Young Indie Filmmakers at Berlin


Among new movies from Yukisada Isao and Kurosawa Kiyoshi as well as Pink Film retrospectives by masters such as Soda Kazuhiro and Suo Masaki, two independent filmmakers in their twenties made their international debut at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum Section.

Kiyohara Yui’s (pictured left) Our House, a Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School production, is a bold narrative attempting to tell two separate stories in tandem, but occurring in the same place and somehow perceived by the characters involved. It is a visual interpretation of the compositional structure found in Bach’s fugues from which Kiyohara drew inspiration.

Yamanaka Yoko’s (pictured right) Amiko is a breezy, 66 minute profile of a young teen embodying a non-conformist, “anti-bourgeois” attitude permeating the movie itself, engendering comparisons to the rebellious spirit of the “Hachiri” movement of 1980s Japanese cinema. Forum Section head, Christoph Terhechte, has even said of Yamanaka: “[…] Yoko Yamanaka is the youngest director in the entire festival. I really hope that she makes more films because she clearly has a huge imagination and possesses a type of cheekiness and nonconformity that has become very rare.” (source)

Both these young women are just starting their careers. With luck–but mostly support from both the indie filmmaking community and audiences around the world–they’ll continue to make as interesting, bold, and idiosyncratic movies as their debuts.

Photo courtesy Pia Film Festival