KIFF Daily Report Day 3, Saturday October 13, 2018
The third day of KIFF 2018 started as the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival hosted a quintessential Kyoto experience, a tea ceremony at the Saka Maruyama teahouse in Maruyama Park.
The teahouse is hidden away on a stone-lined path leading through the beautiful park. It is just behind Yasaka Shrine, and Saka Maruyama makes its tea with fresh water from a well on the grounds of the shrine.
Guest were able to choose from “matcha,” made from powered green tea, or the rarer “sencha” which is made from full tea leaves. Their tea was then made in a highly stylized fashion, with attention to small details as well as the overall flow of the preparation.
The tea party was one of the ways that KIFF is more than just film and art festival, but a package of experiences with deep ties to the host city.
Next up, Kyoto City Central Market played host to a special event on Saturday morning to mark Sustainable Seafood Week 2018. The Kyoto City Central Wholesale Market in western Kyoto saw MC Seitaro Mukai (Tenshin) take to a specially prepared stage at 11.15am in the covered section of the great market, with hundreds of locals in attendance.
Kaoru Nemoto, the Director of United Nations Information Centre, stepped up to the stage first. She discussed the connection between Sustainable Seafood Week 2018 and the United Nations Sustainable Develop Goals, known as SDGs. SDG goal 14 aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”
Guests included Naoki Tanaka, Aniyakko Tsubaki (Grunge) and his wife, Kanako Kadowaki, before Kozo Ishi (Marine Stewardship Council’s Japan Office Program Director) and Koji Yamamoto (Aqua Stewardship Council’s Japan General Manager) presented a talk show with MSC ambassador Naoki Tanaka, quizzing the audience on their seafood eating habits and preferences and awarding prizes after a game of Rock–paper–scissors.
There were also many celebrated film screenings on Saturday. “Shadow” (“Kage” in Japanese) was shown at Toho Cinemas Nijo. It is a work that connects Indonesia and Japan. The dialogue is a mix of Bahasa Indonesian and Japanese, and the film’s creators have close ties with both countries.
The screenplay was written by Novinta Dhini, who was a member of the Indonesian pop group JKT48, which is a sister act of Japan’s widely popular idol unit AKB48. Dhini also stars as the main character Emma—a young Indonesian woman who has long lived in Japan but is bored by her daily routine. She returns to Indonesia to search for her roots, reconnects with her mother, and goes on a search through Jakarta for the musician father she never knew.
There is a parallel story about a young Japanese novelist who has come to Indonesia, where is books are successful. The writer is played by Japanese comedian Genki Sadamatsu, who lives and works in Indonesia as part of Yoshimoto Kogyo’s “Asia Sumimasu Geinin Project.” The novelist connects with a local fan played by Indonesia actress Claudia Suwardi.
After the screening, the cast and the director Frits J. Robert greeted the audience. Dhini said, “We are still so surprised to be here. We didn’t think we could make it to KIFF. We just wanted to make art. But now that we are here, we feel like our heart is here.”
Sadamatsu explained that he was the only native Japanese speaker on the set. He joked that at times he wasn’t sure if he had delivered his lines well, but the director would say “OK, we got it! Let’s move on.” On a more serious note, Sadamatsu said he was thankful to the director for giving him a dramatic role since he mainly does comedy.
Sadamatsu also served as a language coach for Claudia Suwardi, whose lines in the film are mostly in Japanese. When asked if she remembered any Japanese that she has been able to use during her time in Kyoto, Claudia said “onaka tsuita!” means “I’m hungry,” getting a big laugh from the audience. The film shows the success of Yoshimoto’s efforts to foster cultural collaboration between Japan and SE Asia.
The film Cao Cao and Yang Xiu also had a gala screening at Toho Cinemas Nijo on Saturday. Audience members streamed in to see the Peking Opera-based 3D movie that combines traditional and contemporary arts. Before the screening director Junjie Teng and actor Shang Changrong made a stage appearance. The revered Peking Opera legend Shang noted this was the 4th 3D film he had starred in. Director Teng related he had wanted to make a film with Chinese traditional theater as its base for a long time. He credited the great script and excellent for the success of the film, which he noted was getting a lot of attention and praise in China.
The Japanese audience thoroughly in enjoyed the 3D images of swords, birds and all manner of objects flying by their heads as well as the sophisticated acting of the refined Peking Opera.
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