J-POP SUMMIT AND JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL AUG 7 – 16
Press Release from Viz Media:
San Francisco, CA, July 20, 2015 – The 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first and only fully-dedicated Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area together with the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT proudly present actor Tadanobu Asano, anime director Koji Morimoto and techno DJ Legend Ken Ishii as official Guests of Honor for San Francisco’s annual Japanese pop culture festival. Tadanobu Asano will attend the opening night event at The Castro Theatre to receive Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award.
Tadanobu Asano is widely known for starring roles in movies such as Ichi the Killer, Zatoichi, Thor, 46 Ronin, and Battleship. Koji Morimoto is renowned as one of Japan’s top anime directors and is also a founder of acclaimed Studio 4℃ and known for works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. Ken Ishii is a legendary techno DJ and producer who has performed live internationally and enjoys a worldwide fan base in the electronic music scene.
An Opening Night Event on Friday August 7th at The Castro Theatre kicks off the Japan Film Festival of S.F. with a special 35mm presentation of director Sogo Ishii’s Electric Dragon 80000V, a rollicking comic-book style action film that stars top Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano, who will be on hand to personally introduce the film and participate in an audience Q&A immediately following the screening. Throughout the weekend, the Japan Film Festival of S.F. will present additional films also starring Asano, including My Man and Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi.
The Opening Night Event will culminate with a live DJ set collaboration between Japan’s legendary techno DJ and producer, Ken Ishii, and director Koji Morimoto. Advance tickets to the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT/JFFSF Opening Night Event at the Castro Theatre are available now for $25.00 each from https://jpop2015.brownpapertickets.com.
Tadanobu Asano also is set to appear at the SF premiere screening of My Man on Saturday, August 8th 6:00PM. Asano will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A at NEW PEOPLE Cinema.
Koji Morimoto is set to appear at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT at Fort Mason Main Stage on Saturday, August 8th, 12:00 PM ahead of the screening event, The World of Koji Morimoto, a collection of 3 illustrious animated short films by Koji Morimoto set to screen on Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. Morimoto will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A.
Koji Morimoto will additionally appear for an autograph session at on Saturday, August 8th 1:30 PM in bookseller Kinokuniya’s booth at Fort Mason. Additional details to be announced shortly at J-POP.com.
Ken Ishii is set to headline a second evening concert performance of J-POP LIVE NIGHT on Sunday, August 9th at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT Fort Mason.
“It is a great pleasure to present Tadanobu Asano with the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award,” says Manami Iiboshi, Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “As one of the most inspiring and outstanding figures leading the Japanese film industry, and as an internationally acclaimed actor who actively works on projects beyond boundaries, he is extremely deserving of this Award. We are also thrilled to have director Koji Morimoto and DJ Ken Ishii performing together at our opening night event at the Castro. It is probably the first time since their legendary collaboration on “EXTRA” in the 1990’s.”
Opening in conjunction with the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT on Saturday, August 8th and running thru Sunday, August 16th, the 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema, located inside the NEW PEOPLE entertainment complex in Japantown at 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115 (www.newpeoplecinema.com). Tickets to individual screenings are $13.00 each, unless otherwise noted. Film summaries, trailers, screening times and advance tickets are available at: www.JFFSF.org.
JFFSF Opening Night at Castro Theatre
ELECTRIC DRAGON 80000V
Friday, August 7th, 8:00pm
Dragon Eye Morrison (played by Tadanobu Asano) is a reptile investigator who suffers from an intermittent explosive disorder caused by brain damage he sustained in a childhood accident. He manages to find a way to survive and control his urges to destroy with his love of reptiles and an electric guitar. Meanwhile, Thunderbolt Buddha (played by Masatoshi Nagase), an electric repairman turned vigilante who has acquired powerful electro-conductive powers after sustaining a childhood accident, goes after crime bosses and gangsters that take advantage of electric signals. Holding an obsessive hatred towards Morrison, Thunderbolt Buddha challenges him to a final showdown on the rooftops of Tokyo.
Tadanobu Asano & Koji Morimoto Films to Screen at the 2015 JFFSF:
Saturday, August 8th, 6:00pm – Special Guest Appearance by Tadanobu Asano
When loneliness leads to forbidden love, how far will you go? After losing everything in a tsunami disaster, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by a young distant relative Jungo. The pair begins living together as family while sharing the profound sense of loss. Amidst the deep snows of Hokkaido, both desire to fill their empty, love-starved hearts and they set foot into a forbidden world. When an elder benefactor in their small town Mr. Oshio learns of Jungo and Hana’s illicit relationship, tragedy begins to take over. Don’t miss the special personal appearance by actor Tadanobu Asano who will introduce this film!
THE WORLD OF KOJI MORIMOTO
Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm – Special Guest appearance by Director Koji Morimoto
A collection of three short films by one of Japan’s top anime director Koji Morimoto, widely known as a founder of Studio 4℃ and his works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. The famed director will appear in person to introduce the films as well as participate in an audience Q&A.
Magnetic Rose (45min): Magnetic Rose is the first of three episodes of MEMORIES, based on the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo (the creator of Akira). The film follows the members of the deep space salvage vessel Corona. While performing a salvage mission, the crew encounters an odd distress signal emanating from the Sargasso region, ominously nicknamed “The graveyard of space.” Soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno.
Noiseman Sound Insect (15min): In the space of music, people used to live in the music fruit in the trees. One day, Dr. Frankein secretly succeeds in creating the creature ‘Noiseman’ by feeding the music fruit as fuel. Since then, the space was dominated by noise, not music. When a pair of kids Tobio and Reina find out this secret, they challenge Noiseman to bring the music back home again. The film’s soundtrack was written by Japanese composer, arranger, and musician Yoko Kanno.
Genius Party Beyond: Dimension Bomb (20min): Dimension Bomb is one of the five short animated omnibus “Genius Party Beyond,” produced by Studio 4℃, which director Koji Morimoto founded in 1986. One day, a boy named Shin who wears a pupa-like mask encounters a girl named Koo. The days spent with Koo, who is a free spirit unlike any other, start to fill up his life with cherished and unforgettable moments. Noted musical composer and arranger, Yoko Kanno, provides the voiceover of Koo.
BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI
Sunday, August 9th, 4:00pm
Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi is a 2003 samurai action film, directed by and starring actor Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi) as Zatoichi. It also co-stars Tadanobu Asano, who plays Ronin Hattori, Zatoichi’s rival. The film is a revival of the classic Zatoichi series of film and television series. It won the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Director award at Venice Film Festival and went on to win numerous other awards internationally.
NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com
About JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN FRANCISCO
Launched in 2013, Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is the first and only fully dedicated Japanese film event for the SF Bay Are. This year’s edition will feature a colorful mix of narratives, anime and documentary film premieres and exclusive screenings with special guest appearance at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema in SF’s Japantown from August 8th (Sat) through August 16th (Sun), 2015. More details and ticket information is available at www.jffsf.org.
About J-POP SUMMIT
The J-POP SUMMIT is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration held in San Francisco, CA that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion shows and events, food and spirits, art, and celebrity appearances. In 2014, the two-day event attracted 125,000 attendees. Details on J-POP SUMMIT are available at www.J-POP.com.