The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) revealed the main international cast of the second installment of omnibus film co-production series, Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2018: Journey.
Daishi Matsunaga, Degena Yun, Edwin(from left)The film is being directed by three accomplished Asian filmmakers, Degena Yun (China), Daishi Matsunaga (Japan) and Edwin (Indonesia), under the common theme "Journey," signifying traveling beyond time and space. The Asian Three-Fold Mirror is a collaborative project jointly organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and TIFF.
Daishi Matsunaga (Japan)
Born in Tokyo, Daishi Matsunaga started his career as an actor and then directed music videos and commercials, as well as a TV series, Rescue Fire. His widely acclaimed documentary, Pyuupiru (2011), was featured in numerous international film festivals including Rotterdam, Jeonju and Paris Cinema. His first narrative film, Pieta in the Toilet (2015), was a smash hit. Ototoki, a documentary about legendary Japanese rock band The Yellow Monkey, was released in November 2017 and screened at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival and the 30th TIFF. His latest film, Hanalei Bay, is based on a Haruki Murakami short story, and will be released in Japan in October 2018.
Degena Yun (China)
Born in Inner Mongolia, Degena Yun graduated from the University of London and earned an MA in Film Directing from Beijing Film Academy. She made her feature debut with Latitude 52 (2012), which was in competition at the Montreal World Film Festival. Her second feature, A Simple Goodbye (2015), won the Spirit of Asia Award from the Japan Foundation Asia Center at the 28th TIFF as well as screening Torino, Xining and Minneapolis.
Born in Surabaya, Indonesia, Edwin obtained a diploma in Graphic Design from Petra University and studied film at the Jakarta Institute of Arts, where he liberated his passion for filmmaking, utilizing spontaneous, flexible and fun approaches. His first feature, Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (2008) received the FIPRESCI Prize at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009; and his short film Kara, The Daughter of A Tree (2005), was the first Indonesian film to be shown at the Director's Fortnight in Cannes 2005. Postcards From The Zoo (2012) was nominated for a Golden Bear at the 2012 Berlinale. His latest film, Posesif (2017), was a smash hit in Indonesia and won the Best Director Award at the Indonesian Film Festival 2017 (Indonesia's equivalent of the Academy Awards).
■ Hekishu directed by Daishi Matsunaga(Japan)
Set in Yangon, Myanmar, the story revolves around a Japanese businessman who is involved in a railway construction project in the city. With lush colors and imagery, Matsunaga captures the evolution and loss of a city that has just democratized, the interactions between the man and the people of Yangon, and the emotional effect these all have on this businessman. Playing the main character is Hiroki Hasegawa, one of the most in-demand Japanese actors today. In a quiet but powerful performance, Hasegawa's portrayal of this character allows us to see him in a new light. Joining Hasegawa is newcomer Nander Myat Aung, making an appearance in a beautiful traditional costume.
Hiroki Hasegawa, Nandar Myat Aung(from left)Hiroki Hasegawa(Japan | actor)
Hiroki Hasegawa joined the Bungakuza, one of the most prestigious theater companies in Japan, in 2001 and trained as a stage actor. He appeared in such stage productions as Kafka on the Shore (2012) and Henry VI (2010), both directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Hasegawa gained mainstream attention and received the 35th Japan Academy Prize Newcomer of the Year with his feature film debut. He went on to appear in numerous films, including Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013), Hideaki Anno's Shin Godzilla(2016), which earned him the 40th Japan Academy Prize Actor of the Year, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish(2017). Hasegawa will star in TV drama Manpuku from October 2018, and in NHK's historical drama series Kirin ga Kuru, which starts airing in 2020.
Nandar Myat Aung(Myanmar | actress)
Nandar Myat Aung was born in Rakhine State, Myanmar, on the border with Bangladesh, and went to the National University of Art and Culture in Yangon to study acting. She switched to directing in her second year. She has acted in school projects and directed short films. Asian Three-Fold Mirror marks her theatrical debut.
■ The Sea directed by Degena Yun (China)
Degena Yun brings us a road movie about a mother and daughter whose characters are radically different, traveling together to the sea from Beijing. As the purpose of the trip is gradually revealed, the film is sure to provoke tears. Degena sheds light on universal parent-child relationship issues, while also illuminating human relations in contemporary China. It is a challenging story strongly reflecting Degena's own personal experiences and background. Veteran actress Jin Chen plays the mother, and highly acclaimed young actress Zhe Gong plays the daughter.
Jin Chen, Zhe Gong(from left)Jin Chen (China | actress)
Jin Chen had her first starring role in Out of the Desert in 1988, playing the female protagonist. In 1999, Chen starred in Roaring Across the Horizon, winning the Huabiao Award for Outstanding Actress, the Golden Rooster Award for Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the Changchun Film Festival. She has appeared in works by renowned filmmakers, such as Curse of the Golden Flower (2006), directed by Zhang Yimou, and Aftershock (2010), directed by Feng Xiaogang.
In 2015, Nezhaearned her Best Supporting Actress at the Shanghai International Film Festival New Media Awards, and in 2016, Chen's performance in A Noble Spirit helped it win a Huabiao Award for Prominent Films on Ethnic Minorities. This year, she earned an award from the organizing committee of the 25th Beijing Student Film Festival for Hold your Hands.
Zhe Gong (China | actress)
Zhe Gong earned a master's degree in filmmaking at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. She made her debut as an actress in You and Me (2005), which earned her numerous awards and nominations and was screened at the 18th TIFF. She went on to appear in a variety of films, including Good Earth, Stronger Than Earthquake and Xidan Street Girl (2011). Accolades include the Beijing Student Film Festival Best Newcomer Award, and Chinese Film Media Awards Best New Performer.
■ Variable No. 3 directed by Edwin(Indonesia)
Known for his surrealistic touches, Edwin's story is portrayed from his unique perspective. An Indonesian couple meets a mysterious man while traveling in Tokyo. A so-called consultant who runs a guest house, he gives them odd and sensuous advice. Starring in the film is Nicholas Saputra, one of the most acclaimed actors in Indonesia, who also appears in the two other Asian Three-Fold Mirror episodes. Also starring are popular Indonesian actress Agni Pratistha and Oka Antara, who previously appeared in the Japanese-Indonesian co-production Killers (2013), opposite Kazuki Kitamura.
Nicholas Saputra, Agni Pratistha, Oka Antara(from left)
Nicholas Saputra(Indonesia | actor)
Saputra was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. He completed his BA in Architecture at the University of Indonesia. He made his acting debut in What's Up with Love in 2002, which was the biggest box-office success in Indonesia at the time. The film was distributed across Asia and Europe. Saputra went on to work with prominent Indonesian directors such as Riri Riza (Gie, Indonesia's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2006 Academy Awards) and Edwin (Postcards from the Zoo, Berlinale 2012). He was also the face of Chanel V from 2007-2008. In 2017, he co-founded a production company, Tanakhir Films, and is producing a documentary titled Semesta, currently in post-production.
Agni Pratistha(Indonesia | actress)
Agni Pratistha was born in Australia and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. She starred in Mengejar Matahari (Chasing the Sun), which was shown in the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2005. Pratistha also starred in Cinta Tapi Beda and Pinky Promise. She is also an entrepreneur, having founded Chubby Max cookies and Ark Motion Images, as well as a 2006 winner of Puteri Indonesia (Miss Indonesia Universe), and she went on to represent Indonesia in the Miss Universe Contest in 2007.
Oka Antara(Indonesia | actor)
Oka Antara was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. He entered the entertainment industry through music in his teens, but soon changed to acting and moved to bigger roles at a rapid pace. His achievements include the Best Supporting Actor Award for The Crescent Moon (2015) at the Indonesian Movie Awards in 2016. Antara is best known for starring in the films Sang Penari (The Dancer) (2011), V/H/S/2 (2013), and The Raid 2:Berandal (2014). He also played the main character in the psychological thriller Killers (2013), which was the first collaboration in the genre between Japan and Indonesia, co-starring with Kazuki Kitamura.
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