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NU’EST’s Ren makes Japanese cinema debut in “Their Distance”

Their Distance

©2015 TIFF

Member of the popular Korean idol group NU’EST, Ren celebrated his debut into Japanese cinema at the world premier of Their Distance, screened on October 23 at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival in Roppongi Hills as part of the Japanese Cinema Splash section. The singer spoke to the audience along with co-stars Fumiko Aoyanagi, Hanae Kan, Tateto Serizawa, and director Rikiya Imaizumi.

Speaking about his Japanese film debut, which he did together with groupmates Minhyun and JR, Ren said with a hint of self-confidence, “I was nervous, but the staff and director were kind, and I was able to give a good performance.” He then continued bashfully, “I still don’t know enough Japanese, but I’m studying.” Aoyanagi said of her co-star, “I first saw him in-character and thought he was a dark and quiet person, but then off-camera he was dancing and singing—a really bright person. It was cute that his Japanese was a little incorrect, and it made for a fun atmosphere.”

Director Imaizumi first teamed up with Aoyanagi in the 2014 film Sad Tea, which was screened as part of the same section at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival. He said of his first film festival in two years, “I’m honored to be able to once again return to the TIFF. It’s a romance film, and the first time I’ve tried using Korean language. It’s a story about the divergence of emotions, and I hope you enjoy it.” He continued with an emotional look, “I didn’t make the film with the intention of communicating a message, so please take it for what it is. This film was blessed with an amazing cast and crew, and today is the first time it will be seen by the public. I’m a little nervous, but also excited.”

The film weaves together the separate stories of several youth whose lives become romantically entangled, making for a life-sized and complex drama. Imaizumi said of the production, “About this time last year, I received contact from NU’EST, asking if I wanted to make a film with them. Speaking with the members, I thought it would be both interesting and a challenge, and although I can’t say it was written exactly for them, I was able to write an original story.” It was actress Kan’s first attempt at speaking Korean on film, and she reflected, “It was difficult to get the romantic talk right and deliver controlled lines in Korean. It was a good experience.” Actor Serizawa took on a role different from his usual characters. “I was glad I got to do some heavy scenes with actress Kinami(Haruka). I took it very seriously,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

The 28th Tokyo Film Festival runs until October 31. Their Distance will be screened in theatres nationwide beginning January 9, 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)