Shinsedai 2012 – Festival Wrap-Up (Kirk Haviland)

Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2012

Shinsedai’s fourth year came with a change in venue from the Japan Canadian Cultural Center (JCCC for short) up in the north part of the city down to the heart of Toronto’s west end at the Revue Cinema (just off the Bloor/Danforth subway line at Dundas West station). The move provided record attendance for the fest and a flexibility to program films that previously had been unavailable for Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp, such as the Pink double-bill.

This year’s line-up proved to be strong in diversity, showcasing many different elements of independent Japanese cinema. Opening night gave us the engaging Ringing in their Ears, while the second night brought a couple of bizarre entries in Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen, and Zero Man vs The Half Virgin. On day three I caught most of the Yubari Fanta shorts with the fascinating Student Wrestler and the engaging Mrs. Akko and her husband. Next up was my favorite film of the fest with End of the Night and the aforementioned brilliantly fun Pink film double-bill. Closing night finished with another bizarre evening of animated shorts and Tentsuki.

The festival was smooth and practically effortless as the staff and volunteers for the festival and the theater alike were fantastic to deal with. Visiting Directors Sakichi Sato, Yu Irie, Daisuke Miyazki, Kotaro Terauchi and Megumi Fuchibe were present for most of the screenings and readily available to talk with any of the fans. The licensed bar at the concession stand was very nice, yet the Sake was a little pricey given the portion.

Overall Shinsedai 2012 was a very strong and successful outing, which in my opinion is only poised for greater returns in the year to come. And if the rumor mill is to believed, based on the massive success of Saturday’s Pink Double-bill we may see more Pink nights at the Revue sponsored by Shinsedai throughout the year. You know I’ll be there in attendance, Sake in hand.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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