Canadian International Documentary Festival

  • 27 Apr 2017
  • 12:00 AM (UTC-04:00)
  • 07 May 2017
  • 11:30 PM (UTC-04:00)
  • Hot Docs 110 Spadina Ave. Suite 333 Toronto, ON , M5V 2K4 Canada

Organized by HotDOCS

MADE IN JAPAN programming includes

Ryuichi Hirokawa: Human Battlefield  Saburo Hasegawa /Japan
“I am a human being before I am a journalist. If someone is drowning in front of me, I'm going to put my camera down to help them.” Ryuichi Hirokawa's philosophy is clear, but rigid, and he lives by it.


Raise Your Arms and Twist  Atsushi Funahashi / Japan
NMB48, AKB48… These abstract names are associated with a very Japanese phenomenon: idol groups, young female pop stars whose careers live and die by the number of fans they have. The groups are put to the test, as are the idols and their fan clubs. 

Ramen Heads

Koki Shigeno /Japan 
Osamu Tomita, Japan's reigning king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing every single step of his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles, and his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients.

Ukiyo-e Heroes Toru Tokikawa /USA, Japan
The feature is a journey of discovery into how a Canadian and an American with a father and son generation gap team up to revive the ancient Japanese woodcut using pop-culture icons: Super Mario and Pokémon.

A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light Yuko Nakamura /Japan
Highlighting the two-year communications between Naito, an artist who has never revealed her creating processes, and director Nakamura, this film shows the quest of five women, all invariably enchanted by Naito's art, as they explore her artistic world.

About My Liberty  Takashi Nishihara /Japan 
This documentary follows the activities of the Japanese student activist organization, SEALDs, who have been protesting against the Prime Minister's advocacy to pass the bill which is to alter the interpretation of the constitution regarding the country's defense and security. 

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Other Featured Films:

Living the Game    Takao Gotsu / Japan
With access to all the biggest players and tournaments, director Takao Gotsu shows the professional Street Fighter gaming world in a fresh way, tackling the essential nature of confidence and competition and focusing on Japan’s top talents.

Tokyo Idols   Kyoko Miyake / Japan
Idols are designed to be worshipped. In the country that contributed anime and karaoke to popular culture, a new phenomenon has emerged. Aspiring performers pursue middle-aged salarymen online, who then obsessively flock to lip-sync dance shows and pay for the opportunity to shake hands with these teenage idols at post-performance meet-and-greets. Competition between idols is fierce, and rabid fans—known as otaku—are critical to success.

Short Films:

Sit  (screening with Living the Game)  Yoko Okumura / USA
Dad is a Buddhist monk who sits in mindful meditation every day, while mom sews to access her zazen. They’ve raised their children without any expectations. But are the kids alright? Filmmaker-daughter Yoko Okumura documents the effects of Zen Buddhism on her brother’s maturation and motivation as he shifts from a life of lazy video gaming to gaining the courage to follow his own path.- Angie Driscoll

A Friendship in Tow/Toe (screening with Maison du Bonheur)  Atsushi Kuwayama / Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Japan
One night in Lisbon, a Japanese man helps an elderly Portuguese woman on crutches ascend a massive set of stairs. Their amusing encounter and surprising connection, despite major language barriers, rivals any Richard Linklater romance or Aaron Sorkin walk-and-talk for humour and admission. Without fully understanding each other, they share stories and sarcasm that reveal their personalities and vulnerabilities in the span of just five flights. - Angie Driscoll

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