The Japan Foundation and the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the main cast for the omnibus film.
Launched in 2014 the Asian Three – Fold Mirror 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.
The three Asian directors selected, Brillante Mendoza (Philippines), Isao Yukisa (Japan) and Sotho Kulikar (Cambodia) have selected their main cast to appear in their chapters. The acclaimed Filipino actor Lou Veloso will be starting in Mendoza’s episode. Two famous Japanese actors, Masahiko Tsugawa & Masatoshi Nagase along with the Malaysian actress Sharifah Amani will be starring in Yukisada’s chapter. Finally Japanese actor Masayo 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 vision and film on location in Asia and to create one omnibus film. The directors will be shooting in Japan, the Philippiones, Cambodia and Malaysia from February to April 2016, followed by post-production at the highly regarded laboratory in Asia, Imagica South East Asia, in Malaysia.
Brillante Mendoza plans to grapple with the issues 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 commented about his new role “I am proud to be part of the Asian Three – Fold Mirror project, and I am especially happy to come to Japan, which is my favorite country. The landscapes of Japan have beauty and discipline.”
Yukisada will set his episode 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 commented: “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.”
Sharifah Amani also commented about this project: “To be part of this story is such an honor for me. I love Japan and its rich culture. I have been bless 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”
Finally the Kulikar’s episode will be 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 Cambodian-Japan Friendship Bridge.
Masayo Kato comment about this project: “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 films she brings her unique vision to a story about two lovers of different countries and tongues. Much like Fukada, 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 also commented: “It is 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.”
The film will be screen at the 29h edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival that will be held from October 25ht to November 3rd (2016).
About the Directors:
Brillante Mendoza (Philippines)
Brillante 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 Festival and 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.
He 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), Close 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 Asian Center at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014, and the Black Dragon Award at the 2015 Far East Film Festival.