Skyperfect, a sponsor of Yubari, selects a few entries from the program in order to let those unable to make their way to the festival join in the fun and see some of the works by independent filmmakers in Japan today. It's a terrific opportunity and helps justify the many long hours I and others on the staff put in to make the film.
Unfortunately, the film was not completed when the TV deadline came around last month. What this means is that a few shots, mainly effect / composite shots, are missing or incomplete. It doesn't thrill me, but the core of the film remains and the story is in no way affected.
This will mark my second trip to Yubari, a town located in Japan's northern region. The first time I went was in 2008 when my film, "The iDol," was screened. I'm looking forward to the trip as Yubari is so unlike Tokyo. And it's sure to be knee deep in snow, which I like (in moderation). The town seems to be populated by nothing but old ladies too, who are constantly trying to feed the eccentric filmmakers from Tokyo the 'unique' local dishes. On my last trip we had a big dinner outdoors one night where they served boiled bear!
Yubari is different from most film festivals as the majority of people going are filmmakers. This makes it a good place to meet people. For example, I met Shogen, the male lead of my film, at Yubari in 2008. I also met Mariko, who played the ghost in my film FEED ME, at Yubari. As well as Mie Kurokawa, who has worked on three of my films as an assistant and, more importantly, as scriptwriter for the Japanese versions of my scripts. I'm excited to meet more filmmakers this time around.
I'm also supposed to run the midnight screening of "Dawn of the Dead," but I'm thinking to pass as I'm feeling a bit spread thin at the moment. I'll decide next week.
For scheduling information on the film festival, here are some links:
Yubari International Film Festival:
Direct link to the schedule PDF:
Link to Skyperfect TV Yubari Page: