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Japanese Movies Screened
At SGIFF 2014

After a 2 year hiatus, the 25th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) was held from the 4th to the 14th of December. During the festival, films from various countries around the world were shown in Singapore at different locations. 

4 Japanese films were also screened as part of the festival. Most of the films were met with a full theatre and tickets sold quickly, highlighting the increasing popularity of Japanese movies.

Kabukicho Love Hotel

Kabukicho Love Hotel by acclaimed director Ryuichi Hiroki was the first out of the four Japanese films to be screened. Featuring a cast of well known actors like Shota Sometani and Atsuko Maeda, tickets to the screening of Kabukicho Love Hotel sold out quickly.

The setting of the movie takes place over the course of a day and traces the interconnecting stories of the different guests and visitors of Kabukicho Love Hotel. Ryuichi Hiroki portrays such an alluring and bittersweet world in this movie and uncovers a section of modern Japanese society that is rarely explored.

Chigasaki Story

The debut feature film of director Takuya Misawa, Chigasaki Story spans over a delightful 88 minutes. The film captivates audience from the get go with the stories of the various characters that are staying at Chigasaki-kan, a Japanese hotel in Kanagawa. Takuya Misawa’s characters are inexplicably well woven into the film with each one having their own special characteristics. The film charms the audience with its subtle messages, its emotional characters and quaint settings.

Guests who attended the screening of Chigasaki Story in Singapore were delighted to find out that Haya Nakazaki who plays the shy Tomoharu in the film, was in attendance and took part in a question and answer session at the end of the screening. Haya Nakazaki answered questions from eager audience members drawing laughter with his witty replies. Many audience members had applauded his performance especially considering the limited length of time he had to prepare for his role as Tomoharu. Many audience members had become a fan of his after the screening and Nakazaki was more than happy to take a couple of snaps with those who asked.

Antonym (Rasen Ginga)

Antonym is a drama centring on the theme of ‘human connection’. The story of the film is told through the perspectives of two women who work together to write a radio drama. This happens when self centred Aya, is forced to find another person to work on the radio script that she is developing.

Despite being very reluctant to collaborate to work on her project, she teams up with her shy colleague Sachio who wholeheartedly embraces the project.

The film made its debut at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and was a winner at Skip City International D-Cinema Festival.

In addition, this film was the only film among the 4 other Japanese works that was nominated for the Silver Screen Award Competitions. Because of this nomination, the Director Natsuka KUSANO Actors Yuri ISHIZAKA and Asami SHIBUYA of this film were invited to Singapore by SGIFF. They were also invited for The Emperor's Birthday Reception by the Embassy of Japan in Singapore on the 11th December 2014. The trailer of this film was shared during the reception.


Directed by the Kumamoto born Ayumi Sakamoto, Forma took 6 years to complete. Screened at the National Museum of Singapore, the film tells the story of Ayako who coincidentally bumps into her former classmate Yukari and offers her a job. Accepting Ayako’s offer, Yukari finds herself reporting to her former classmate who soon makes her life utterly miserable.

The film’s skilfully constructed plotline is expertly weaved through the characters and their dialogue. Packed with tension, Ayumi Sakamoto rewards the audience with an unforgettable movie and keeps us hanging on with her plot and unexpected surprise in the middle of the film.

(Top) Actor Haya Nakazaki from the film, Chigasaki Story during a Q & A Session

(From left) Antonym Actors Asami SHIBUYA,Yuri ISHIZAKA and Director Natsuka KUSANO

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