Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 will open with the world premiere of Suzuki Takuji’s “RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram”

The Osaka Asian Film Festival today announced that the Japanese film “RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram”(嵐電), directed by SUZUKI Takuji, starring IURA Arata and ONISHI Ayaka, will open the 14th edition of the festival. The film will have its World Premiere on Friday, March 8 at Hankyu Umeda Hall.

“RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram” is the latest film by director SUZUKI Takuji, starring IURA Arata from “After Life”(ワンダフルライフ), OAFF 2015 Opening Film “ASLEEP“(白河夜船), and” Dare to Stop Us“(止められる か、俺たちを), and the promising young actress ONISHI Ayaka from “MADE IN JAPAN”(MADE IN JAPAN〜こらッ!〜),
“Narratage”(ナラタージュ), and “The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine”(菊とギロチン).

Still from “Randen: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram”

Randen is a local tram running in the west of Kyoto City that is beloved by local people as well as tourists from all over the world. This story depicts the love of three different couples who resonate and echo each other as if they are lost and stuck in the town of Randen.

A writer from Kamakura named HIRAOKA Eisei (IURA Arata) is researching supernatural stories but finds himself revisiting memories from a previous visit to his wife’s home town. OGURA Kako (ONISHI Ayaka), a shy local woman, is asked to help an actor from Tokyo practice speaking with Kyoto intonation and, after the lesson, he
asks her to show him around Arashiyama. KITAKADO Nanten, a high school girl from Aomori, shows a one-track mind when she falls for a train nerd who sees nothing but trams. The love of three couples is carried along together by the famous trams and a little of Kyoto’s special magic and folklore. The course of true love rarely runs
smooth but if fate places you on a Randen tram, then you will at least get a scenic ride amidst the history and wonderful sights of the city in this charming fairy-tale film that breathes the culture and atmosphere of the city.

SUZUKI Takuji, born in 1967, is an assistant professor at Department of Film Production, Kyoto University of Art and Design. He has directed feature-length films such as “A Wife of Kitaro”(ゲゲゲの女房) and “A Band Rabbit and a Boy”(楽隊のうさぎ). He has been expanding the horizon of fiction by making dramas of random people in the world
with a bit of mystery. SUZUKI also plays active role of being an actor in films such as “Devotion of Suspect X” (容疑 者 X の献身) and “SETO UTSUMI” (セトウツミ).

The Osaka Asian Film Festival aims to facilitate human resources development and exchange, to invigorate the Osaka economy, and to increase the city’s appeal, through providing opportunities to watch excellent Asian films, supporting filmmaking in Osaka and attracting filmmakers from Asian countries and regions to Osaka. Promoting Osaka worldwide as a gateway city for Asian films, and engaging with many people from the fields of culture, art, education, tourism and business, from Osaka and all of Asia, OAFF works as an open platform to contribute to the development of Osaka and cinema.

Marking its 14th edition this year, OAFF, under programming director TERUOKA Sozo, will again select high-quality Asian films. The Competition section, which receives increased recognition every year, will again select films previously unreleased in Japan. The regular sections, Special Screenings and Indie Forum, and other special programs will also feature a wide variety of excellent Asian films.

OAFF attracts a large number of viewers from all over Japan and overseas, as well as from the local Kansai area. From Osaka to all of Japan and all of Asia, OAFF introduces many films and strives to make Osaka a hub of moving image culture.

March 8 (Fri) – 17 (Sun), 2019 (Pre-events are held before the festival.)
Hankyu Umeda Hall (March 8)
Cine Libre Umeda (March 8-17)
ABC Hall (March 13-17), and others.

[Opening film]
“RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram”(嵐電)
Japan/Directed by SUZUKI Takuji (鈴木卓爾)/World Premier
This section will present the latest Asian films, which will have their Japan premieres at OAFF. From the films, the international jurors will choose the winners of the Grand Prix and Most Promising Talent Award.
[Special Screenings]
Special Screenings will select much-talked-about Asian films.
[Special Programs]
Special Programs will feature a specific country/region or theme.
[Indie Forum]
Indie Forum section features innovative and challenging films by rising directors every year. To support international promotion of Japanese films, Japan Society in New York City bestows the Japan Cuts Award for the best film in the section.

Supported Program

Based in Osaka, the Housen Cultural Foundation supports film study and production in graduate schools. This program will show the films supported by the Housen Cultural Foundation.

Other Events
[Symposiums/Talk Events]
A number of symposiums and talk events, featuring participating filmmakers, will be held during the festival.
[OAFF Poster Exhibitions]
Posters of selected films from OAFF 2019 and past festivals will be exhibited.
Period: February 25 (Mon) – March 11 (Mon)
Venue: Osaka City Hall in Yodoyabashi
Period: March 1 (Fri) – March 7 (Thu)
Venue: Abeno Q’s MALL
[Asian Book Fair]
In collaboration with the mega bookstore MARUZEN & JUNKUDO Umeda, an Asian Book Fair will be held.
Dates: February 16 (Sat) – March 30 (Sat)
Venue: MARUZEN & JUNKUDO Umeda, 5F Art Book section
Cooperation: MARUZEN & JUNKUDO Umeda

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.