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Hiroshima International Film Festival 2023 screening lineup second announcement !

Hiroshima International Film Festival 2023 screening lineup second announcement !

Specially invited films

Director FUJII Michihito and YOKOHAMA Ryusei will be on the talk show after the screening!

2023/Japan/106 minutes Director: FUJII Michihito

©2023 “Village” Production Committee

As night falls, Kamonmura, a small and rustic Japanese village nestled in the mountains, is enveloped in mist. A huge waste landfill site on a nearby mountainside looms over the villagers as they watch “Takigi Noh” performers carry out a mystical wood burning ritual. KATAYAMA Yu, played by YOKOHAMA Ryusei, a lifelong resident of the village, is forced to find work to pay off his mother’s debts. He signs on at the site and is seemingly locked into a never-ending cycle of hopelessness. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when his childhood friend, Misaki, returns home from Tokyo.

“Hard Days”
2023/Japan/118 minutes Director: FUJII Michihito

©2023 “Hard Days” Production Committee

On the night of December 29th, as the year-end approaches, Detective KUDO(OKADA Junichi) speeds through the rain to reach his critically ill mother. KUDO's smartphone receives a call from the police chief. In response to the chief's inquiry, "There's been an accusation in a weekly magazine about slush funds being created at our station. Could it be possible that you're involved?" KUDO, feeling uneasy, responds with a sense of danger and his blood runs cold. Although he manages to get through the situation somehow, his mind is filled with anxiety. In the midst of it all, KUDO receives a call from Misako(HIROSUE Ryoko) and learns of his mother's passing. He is left speechless. At that moment, a man suddenly appears in front of the car KUDO is driving and he accidentally hits him. Realizing that the man is already dead, KUDO, in a state of confusion, puts the body in the trunk of his car and drives away. On his way, KUDO manages to deceive a checkpoint and finally arrives at the police station. He desperately denies any involvement with the slush funds to the police chief and leaves the scene. Finally, KUDO arrives at his mother's funeral hall. In an unbelievable twist of fate, he attempts to place the body of the man he hit with his car into his mother's coffin, intending to cremate them together. At that moment, KUDO receives a message on his smartphone. The message reads, "You have killed someone. I know." KUDO is so shocked by its contents that he loses his composure. The message continues, "Where did you dispose of the body? Tell me." Could it be that someone saw what happened that night...?

International Short Film Competition Jury's films / Juror Introduction

2021/Japan・Philippines/110 minutes Director: Brillante Ma Mendoza (Philippines)

© 2022「義足のボクサー GENSAN PUNCH」製作委員会

TSUYAMA Nao, a resident of Okinawa, throws himself into his ultimate goal of becoming a professional boxer. What truly distinguishes him is his remarkable resilience in the face of adversity - he wears a prosthetic leg, a result of losing it below the knee during his childhood. Despite this physical challenge, Nao remains undeterred, unwavering in his pursuit of success. Setting his sights on competing at the highest level, Nao applied for a professional license from the Japan Boxing Commission. Unfortunately, his application is met with disappointment as the commission rejects it on the grounds of not fulfilling their specific physical requirements. Nevertheless, he refuses to let this setback define the outcome of his lifelong dream, discovering an opportunity in the Philippines - a chance to become a professional boxer. In this country, he can obtain the coveted license by winning all three fights in a tournament exclusively designed for aspiring professional boxers. Alongside him stands his steadfast trainer, Rudy, who shares a similar journey as he too embraces life with a prosthetic leg. Together, Nao and Rudy embark on an extraordinary journey in the Philippines. Their road to success unfolds against a backdrop of diverse values and customs, as Nao and Rudy bravely confront the challenges that arise. United, they take their inaugural steps towards achieving their dreams, defying societal expectations and illuminating the strength and determination that transcends the confines of physical limitations.

Chairman of the Jury: Brillante Ma Mendoza (Philippines)

Dir_Brillante Ma MENDOZA

Born on July 30, 1960, in San Fernando, Philippines, Brillante Ma MENDOZA began his career in film as a production designer before transitioning into a successful commercial director. His debut feature film, "Manila Daydream" (2005), received widespread acclaim and gained international recognition by winning the Golden Leopard for Best Video at the Locarno International Film Festival. MENDOZA's unique talent and perspective as a filmmaker were further recognized when he received the Best Director Award at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival for his film "Kinatay: Manila Underground" (2009). This recognition continued as his film "Grandmother" (2009) was selected for Competition at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. In 2012, MENDOZA's work continued to captivate audiences with his film "Captive," starring Isabelle Huppert, competing at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. It is worth noting that MENDOZA has also exhibited his exceptional skills as a production designer, often credited under the name Dante Mendoza, in nearly all of his films.
This sports-themed film marks a new venture for MENDOZA, as he explores a different genre within his impressive filmography.

"Shades of the Heart"
2021/Korea/82 minutes Director: KIM Jong-kwan (Korea)

© 2019 Vol Media co. ltd., All Rights Reserved

Co-starring YEON Woo-jin from "Thirty-Nine" and IU from "Baby Broker," "Shades of the Heart" is a captivating movie that explores encounters, separations, and deeply etched memories. This heartwarming story will leave a lasting impact on all who watch it. Set in Seoul during the lingering winter, the film follows Jang-seok, a novelist who returns from England after seven long years. Along his journey, he meets a woman who has lost precious time, an editor who contends with painful memories, a photographer in search of hope, and a bartender who purchases memories. As Jang-seok encounters these four individuals, each burdened with their own inner conflicts yet persevering in their lives, he finds himself confronted with the memories he has long kept locked away in his mind. This gripping tale unfolds as Jang-seok faces his past and willingly embraces the healing process.

“The Table”
2021/Korea/82 minutes Director: KIM Jong-kwan (Korea)

窓辺のテーブル 彼女たちの選択
ⓒ 2016 Vol Media Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

In the space of a day, four intriguing conversations unfold around a single table, revealing connections closer to home than expected. At 11:00 AM, Yujin and her ex-boyfriend Changsok reunite over a mix of espresso and beer. Despite Yujin's rise to fame as a renowned actress since their breakup, their conversation flows effortlessly as they catch up on each other's lives. Later, at 2:30 PM, Kyonjin finds herself face-to-face with Minho, with whom she once had a one-night stand. As Minho returns from a four-month sojourn, he shares his experiences, leaving Kyonjin unsure of how to navigate the situation as she listens awkwardly to his tales of adventure. At 5:00 PM, Eunhee and Sukja come together over warm lattes. Initially brought together through a fake mother-daughter relationship in a marriage scam, Eunhee meticulously guides Sukja on her role and the fabricated backstory. However, during their conversation, an unexpected change begins to stir between them. Finally, as the clock strikes 9:00 PM, Hegyeong finds herself sitting across from her ex-boyfriend Unchil at the table. Their conversation takes place over cold coffee and hot tea, creating a backdrop for a moment of significant uncertainty in Hegyeong's heart on the eve of her wedding. Despite the looming nuptials, she gathers the courage to propose maintaining their relationship.

Judge: KIM Jong Kwan (Korea)


Director KIM Jong-kwan's short film "How to Use a Polaroid Camera" (2004) garnered awards at numerous film festivals and made a lasting impact on both audiences and critics alike. Since then, KIM Jong-kwan has continued to captivate viewers with his sensitive direction and visually stunning films, including "Worst Woman" (2016), "The Table" (2016), "Persona - Walking at Night" (2019), and "Josee" (2020).  This version of “The Table,” selected for the Jeonju Cinema Project of the 20th Jeonju International Film Festival, showcases an extension of one of KIM’s previous works, but with a slightly different structure, subject matter, characters, and story. The result is a moving and healing narrative that will undoubtedly resonate with audiences, creating an emotional connection that viewers will hold close to their hearts.

“The Melancholy of Nagi”
2022/Japan/98 minutes Director: ISOBE Teppei

©️belly roll film

Starring TSUJI Nagiko and directed by ISOBE Teppei, "The melancholy of Nagi" is a film series that comes to life when both of them are in the right mood.
 Nagi, a contract worker in Osaka, finds herself facing an unexpected situation. Just one day before her much-anticipated first paid vacation, her boyfriend of one year decides to end their relationship. Determined to make the most of her time off, Nagi embarks on a series of adventures. From sharing ghost stories, attending live concerts, and playing gateball, to reuniting with someone from her past and getting into a significant argument - Nagi's melancholic paid vacation passes by.

Judge: NEYA Ryoka


Born on September 5, 1994. Born in Ibaraki Prefecture. Actress, photographer. Her main appearances include Teppei Isobe's “The Melancholy of Nagi” (23), BS Shochiku Tokyu Drama “Can I Start a Camera?” (23), Hiroshi Miyagawa's “Trapped Balloon'' (22), Koji Shiraishi's “I Love You!” (22), Yu Irie's “a daughter of Shushushu'' (21), and Naho Uemura's “Ryoka Neya Becomes a Film Director.” (19). At the 18th TAMA NEW WAVE Competition, she won the Best Actress Award and the Grand Prix for her starring role, “Wolf Sissy,” directed by Daisuke Ohno. She is currently serializing the film essay “Ryoka Neya's Twisted Wanderings'' on DOKUSO Magazine, which is distributed at mini-theaters nationwide.

2022/Japan/121 minutes Director: NARUSHIMA Izuru

©2022 “Familia” Production Committee

Pottery artisan KAMIYA Seiji Kamiya (played by YAKUSHO Koji) lives alone in a mountain village, where he practices his craft in a traditional manner using his home studio and kiln. Unfortunately, Seiji's wife Akiko passed away some time ago, and his only family member, his son Manabu (played by YOSHIZAWA Ryo), works as a plant engineer in Algeria for a prestigious company.  Manabu returns to Japan temporarily with his wife Nadia (played by Ali MARAIKA), whom he met and married there. Nadia, who lost her family during a conflict and was subsequently orphaned, learned English at a refugee school and is now employed at the cafeteria of the same plant where Manabu works. When Seiji sees the couple looking so happy together, he sincerely congratulates them, even though it brings him a tinge of sadness. Manabu then surprises Seiji by sharing his plans to quit his job and start a pottery business in their hometown. Taken aback, Seiji considers Manabu and Nadia's future and objects, expressing his concern that making a living as a potter might not be feasible.
As a child, Seiji grew up in an orphanage and led a rough life. However, everything changed when he met Akiko and discovered his passion for pottery. Due to his own difficult circumstances and the hardships it brought upon Akiko, Seiji didn't want Manabu to follow the same path. But Manabu, determined to pursue his calling, and Nadia, who did not have a hometown and wanted to establish roots, were committed to their plans. Thus, Manabu and Nadia decide to return to Algeria, with the intention of quitting his job and coming back to Japan once the plant's construction is completed in three months.
During Manabu and Nadia's stay, Seiji meets Marcos (played by Saagercas), a young Brazilian man from a neighboring town called Hoka Danchi. The family saves Marcos, who was injured and being pursued by a group of Han-grays. Later, Marcos' girlfriend Erika (played by WAKEDO Fazile) visits on his behalf to express gratitude and invites Seiji's family to a Brazilian party in their apartment complex. Despite Seiji's aversion to socializing, Manabu encourages him to join them, so Seiji reluctantly agrees. This marks Seiji's first close interaction with Brazilians, who are lively and prioritize family despite facing their own hardships.
Marcos arrived in Japan with his family when he was five years old. His father, a believer in the "Japanese dream," lost his job during the recession caused by the Lehman Shock and tragically took his own life. As a result, Marcos developed a dislike for Japanese people. However, through his joyful and friendly childhood friend Erika, Marcos gradually begins to open his heart to Seiji, who reminds him of his late father, and becomes intrigued by the pottery business. Marcos and Erika both completed middle school education due to language barriers and financial constraints preventing them from pursuing higher education. Learning that Seiji himself is a middle school graduate fosters a sense of connection between them.
Marcos used to work on a construction site. Unfortunately lost his job due to an altercation with the Han-grays in which he and his apartment complex buddy, Manoel, were involved. The leader of the gang, ENOMOTO Kaito (played by MIYAVI), is the son of the head of the Enomoto Group, a powerful entity controlling various sectors including real estate and adult entertainment. Kaito's intense hatred for Brazilians stems from a tragic incident where his wife and child were brutally attacked by Brazilians, leading him to harbor a deep-seated animosity towards them.
In a desperate and dangerous situation, Marcos and his childhood friend Rui (played by SHIMADA Alan) are coerced into selling 5 million yen worth of drugs to the Brazilians residing in the apartment complex. If they refuse, Erica, who works as a cabaret girl to support her family, is threatened with being drugged and forced into prostitution. Faced with such a dire circumstance, Seiji, unable to turn a blind eye to the Marcos' predicament, seeks help from Komada (played by SATO Koichi), a detective who also grew up in the same facility. However, the Enomoto Group's influence extends even to the yakuza, making it challenging for the police to take action.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Algeria, Manabu and Nadia are experiencing a joyful moment. However, a sudden incident disrupts their happiness, leading to an urgent and alarming message reaching Seiji. Driven by the urgency and determination to help his son and daughter-in-law, Seiji takes a drastic action that will change the course of events.

2023 / Japan / Hiroshima (partly Shimane Prefecture) / 26 minutes 30 seconds Director: Naomi Island


When you can't move due to the hardships of life, if only you could hide under the eaves until the rain in your heart stopped, and then just walk out... The protagonist looks back on his state at that time and describes, “Stand still”.
Tatsuo became a shut-in for about 20 years from the age of 27, triggered by a trauma at work.
What goes through his mind as he revisits his old workplace...
Meanwhile, Tae (Gacchan) has been a social withdrawal for about four years since she was 12 years old and for about 13 years since she was 27 years old. She visits the place of her memories when she was 20 years old and decided to go to night junior high school. The two met at an employment support facility where helps people to become independent and got married. They live in Hiroshima, supporting each other.
When they want to be independent and work, all the years they spent worrying and suffering and not giving up on living is filled with “blanks” on their “resume”. This is a documentary which social withdrawal people fill in their blanks.

International Short Film Competition Nominated Films

●”Vania on Lima Street"
Director : Bayu Prihantoro Filemon (Indonesia)

●“Christmas in Summer”
Director : LEE Gahong (Korea)

●“Graveyard of Horses”
Director: Xiaoxuan Amanda Jiang (China (Mongolia))

●“Girls Got Golds”
Director : SATO Miku (Netherlands)

●“Fisher Boy”
Director : NAM Dong-hyun Korea)

●“La Mahi”
Director : NARUSE Tsuka (Japan)


●Director KATABUCHI Sunao
●Producer YUKIZANE Ryo (Star Sands Co., Ltd.)
●Director ISHII Yuya
●NAKAGAWA Keisuke (Shinka Co., Ltd.) and others

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