With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Sunday, November 22, 2020

IP MAN: KUNG FU MASTER coming to theaters and on demand starting December 11, 2020

Magnet Releasing

Ip Man: Kung Fu Master
Directed by Li Liming
China, 2019, 84 minutes
Ip Man: Kung Fu Master will be available in theaters and on demand December 11th, 2020 by Magnet Releasing. The film harks back to Ip Man's early days before the Communist Revolution in 1949. Ip Man was then a police captain who was framed for the murder of a ruthless but honorable mobster, and targeted for vengeance by his dangerous daughter. Forced to quit the force, he soon also has to contend with the arrival of the Japanese army in Guangzhou.
Ip Man, the martial artist who famously tutored Bruce Lee, is portrayed by Dennis To for the third time. His previous outings in this series were in The Legend is Born: Ip Man (2010) and Kung Fu League (2018).


  Takoyaki Story
Directed by Sawako Kabuki
Japan, 2018, 1’35”
Takoyaki Story is an animated short about a girl who is attracted to takoyaki and who eventual overcomes her hesitancy to eat them. Takoyaki is translated into English as octopus balls. But let's be absolutely clear:  they are not the genital sacks of male octopuses!  Rather, takoyaki is a famous and very delicious Japanese street food snack made of ball-shaped cakes containing pieces of chopped octopus and sundry other items.

Takoyaki Story is colorful, fun and delightful. Made me think of the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine, only it's a short and features dancing octopuses instead of Blue Meanies.

AsianCineFest rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended.

Takoyaki Story is one of the fourteen short films showing online at this year's New York Japan CineFest which ends today, Sunday, November 22nd.
Registration: $1 service fee plus suggested donation
Official Festival site: http://watch.nyjcf.com
Official Website: http://nyjcf.com

Friday, November 20, 2020

More information about the 9th annual New York Japan CineFest

The 9th New York Japan CineFest
held online for the first time
Festival dates: November 20 – November 22, 2020

New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF), an independent Japanese short film festival now in its 9th year, will be held online for the first time from November 20th to November 22nd. This year, fourteen short films in the categories of documentary, narrative and animation have been selected. NYJCF 2020 will be presented by Mar Creation, Inc., sponsored CYBER-NY, (platform provider), partnered with Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, and supported by Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Aichi International Women’s Film Festival and Kadoma International Film Festival.

As most film festivals around the world have been forced to go online due to the Coronavirus pandemic, NYJCF is also going to hold the film festival online after the 5-month delay from the regular festival month, June. The festival has implemented a digital platform called, “LOGIC” which is a business cloud solution, provided by CYBER-NY.

This year’s theme is “LIGHT” which is the festival committee found after struggling and discussing what the best way is to continue the annual festival during the pandemic.

NYJCF was founded by three Japanese producers based in New York in 2012; Yasu Suzuki (Actor, dancer and filmmaker), Kosuke Furukawa (Film director) and Hiroshi Kono (CEO of Mar Creation, Inc.) Since 2015, the film festival has been invited to screen its programs and films in multiple cities; Boston, Washington D.C. Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco in the U.S. and also at film festivals in Japan; Aichi International Film Festival Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Kadoma International Film Festival and New Director Film Festival. In the nineth year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they are planning to continue the tour online are scheduled to host in Akita City, Japan in November and Boston, MA in December, 2020.

Dates: Friday, November 20, 2020 – Sunday, November 22, 2020
Place: on-demand online
Registration: $1 service fee plus suggested donation
Official Festival site: http://watch.nyjcf.com
Official Website: http://nyjcf.com

1. Coming Back Sunny (Noriko Yuasa | drama | Japan | 2020 | 15’02”)
2. Ice Farmers {Tatsuya Ino | documentary| Japan | 2020 | 3’22”)
3. RAY (Tekkoku Nogami | drama | Japan | 2019 | 28’19”)
4. BOZE (Fuyuko Mochizuki | documentary | Japan | 2019 | 14’26”)
5. The Walking Fish (Thessa Meijer | drama | Japan | Netherlands | 2018 | 18’59”)
6. RAMETOKKOR YAN (Yuichiro Yamada | documentary | Japan | 2019 | 10’3”)
7. Makhaliss (Koji Yamamoto | drama | Japan | 2019 | 34’25” )
8. The Buttefly (Shiho Fukada | documentary| Japan | 2019 | 11’20”)
9. 20dB (Hiroyuki Nishiyama |drama | Japan | 2020 | 14’43”)
10. Takoyaki Story (Sawako Kabuki | animation | Japan | 2018 | 1’35”)
11. Miyamoto and the Machine: The Story of KenKen (Dan Sullivan | documentary | 
      USA | 2019 | 39’22”)
12. Samurai in the Oregon Sky (Ilana Sol | documentary | USA | 2019 | 48’16”)
13. Hello! Brand New World (Ryo Takebayashi drama/YouTube short | Japan | 2019 | 18’52”)
14. Nourishing Japan (Alexis Aligana Sanborn | documentary | USA | 2019 | 23’59”)

Experience Japan Society's Virtual Cinema Online

Japan Society NY's online streaming platform offers a carefully hand-selected collection of popular picks, auteur masterpieces and exclusive opportunities to view widely unavailable gems. Bonus Content includes special introductions and Q&As. Immerse yourself in the world of Japanese film, and share your recommendations with friends—many of the titles are available to stream across North America and beyond. From documentaries to narratives and features to shorts, Japan Society's Virtual Cinema has plenty of options for you to enjoy remotely.

Tickets: $2-10 / Japan Society Members 20% off.

Enter Japan Society NY's Virtual Cinema here.

New York Japan CineFest is available online this weekend, Nov 20th-22nd

New York Japan CineFest, a jewel of a festival that's been around since 2012, is returning this weekend with a program of fourteen short films. This year marks the first time that the festival has been online, a result of the COVID situation (as was the case with 2020's New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Society NY's JAPAN CUTS film festival).

For all the information you need about the films that will be available and how to register to watch them, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

WORDS CAN’T GO THERE available to stream starting November 20th

Ocean Mountain

Words Can't Go There
Directed by David Neptune
U.S.A., 2019, 89 minutes

Words Can't Go There is a documentary feature film that received the Best Feature Documentary and Best Score awards at Show Low Film Festival 2020. It depicts the extraordinary journey of musician John Kaizan Neptune, a California surfer turned Japanese traditional bamboo flute master, as told through his son’s perspective. Ocean Mountain has set November 20th, 2020 as the VOD streaming release for the film in North America. Words Can't Go There, will be available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. It will also be streaming in the UK, Australia and 64 other countries worldwide.

John Kaizan Neptune was a young California surfer when he discovered the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, in Hawaii, which set him on his life path. As an outsider in 1970s Japan, he dived into tradition headfirst, facing and overcoming the prejudice that comes with being a Caucasian pursuing a traditional artform.

He played jazz and classical music, discovered new sounds with the shakuhachi and composed pieces to incorporate his discoveries. He began touring the world, crossing Europe and North America including notable venues in Los Angeles and New York and ultimately received the prestigious best album award from the Agency of Cultural Affairs in Japan for his album “Bamboo”. It was the first jazz album and first award by a non-Japanese artist.

John even began crafting the instrument himself and blew open the potential of this ancient instrument in a completely new way. Directed by his son David Neptune, this personal story delves deep into the life of an artist and a family man and ultimately the sacrifices he made to cross cultural borders and become a pivotal figure in the evolution of this rare instrument.