Shinsedai Cinema Festival- a great start

Shinsedai Festival

A great start to a great idea.

The Shinsedai Cinema Festival kicked off last night with screenings of Naked of Defenses and Hottentot Apron: A Sketch and what a wonderful introduction  to new generation Japanese films those movies were.

Unfortunately, the general Japanese film fare most everyday moviegoers are exposed are Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror films. Sure, there have been some fun remakes, such as The Ring and The Grudge but the awful remakes out do those tenfold.

Actress Sanae Konno joins Shinsedai organizers Chris MaGee, left and Jasper Sharp, right, at the festival's opening night.

Just like there is some great Canadian, Italian, German and American independent film making, Shinsedai celebrates great independent Japanese films.

Independent films, no matter the passport, can wrap themselves around you and take you to places in such an unassuming way compared  to your average blockbuster.

This summer’s Canadian independent film Victoria Day was a heartwarming and engaging trip down teenage memory lane for Toronto kids. Though District 9 has been kicking butt at the theatres as a unique and major alien summer film, it had humble beginning as a short online independent film.

Naked of Defenses opened the Shinsedai festival and it was a sweet film with two subtle yet dynamic performances by Ayako Moriya and Sanae Konno (who attended the screening). This film was an auspicious start to the festival organized by Jasper Sharp, film historian and co-founder of Midnight Eye and Chris MaGee, founder and editor of J-Film Pow-Wow.

Takes some time this weekend to drop by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and treat yourself to a film or two. Brad Pitt and his Inglorious Bastards can wait, it will be around for quite awhile but the collection of films under one roof at Shinsedai is a unique opportunity.

Shinsedai Festival


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