New York Japan CineFest: Short Film Program

Co-presented by Asia Society and Mar Creation, Inc.

Date: Friday, June 8, 2012
Time: 6:30pm – 9pm
Venue: Asia Society (725 Park Avenue, New York)

Highlighting some of the most exciting new voices in cinema, these seven award-winning shorts, including live action and animation, offer rich insight into the imagination and creative impulse of seven U.S.-based filmmakers. Program attended by filmmakers. Reception to follow, sponsored by Asahi Beer. Among all the films DooBeeDoo recommends The 8th Samurai.


Radius Squared Times Heart Dir. Yasu Suzuki. 2009. 34 min. Love is in the air when Ken, a Japanese scientist, invites Michelle, an American anthropologist, home for dinner after a Tango lesson. Shy in demeanor, Ken impresses with his culinary prowess. Will he be able to win the lady’s heart? Best Comedic Short Film, Manhattan Film Festival

Uguisu Dir. Kosuke Furukawa. 2009. 22 min. A Brooklyn diner waitress comes across two mysterious customers: a distressed young artist who struggles with a drawing of a Uguisu, a Japanese songbird, and an enigmatic Japanese old man who seems to hold the key to the secrets of the universe. Best Short Film, Best Cinematography, International Film Festival Manhattan

Frog in the Well Dir. Ken Ochiai. 2010. 15 min. On a mission to scatter his mother’s ashes, Joe leaves Tokyo and embarks on a journey across Japan. The meditative and transformative experience allows him to discover the beauty of everyday life. Minister’s Award, Audience Award, Short Shorts Film Festival Best Editing Award, Sapporo International Short Film Festival 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

Into The New World Dir. Haruhito Naka. 2011. 25 min. Mariko travels all the way from Japan to New York to look for her missing boyfriend, who had last told her that he’s living with God. When Mariko finally comes face to face with God, who is disguised in an African mask, she enters an unexpectedly hallucinatory world.

Corazon en Fuego / Heart on Fire Dir. Yoriko Murakami. 2005. 8 min. Stop-motion animation. A lonely woman who lives in a country home on her own mournfully remembers her lost love. Suddenly, she is visited by an unexpected guest who will change her life forever. Jury Special Mention Award, Short Shorts Asia

The 8th Samurai Dir. Justin Ambrosino. 2009. 28 min. Can you imagine if Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai was intended to be Eight Samurai? In this wildly humorous film, a struggling actor plays all the tricks at his disposal to be the 8th samurai. Will he succeed? Watch to find out. This film toured with the Akira Kurosawa 100th Anniversary Tour. Best of Fest Award, LA Shorts Festival Golden Kahuna Award, Honolulu International Film Festival Best Director, Best Cinematography, Staten Island Film Festival Audience Award, Big Muddy Film Festival Best Student Film Best Director Award, Best Actor Award, Show Off Your Shorts Festival. Read more and watch trailer here.

Together: Dancing with Spinner Dolphins Dir. Chisa Hidaka. 2010. 3 min. In the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, a human dancer and wild Spinner dolphins forge a tender relationship through the language of dance. Best Experimental Film, Big Apple Film Festival Best Short Film Animal Advocacy, Artivist Film Festival