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10/28 (Thu) Competition Section "Sketches of Kaitan City" Q&A, Press Conference: Notes & Quotes

10/28 (Thu) Competition Section "Sketches of Kaitan City" Q&A, Press Conference: Notes & Quotes

A press conference featuring Sketches of Kaitan City from the Competition section was held as follows:

Date & Time: October 28th (Thursday), from 15:40 @Movie Café
Appearance: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (director), Kaoru Kobayashi (actor), Kaho Minami (actress), Masaki Miura (actor), Ryo Kase (actor)
©2010 TIFF

Here are some notes and quotes:

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kumakiri): This film is filled with the love and passion of the people involved in making this film. It is an honor to have it screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Kaoru Kobayashi (Kobayashi): The budget for this film was collected in a unique way. Many people of Hakodate City, Hokkaido contributed 10,000 yen each, but still, this film was shot on a very low budget. The people were extremely supportive; they would make us lunch and take care of our transportation to the location sites. This film was definitely made by the local people and it turned out to be a wonderful film.

Kaho Minami (Minami): As Mr. Kobayashi said, the people of Hakodate City, in the film, Kaitan City were very helpful. The people, land, air, and scenery are all inside this film. Actually, many of the citizens were casted in the film, for example, my son was played by a high school boy from Sapporo City. In a sense, there was no border between the staff, cast, and the local people. It was a great collaboration which I see as a new and promising style of production. Therefore, when you think of the kind of director who is able to lead this type of production, you would probably imagine someone with a loud voice and a lot of power. Mr. Kumakiri is just the opposite. He only whispers a few words into our ears in a reserved manner. In any case, I love his films and am very happy to be a part of his team in this film.

Masaki Miura (Miura): Of all the films that exist in the world, this is the one film I really want to see and want others to see as well. I feel a strong sense of responsibility being a part of the cast when I think of the people in Hakodate because this film will not have been possible without their support. As for acting, the director gave me a lot of time and freedom to come in touch with my role. There were times when we waited for the snow to fall or the sun to come out, which felt like the old style of filmmaking. Therefore, this film drastically changed the way I think as an actor.

Ryo Kase (Kase): I'm very happy that in such times, such a small project became a film. Thank you all for coming today.

Q: How was it working with amateur actors in Hakodate?

Kase: There were some wonderful and unexpected coincidences while working with the Hakodate people, which added to the special atmosphere of this film. After 10 years of acting, I was probably getting too used to being an actor. So this movie gave me a chance to reflect back on when I started acting. There was a lot to learn from these people.

Kobayashi: Umm... if an actor as fresh as Mr. Kase feels the need to refresh and restore his acting style, how much cleaning up would I need to do after decades of acting (laugh)?! On a more serious note, as a professional actor, it is inevitable that you eventually lose the initial excitement and anxiety of performing. Therefore, working with amateur actors gave us the chance to reconsider acting from their perspective.

Q: The film captured the reality of the people's very well. Were some artistic strategies used to capture this?

Kumakiri: What I wanted to covey in this film is precisely that—that the characters feel real. This film is just one page of their lives. There was a life before and that there will be life after.

At the Q&A Session following the Press Conference, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri commented on the process of reproducing his film from a book. The film is based on an original novel by Yasushi Sato. The novel has 18 episodes, which were too many to include in a single film. Kumakiri chose 5 of the episodes that impressed him the most, a very difficult process, he admitted.
He also shared an episode of how he scouted an elderly woman sitting in the backstreets of Hakodate City. He was immediately inspired to include her in the film as she represented a local person very realistically. He surprised the audience by disclosing the fact that "...the actors and actresses you don't recognize in the film are all local residents!"

Sketches of Kaitan City
© 2010 Yasushi Sato/"Sketches of Kaitan City" Production Committee
Film Information

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KEIRIN.JPThe 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
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