“[Shinsedai] is wonderful! It gives young filmmakers a chance” – Yojiro Takita, Oscar-winning director of Departures
“One of the city’s youngest and most original movie events” – The Toronto Star
“The news of the film winning at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival attracted large crowd to the theatre [in Japan]. I am totally in love with The Shinsedai Cinema Festival!” – Fumie Nishikawa, director of The Azemichi Road, winner of the 2011 Shinsedai Audience Award
Celebrating the new generation of films from Japan, the festival has become an avenue for young Japanese filmmakers to have their work screened overseas. It is renowned for presenting: dramas, quirky comedies, hard-hitting documentaries, experimental shorts and more. The Festival has also commissioned Toronto-based musicians and sound artists to create live scores for numerous classic Japanese silent films.
One early acquisition for The Festival’s 2012 line-up is the Canadian premiere of world renowned artist and animator Akino Kondoh’s new animated short film KiyaKiya.
The Shinsedai Cinema Festival has established itself as a vital part of Toronto’s lively and competitive film scene, representing a unique film project in the city. In 2011 the Festival received over 100 film submissions.
Gen Takahashi’s Confessions of a Dog received its Canadian premiere in 2010, and since then, the film has secured a DVD release in Britain and invitations for screenings from numerous festivals across the globe. The music documentary Aruongaku received its world premiere at the inaugural festival in 2009. It has gone on to be an anticipated part of the international festival circuit, winning praise wherever it has screened.
“The goal of The Shinsedai Cinema Festival has been to expose the great new films being produced in Japan to as many people in the city of Toronto as we can,” said MaGee. “Our move to the Revue Cinema, one of the city’s premiere repertory theatres in 2012, allows our audiences, filmmakers and out of town special guests the opportunity to enjoy the variety of cuisine, restaurants, pubs, and retail stores in Roncesvalles Village, before, between and after our screenings.”
The Shinsedai Cinema Festival was co-founded in 2009 by Toronto native Chris MaGee, author and founder and editor of Toronto’s own J-Film Pow-Wow, the premiere Japanese film blog in Canada, and Jasper Sharp, UK writer, film historian and curator. Its purpose is to bring modern, boundary-pushing and independent-Japanese cinema to Toronto audiences each year, challenging Western audiences’ understanding and appreciation of what Japanese film is, now, and where it is going.
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