Celebrating Women in Film

For the next month, we will be celebrating the role women directors have played in both classical and contemporary Japanese cinema. Brush up on your knowledge of Japanese women directors with a special talk by Dr. Colleen Laird, then tune in to two online presentations by filmmaker ANDO Momoko, followed by two films directed by acclaimed documentarian HANEDA Sumiko.

Online Talk: Women Directors in Contemporary Japanese Cinema

Dates: June 9, 7:00 PM – June 12, 7:00 PM

Register today to view a special presentation with Dr. Colleen Laird (UBC) about the emergence of women directors in early 21st century Japanese cinema industries. Dr. Laird will introduce prominent directors who have been successful in both domestic and international markets, and 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.

Presented in English; register here.



Online Screenings: Films of ANDO Momoko


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.


Online Screenings: Films of HANEDA Sumiko


Dates: Friday, July 1 – Sunday, July 3, 2022

About HANEDA Sumiko
Born in 1926, in Dalian, China (then Manchuria, under Japanese occupation), Haneda started her career with Iwanami Productions, a company producing educational films, where she would make her first films about the arts, education, and nature. In 1976 she directed her first independent film, The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms, a personal project she had worked on for many years. She made films about folkloric dances and changing rural traditions (Ode to Mt. Hayachine, 1982), portraits of aging artists such as Akiko-Portrait of a Dancer (1985) or the monumental Kabuki Actor Kataoke Nizaimon (1992-1996). Haneda led a prolific career directing over 80 films and receiving widespread recognition for her work on welfare politics and caring for the elderly. Later in her career, Haneda reflected upon her early life in China with films about the Japanese settlers in Manchuria such as Faraway Home – Lushun and Dalian (2011). She also participated in the creation of the Tokyo International Women’s Film Festival (1985-2012), the first of its kind in Japan.

Films to be announced soon!