The Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) announced today the main cast for the omnibus film co-production project Asian Three-Fold Mirror, which was launched in 2014, as part of the collaboration between the Japan Foundation Asia Center and TIFF. The project aims to deepen interactions between neighboring countries within Asia, as well as enriching cultural understanding and providing chance for people to consider their identity and way of life as individuals in Asia.
As previously announced, three accomplished directors from Asia have been selected to contribute chapters to the first iteration of the Asian Three-Fold Mirror: Brillante Ma. Mendoza (Philippines), Isao Yukisada (Japan) and Sotho Kulikar (Cambodia).
Today it has been confirmed that acclaimed Filipino actor Lou Veloso will be starring in Mendoza’s episode, and one of the most famous Japanese actors, Masahiko Tsugawa, will be starring in Yukisada’s chapter, along with Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase and Malaysian actress Sharifah Amani. Japanese actor Masaya Kato and Cambodian actress Chumvan Sodhachivy will be appearing in the episode by Kulikar. The protagonist of each chapter is an Asian living in a different Asian country, allowing the directors to express their own unique visions and film on location in Asia and to create one omnibus film. The directors will be shooting in Japan, the Philippines, Cambodia and Malaysia from February to April 2016, followed by post-production at the highly regarded laboratory in Asia, Imagica South East Asia (http://www.imagicasea.com), in Malaysia in summer 2016.
The omnibus film will have its world premiere at the 29th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival, to be held from October 25 to November 3, 2016, and will then be shown on the international film festival circuit.
To talk about Asian Three-Fold Mirror please use the hashtag: #asian3mirror
Episode directed by Brillante Ma. Mendoza (Philippines)
Internationally acclaimed Filipino director Mendoza has been known for deftly portraying Filipino stories of ordinary men bravely and proudly overcoming extraordinary situations. This time around he plans to grapple with the issue of “loss of one’s national identity” through an intimate portrayal of an illegal Filipino immigrant in Japan who returns to his homeland for the first time in decades after being deported.
Lou Veloso (Philippines | actor)
Lou Veloso is a Filipino actor, comedian, director and politician. He is known for his supporting roles in over 30 popular comedy films. In 2009 Veloso appeared in Colorum, which earned him nominations for numerous awards and wins for five other Best Actor awards, including at FAMAS (The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards) and the Brussels International Independent Film Festival. Veloso also established a community theatre in Santa Ana, Manila where he teaches professionals, out-of-school students, and children who want to be actors. In 2010, Veloso received the Lou Salvador Sr. Memorial Award from FAMAS for his great career and astounding comedic prowess on screen and in 2012, he achieved even greater success when he appeared in the Hollywood film The Bourne Legacy. Veloso has worked with director Brillante Ma. Mendoza in Kinatay (2009) and Mendoza’s latest feature film, Trap (2015).
I am proud to be part of the Asian Three-Fold Mirror Project, and am especially happy to come to Japan, which is my favorite country. The landscapes of Japan have beauty and discipline.
Episode directed by Isao Yukisada (Japan)
Painting on a variety of canvases, from coming-of-age dramas to mature love stories, Yukisada has depicted diverse characters and their interrelations. This time around he sets the story in Malaysia, the land that was once invaded by the Japanese army but is now home to many Japanese retirees living out their remaining years. The story will revolve around a man who has relocated from Japan and his relationship with a young Malaysian woman who has come to take care of him.
Masahiko Tsugawa (Japan | actor)
Tsugawa made his debut in 1956, starring in the Nikkatsu youth classic Crazed Fruit, directed by Ko Nakahira. The thespian is known for his wide range, portraying both leading men and villains, appearing in such works as Kichitaro Negishi’s Hitohira no Yuki (1985), Juzo Itami’s A Taxing Woman (1987), Kaneto Shindo’s The Strange Tale of Oyuki (1992), Kinji Fukasaku’s Crest of Betrayal (1994), Shunya Ito’s Pride (1998) and Momoko Ando’s 0.5 mm (2014).
It’s a wonderful script. I think it depicts a wonderful contrast between the way of the `pigeon’ and the way of the old man. In the end, the old man entrusts the pigeon with everything. Whether the pigeon will meet the old man’s expectations is for everyone to see.
Masatoshi Nagase (Japan | actor)
Nagase is a Japanese actor, best known in the West for his roles in Friðrik Þór Friðriksson’s Cold Fever and Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (1989). Nagase has also starred in films such as Sion Sono’s Suicide Club (2001), Shinji Aoyama’s Mike Yokohama: A Forest with No Name (2002), Yoji Yamada’s The Hidden Blade (2004), and Naomi Kawase’s An (2014).
Sharifah Amani (Malaysia | actress)
Sharifah Amani is an award-winning Malaysian actress, director and writer who is best known as the muse of the late, great Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad, in Sepet (2004), Gubra (2006), Mukhsin (2006) and Muallaf (2007). Amani’s roles also include Psycho Pencuri Hati (Nam Ron), which won her a third Best Actress award after Gubra and Muallaf; Terbaik Dari Langit, and the yet-to-be-released Pekak. Amani has also starred in a Japanese film, Redemption Night (2013), directed by Takato Hosoi.
To be part of this short film is such an honor for me. I love Japan and its rich culture. I have been blessed to be able to visit, work and learn from some wonderful people there. The Japanese people have embraced Yasmin Ahmad films with much love and appreciation. For that I am eternally grateful. It was a pleasure to be part of Redemption Night and I can’t wait to be part of Isao Yukisada’s Pigeon. May our two countries continue to work together in the future.
Episode directed by Sotho Kulikar (Cambodia)
Sotho Kulikar’s directorial debut The Last Reel was a glimpse into the history of Cambodian cinema, which was almost entirely eradicated by the Khmer Rouge, but a film that still managed to end on a hopeful note. This work will be her second film. Set in two periods, the film threads a love story that begins in Cambodia against the backdrop of the nation’s civil war with the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge.
Masaya Kato (Japan | actor)
Kato started his career as a model for fashion magazine Men’s Non-No and the Paris Collection. He has enjoyed a wide-ranging career, appearing in numerous television programs, theater productions, and Japanese and international films including Takeshi Kitano’s Brother, Takashi Miike’s Agitator, Tung-Shing Yee’s Shinjuku Incident, Gordon Chan’s Okinawa Rendez-vous and Christophe Gans’ Crying Freeman. His most recent film, coming in April 2016, is Takashi Miike’s Terra Formars.
I am very happy to have the opportunity to team up with a Cambodian filmmaker for the first time. I hope to bring a certain pathos and sadness to Sotho Kulikar’s film as she brings her unique vision to a story about two lovers of different countries and tongues. Much like Fukuda, the protagonist in the film, I shall strive to build a bridge of friendship between the filmmaking communities of Japan, Cambodia, and Asia through this endeavor. I am already looking forward to working on set with our Cambodian crew.
Chumvan Sodhachivy (Cambodia | actress)
Sodhachivy began training in Cambodian classical dance in 1994, focusing mainly on the male role of the all-female classical court form, but is also proficient in Cambodian folk dance and shadow puppetry. Sodhachivy was accepted into Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center 2006 International Summer Arts Program. Since then, she has participated in numerous contemporary dance workshops around the world and has been a featured dancer in works that toured internationally. Sodhachivy has choreographed many of her own dances and most recently was a featured dancer in Stravinsky’s “Persephone,” directed by Peter Sellars at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
It is a great thrill and honor to have this opportunity to play in the international film. As a Cambodian classical and contemporary dancer, I feel this story is somewhat connected to my life, as we can see a piece of Khmer history that formed our present. I will be playing a strong Cambodian woman who is a genuine Khmer, who knows the beauty of her own country and the significance art has in our world.
Directors of Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016
Brillante Ma. Mendoza (Philippines)
Brillante Ma. Mendoza, who founded the independent film production company Center Stage Productions, won the Golden Leopard Award at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival for his debut film Masahista (The Masseur). He won the Caligari Film Award at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival for Tirador (Slingshot) and the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival with Thy Womb. He also won the Best Director Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for Kinatay. His latest film, Taklub (Trap) was selected for the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Isao Yukisada (Japan)
Isao Yukisada made his feature film debut with Sunflower (2000), which won the FIPRESCI Award at the 5th Busan International Film Festival. He also won numerous awards for Go (2001), including the Japan Academy Prize. He has cemented his status as a hit filmmaker with the box-office hits Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (2004), Year One in the North (2005), Closed Note (2007), Parade (which won the FIPRESCI Award at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival in 2010), and other films. He made Camellia (2011) in collaboration with directors from Thailand and South Korea. His latest film, Pink and Gray, was released in January 2016 and became a big hit.
Sotho Kulikar (Cambodia)
Sotho Kulikar grew up during the Khmer Rouge regime and the long-running civil war. She worked as line producer for a variety of films, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Through her production company Hanuman Films, she has produced many films and documentaries, including Ruin (which won the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 2013 Venice Film Festival). She made her directorial debut with The Last Reel, which won the Spirit of Asia Award from the Japan Foundation Asia Center at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014, and the Black Dragon Award at the 2015 Far East Film Festival.
Omnibus Film Production: Asian Three-Fold Mirror
The Asian Three-Fold Mirror is a collaborative film series between the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Tokyo International Film Festival, bringing together three accomplished directors from Asian countries, including Japan. Just like a three-fold mirror, the omnibus films will reflect society and culture in today’s Asia from three different angles, highlighting each director’s unique vision.
The Japan Foundation Asia Center www.jfac.jp
At the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in December 2013, the Japanese Government announced a vision statement on a new policy for Cultural Exchanges in Asia, “WA Project – Toward Interactive Asia”. Serving to achieve two-way art/cultural exchanges and supporting Japanese language learners, the Japan Foundation launched a new department, the Asia Center, in April 2014. The Asia Center carries out various projects to foster deeper mutual understanding and further develop relationships between Japan and neighboring Asian countries.