Women Directors in Contemporary Japanese Cinema

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June 9th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - June 12th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm EDT

Cost: Free
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Register for this event to receive a link to view the presentation anytime between Thursday, June 9, 7:00 PM (ET) and Sunday, June 12, 7:00 PM (ET).

In the mid-2000s, there was an unprecedented boom of women making commercial films in Japan, many winning awards at independent film festivals and securing screenings around the world. In this conversation, Dr. Laird will discuss the emergence of women directors in early 21st century Japanese cinema industries and introduce prominent directors who have been successful in both domestic and international markets. She will discuss the various factors that supported a new career pathway for women in film, as well as ongoing barriers that pose difficulties for continued success.

Colleen A. Laird, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her primary focus is on Japanese women directors and has published on the industry relationships between women directors, female identifying spectators, and the contemporary Japanese film market. In addition to working on a monograph on Japanese women directors, she is also the creator and organizer of the Japanese Women Directors Project, a forthcoming collaborative web project that features three series of inter-related, open-access educational videos.

Online Screenings: Films of ANDO Momoko

After Dr. Laird’s talk, check out our free screenings of 2 ANDO Momoko films! Please register for each film separately.

Dates: Friday, June 10 – Sunday, June 12, 2022

About ANDO Momoko
Born in 1982, the daughter of actor-director OKUDA Eiji and essayist ANDO Kazu, and the sister of award-winning actress ANDO Sakura, ANDO Momoko is certainly no stranger to the world of cinema. After graduating from the Slade School of Fine Arts in London and studying film at New York University, she returned to Japan where she initially worked as an assistant on her father’s films while harboring strong ambitions to become a director in her own right. The result is her delicately nuanced 2009 debut A Piece of Our Life -Kakera-, a free adaptation of Erica Sakurazawa’s manga about a lesbian love affair and boasts a soundtrack by former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha. In 2012, she published her first novel which she then adapted into her second feature film, 0.5mm, starring her sister ANDO Sakura and receiving numerous awards including the Shanghai International Film Festival Best Director Award.


0.5ミリ | 2014 | Drama | 196 mins | Register here

One day, home helper YAMAGISHI Sawa (ANDO Sakura) unwittingly gets caught up in a serious incident and loses her job, forcing her to move out of her company’s dormitory. Left with nowhere to live, she wanders the streets in search of old men with various predicaments, and inserts herself into their lives to become their helper, whether they like it or not.



A Piece of Our Life -Kakera-

カケラ | 2009 | Drama / LGBTQ | 107 mins | Register here

College student Haru (MITSUSHIMA Hikari) is stuck in an unfulfilling relationship with a boyfriend that’s just not right for her. One day, Rico (NAKAMURA Eriko), a “medical artist” who makes prosthetic body parts, strikes up a conversation with her. Rico believes that gender has nothing to do with love. The two quickly become intimately involved.



June 9th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
June 12th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
Event Category:


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
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