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Taiga stars in director Ryutaro Nakagawa’s autobiographical film- “my challenge to make it more than Nakagawa envisioned”

Tokyo Sunrise

©2015 TIFF

Tokyo Sunrise starring young acting talent Taiga was screened on October 30 at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival in the Japanese Cinema Splash section. Taiga, as well as co-star Ryuju Kobayashi, executive producer Hikaru Kinouchi, and director Ryutaro Nakagawa attended a “greetings from the stage” held at TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills, Tokyo.
The film is an autobiography of director Nakagawa, and portrays a friendship from his university days with a friend who passed away. The lead character Ren Murakami is based on the director Nakagawa himself, and Taiga “held lengthy discussions (with director Nakagawa). We met often before the start of shooting, and did a lot of drinking and talking about nonsense. I thought it would be good if I could get to know Nakagawa. Autobiographies are already difficult, and when I got on set it was my challenge to make it more than Nakagawa envisioned”, he spoke strongly, and showing bravado befitting an actor, added “I decided to face up to the challenge even if it meant I wasn’t liked.”
Kaoru Kasai, who plays Kobayashi, the character modeled on the young friend who died, revealed that he had already heard from Nakagawa about the plan for the coming-of-age drama with his friend 2 years ago. “Nakagawa made me a request. He said ‘I have a really interesting and clever friend. I want you to play him’, then he said ‘I will definitely give you an introduction’, and we really got into talking about it, then 2 days after that, I heard that he had died”, his voice choked, and he chose his words carefully, speaking with a serious expression.
Director Nakagawa, on portraying a sad part of his past, talked with a radiant smile. “Some of the subject matter is based on my own experience, and it could be considered a very private work. Through today’s unveiling, it has become public property as a movie.” Nakagawa is participating in the film festival for the second time in a row. His film August in Tokyo (2015) was screened in the same section in the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival.
Tokyo Sunrise is about the pain that Ren (Taiga) was not able to accept following the death of his friend Kaoru (Kobayashi), with whom he shared his youth, and how the death of one person upturns the lives of the people around them. The release is in 2016.  

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)