EXCLUSIVE: Chiang Hsiu Chiung’s feature [pictured] is currently in post-production.
Japan’s Toei Company has announced Chiang Hsiu Chiung’s Land’s End Café – a coffee-lover’s Bagdad Café set against the sea.
About the friendship between two very different Japanese women, the film stars Hiromi Nagasaku (Rebirth) and Nozomi Sasaki (My Rainy Days).
Taiwanese director Chiang, who started in films acting in Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day, worked as assistant director to Hou Hsiao Hsien.
She directed award-winning TV feature Artemisia. Her documentary Let The Wind Carry Me won 2010 Taipei Film Festival’s Grand Prize, screened in Tokyo International Film Festival’s Winds of Asia section, and was nominated for a Golden Horse Award.
Budgeted at $1.17m (JPY120m), the film’s currently in post-production. Toei plans a winter 2014 release.
“Modeled on a café that actually exists on the Noto Peninsula, we wanted to produce a film where the characters’ lives unfolded in those surroundings, which was how the original story of Land’s End Café was born,” says producer Tadayuki Okubo, also known to many EFM attendees as a Toei sales exec.
In the film, Misaki (Nagasaku) returns to the tip of Noto Peninsula, on the farthest reaches of “land’s end” on the Sea of Japan, a place where she last saw her father almost 30 years ago.
She converts a crumbling boathouse into a small café serving hand-roasted coffee. Living in a nearby lodge, young single mother Eriko (Sasaki) is raising a son and daughter by herself and becoming increasingly frustrated with her constrictive existence.
With different outlooks on life, the two women get off to an awkward start but forge a bond at land’s end.