Sunday, March 05, 2017

First-day-screening event of new movie "Karera ga honki de amu toki wa"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Karera ga honki de amu toki wa" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 25 February which was attended by the director Ogigami Naoko and cast members Ikuta Toma, Kiritani Kenta and Kakihara Rinka. Ikuta plays the role of 32-year-old Rinko who has been troubled since young due to gender dysphoria. Despite being born as a boy, Rinko has always felt that he should be a girl and later underwent a sex change surgery to become a woman. Nonetheless, despite Rinko's physical appearance, she is still listed as a man on her family register and works as a carer at an old folks' home. Rinko lives with her lover Makio played by Kiritani and his niece Tomo (Kakihara) who was abandoned by her mother and she showers Tomo with love as if she is her real mother. The movie was featured in the Panorama and Generation categories of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival recently and had won the Teddy Award for LGBT-themed movies.

Ikuta recounted that when they were at the film festival, they got positive responses from people of various races about the film. He also revealed that there were strangers he met on the streets there who told him that they had watched the movie so he felt really happy about it. In particular, he was extremely pleased that their movie was voted as the winner for the award unanimously by the judges so he hopes that more people will see the potential of Japanese movies and that they are very interesting.  Although it was only a few weeks of filming for them, they had put in their all and was honoured about their film being well-received overseas. During the event, Ikuta held the trophy and walked on stage like a ring girl to show it off to the audience who were tickled by his action.

Ogigami commented that in the US and Europe, there has been a movement to call for real transgender actors to play transgender roles. As such, when she was trying to pick someone to play the lead actor, there were views like this as well. However, she was glad that Ikuta performed beyond their expectations.

As for Kiritani, Berlin was his first appearance at an international film festival so he was really happy when the audience gave a standing ovation for the movie after it ended. Kakihara recounted that she got a nice experience walking on the red carpet in Berlin for the first time in her life.


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