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Nobuhiko Obayashi set as Japanese Director in Focus at Tokyo Film Festival

Indie director, Nobuhiko Obayashi will be feted as the director in focus at the Japan Now section of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will give a world premiere to his “Labyrinth of Cinema.”

Supporting his art by shooting commercials, Obayashi is an indie whose dreamy works have influenced numerous other directors in Japan. His oeuvre includes “I Are You, You Am Me,” “The Little Girl Who Conquered Time,” and “Lonely Heart,” which were completed in 1985 and are together known as the Onomichi Trilogy. Other titles include “Casting Blossoms to the Sky,” “Seven Weeks,” and “Hanagatami,” which have been called the War Trilogy. These were completed even the director had been diagnosed with lung cancer. His first commercial film, “House,” made for Toho in 1977, was said to have surprised audiences with unique touches not found in the work of studio directors.

“Obayashi was a leading light in Japanese films of the 1970s and 1980s with his fantastical and poetic works, including the Onomichi Trilogy, all of which came to be called Obayashi World,” said Kohei Ando, the Tokyo festival’s programming advisor. “In recent years, once again deploying experimental and distinctive narratives, he has continued to create fresh films, pursuing themes around pacifism and humanism. Obayashi’s films depict the shadows of loved ones, lost history, lost youth, memories and imaginary happy endings that people dream of, followed by the reality.”

The Tokyo festival will this year run Oct. 28-Nov. 5. The selection of titles for the Japan Now section will be announced in late September.

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