Best Editing Award, Sapporo International Short Film Festival
    - Note that the film was edited by Nodoka Kato
- Best Short Film, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
- Crystal Heart Award, Heartland Film Festival
- Special Jury Prize, Miami Short Film Festival
- Honorable Mention, Los Angeles International Film Festival

Click here for information about Frog in the Well and the other films in the Japan CineFest: Short Film Program, a co-presentation of Asia Society and Mar Creation, Inc.

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