Many of the films being screened this year are medium/feature-length works. This trend can be seen in the works selected for both the Japan Tomorrow and New Film Japan sections, and it was also noticeable among the works submitted for consideration that were ultimately not chosen. Not limited to Japanese works, this phenomenon can also be seen in the works selected for the New Film International section.
Among these medium/feature-length works, a group of several personal documentary films shot over a long period of time were particularly eye-catching. In the New Film Japan section these include Shinjiro Maeda’s “ “hibi” AUG 6 years mix [2008-2013],” Hiroyuki Oki’s “May II,” and “IMPRINT” by Nobuhiro Kawanaka, one of this genre’s previous generation of filmmakers, while in the Japan Tomorrow section representatives of this trend include Masakazu Saito’s “Holiday Movie 2009–2013.” Kawanaka’s work that recomposes vast footage from the early days of video, Maeda’s conceptual, improvised work, Oki’s work that weaves together the month of May over five years with its own unique sensability, and Saito’s work that displays a circuit with the outside world while taking up the motif of the family: all of these works differ completely in their form of expression. Watching and comparing all of them is strongly recommended. Macoto Tezka’s “Planet Teトla” may perhaps also be included in this group of works in the sense of possessing a strong personal spirit.
The selection of dramatic works is also diverse. These include “Dropping” (Hiromichi Nakao) and “Afterglow” (Tomohiro Hirota) in the competition section, and “Last Angel” (Takashi Ito) and “Rabbit” (Naoyuki Tokumoto) in the invitation section. I hope audiences will also direct their attention towards these forms of narrative expression that starkly contrast those found in ready-made TV dramas and other forms of entertainment.