Acting For Beginners

Source: (c) 2024 Saitama Prefecture - SKIP CITY Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza

‘Acting For Beginners’

The world premiere of Takeshi Kushida’s Acting For Beginners has been set as the opening film of Japan’s Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (July 13-21), which has also revealed its international and Japanese competition titles.

It marks a return to the festival for Japanese filmmaker Kushida, whose psychological thriller My Mother’s Eyes premiered in competition at Skip City last year, having won the festival’s top award in 2020 with Woman Of The Photographs.

Kushida’s latest centres on an acting coach dealing with the trauma caused by his relationship with his father, who hosts lessons in a factory where time seems to have stopped. Through improvisation, he enters the memories of a child actor who lost his father and a lonely teacher, encountering miracles while retracing their lives.The cast includes Katsuya Maiguma, Ayaka Onishi, Kanade Iwata and Keiichiro Mori.

The 21st edition of Skip City will again be held on the outskirts of Tokyo in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, with a focus on emerging talent. The festival will retain the hybrid approach adopted in 2022 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, running physically from July 13-21 and online from July 20-24.

This year’s International Competition will comprise 10 titles including the world premiere of Yoshihiko Taniguchi’s Happy Life and titles from Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary, Turkey, Uzbekistan and India.

The six features playing in the Japanese Film Competition include Tomohiro Hirota’s Lost In Reminiscence; Zhang Suming’s A Wasted Night; Jengil Park’s Poems Of Flower Rain; Hina Murata’s The Midnight Sun; Hiroyuki Shintani’s The Next Day; and Yuki Ito’s Winter Stuff. All are world premieres, with the exception of A Wasted Night. Eight short films have also been selected.

Presiding over the International Competition and Japanese Film Competition juries respectively are filmmakers Kazuya Shiraishi and Satoko Yokoham. The festival will screen Shiraishi’s Dare To Stop Us and Yokoham’s Bare Essence Of Life with the directors set to meet young filmmakers to share their experiences of making commercial films.

Skip City 2024 International Competition

Before It Ends (Den)
Dir. Anders Walter

Happy Life (Japan)
Dir. Yoshihiko Taniguchi

Love Alone Can’t Make A Child (Ger-Nor)
Dir. Judith Beuth

Maria Montessori (Fr-It)
Dir. Léa Todorov

Mastergame (Hun)
Dir. Barnabás Tóth

Michel Gondry – Do It Yourself! (Fr)
Dir. François Nemeta

Separation (Turkey)
Dir. Hasan Demirtas

Stolen (India)
Dir. Karan Tejpal

Striking The Palace (Fr)
Dir. Nessim Chikhaoui

Sunday (Uzbekistan)
Dir. Shokir Kholikov