Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Take 5 with "Happy Ending"

The 7th annual Oxford Film Festival is getting closer every day. Before we kick off another fun-packed festival, we thought we would take five with filmmakers and get to know them just a little better.

Atsu Yamada, director of "Happy Ending," talks about his narrative feature that screens Friday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 7 at 3:20 p.m.

OFF: In 10 words, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

AY: Romantic Comedy about Romantic Comedy for Romantic Comedy lovers

OFF: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

AY: In the indie film world, you have to put exactly the same effort to show your film to other people, as much as to write, direct, edit the film itself. I was never good at it, but I eventually got a chance to make this film simply because I had kept showing.

OFF: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

AY: I graduated NYU Tisch in 2005, where I learned English and a little bit of filmmaking. (I'd been making films before entering in NYU.) After the graduation, I made a half an hour short in the U.S. titled "My First Kiss," which is another Rom-com with more After School Special taste. It consequently won the first prize in Yamagata International Movie Festival in 2007. At that time, the festival offered me a scholarship grand to make a feature.

OFF: What’s your dream distribution plan for the film?

AY: I'm sure this is not a big film which will be broadly distributed and such. I hope it will be shown some of the very selected but unsophisticated theaters where no egghead art film bum is, namely such place as the Cinema Asahi in this film.

OFF: What’s the future hold in store for your film and for you?

AY: For this film, nothing. I hope more word of mouth are created to make it circulate around film festivals. For myself, nothing, either. Slowly writing hopefully-to-be my next feature project's script, which is a Chinese version of Sideways without wine but Japanese comics, without two boys but two girls, but I really wish someone would make me sit down and force me to write.

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