A Handful of Salt (film screening)

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June 4 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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(c) Hitonigiri Film Partners

A Handful of Salt

Tuesday, June 4, 6:00PM (ET)

Doors open 5:30PM | Film Screening | In-Person | JFT Event Hall

Directed by ISHII Kaori • 2011 Documentary • 90 minutes • Presented in Japanese with English subtitles • Free Admission Trailer

A Handful of Salt focuses on the craftspeople who continue to make salt with a technique called “Agehama-shiki” that has been passed down since ancient times, and the lush natural environment of the northernmost tip of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. It is also the feature-length debut of director ISHII Kaori. The process of making salt by collecting sea water and boiling it in a hiragama cauldron temporarily died out during the period of Japan’s rapid economic growth following World War II, but one family’s efforts to keep it alive has miraculously ensured its continuation. Salt is a vital element of people’s lives. The salt-making artisans who perpetuate their traditions represent a way forward for those of us living in this modern age.

A Handful of Salt director ISHII Kaori will join us virtually for a livestreamed Q&A session in our event hall after the screening.

This screening is a part of our Cinema Umami food film series.

Free admission. Register below.

The Japan Foundation, Toronto is hosting this film screening to honour everyone affected by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake that occurred on January 1, 2024. For information on how to support recovery and relief efforts in the Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture, please refer to donation details in this PDF.

Director Profile:

ISHII Kaori graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of the Sacred Heart. While working at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT) she studied at the Film School of Tokyo after work.

Her first documentary film, Sorry Grandma (2005) won the first prize at the Osaka Abeno Human Documentary Film Festival. Her next one, Chain of Life – The Artistry of Mokuhanzome Kimono (2006), depicted Japan’s oldest dyeing technique and was screened in many festivals around the world. She also worked as an assistant to HANEDA Sumiko, who is one of the most famous documentary filmmakers in Japan. Ishii went on to direct for television before producing her next film, A Handful of Salt (2011) which received the Best Cinematography prize at Cebu International Documentary Film Festival.

The films and programs she directs and produces are on the theme of traditional culture and craftsmanship, some of which have screened in Japan and abroad. Since 2009, Ishii has been a regular visitor to the Noto Peninsula and was invited to direct this sake-themed documentary The Genealogy of Sake which has screened at the Milan International Expo 2015 & Hawaii International Film Festival 2016. She was also involved in developing the charm of the region and people of Noto, many whom she met through the film, from various perspectives such as food events, brewery tours, and workshops.


June 4 @ 6:00 pm
June 4 @ 8:00 pm
Event Category:
Doors Open:
Japanese with English subtitles


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
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The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Canada
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