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TIFFCOM: Animator WIT Studio Helps Tokyo New Cinema to ‘Blooms’

Of all the indie films being proffered at TIFFCOM one stands out both for its production and pedigree. “Summer Blooms,” directed by Ryutaro Nakagawa snatched the FIPRESCI award at the Moscow International Film Festival earlier this year and also screened at the Taipei festival.

“Blooms” tells the story of Hatsumi, played by Aki Asakura (“Tale of Princess Kaguya”), a 20-something woman whose boyfriend committed suicide. She’s living her life “but she has an empty space in her heart” according to Yuri Oguriyama at Gaga Corp., which is handling international sales. “This film portrays the universal theme of a girl who has lost something dear.”

The film was produced by up-and-coming collective Tokyo New Cinema on a budget of approximately $100,000. CEO Hikaru Kinouchi brought in the bigger, but primarily animation maker, WIT Studio.

“Ryutaro Nakagawa and the CEO of WIT Studio both did TED talks at Keio University. We kept communication going. “At first, the WIT CEO wasn’t interested in doing live action but eventually we were able to work with him. He’s a great producer and gave us a lot of insight that was helpful in making this film,” said Kinouchi.

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