06-24 November 2019



New American PerspectivesSpotlight on Japan


2019 / 115’ / Hawaii Premiere / Japanese
First feature


As part of the New American Perspectives program, director HIKARI will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

Yuma (Mei Kayama) is a budding and very talented manga artist. She is also living with cerebral palsy. She works for a YouTube star, who is also her cousin (Minori Hagiwara). To retain her persona,  she keeps Yuma hidden from the public eye and treats her as a ghostwriter. Willing to break away and go out into the world, Yuma regularly sends out her portfolio to other publishers. She gets a bite from a small outlet that specializes in adult manga entertainment. The editor, unphased by Yuma’s disability, tells her that her work is naive and that she should go out there and experience life. This sets Yuma on a mission to do so, while trying to navigate the watchful eye of her caring but protective mother (Misuzu Kanno). 
Patiently observed, 37 SECONDS marks the feature film debut of Hikari (formerly Mitsuyo Miyazaki, who directed the HIFF 2011 Audience Award Short Fllm TSUYAKO). She gradually expands the scope of Yuma’s explorations until her travels take her further than she could ever have anticipated. Although Yuma’s search for physical, creative, and sexual autonomy suits a broad canvas, Hikari maintains an intimate focus on her heroine, taking us into a Tokyo rarely seen in cinema. But the real discovery is Mei Kayama, who is extraordinary as Yuma, in performance of a modern day artist, who brings an eccentric curiosity that can only come from an otaku.

-Anderson Le

HIKARI Biography

HIKARI is a writer-director and cinematographer with a professional background as an actor, dancer, and photographer. Her directorial debut, short film TSUYAKO screened at over 60 film festivals worldwide (including HIFF), winning 38 awards and 2 nominations including Best International Short Film at 2 Academy Award qualified festivals. 37 SECONDS is her feature-length debut, premiering this year at the Berlin Film Festival to much critical acclaim. HIFF is honored to welcome HIKARI to this year’s Festival.

Thursday 14 20:00 - 22:15Regal Dole Cannery 13
Saturday 16 14:00 - 16:15Regal Dole Cannery 1
Sunday 17 20:15 - 22:15Regal Dole Cannery 15
Director Hikari.
CastMei Kayama, Misuzu Kanno, Shunsuke Daito and Makiko Watanabe.
Screenplay Hikari.
CinematographerStephen Blahut.
Production designerTakashi Uyama.
EditorThomas Krueger.
MusicAska Matsumiya.
SoundSung Rok Choi.

Producers                   HIKARI, Peter MAEZ, Shin YAMAGUCHI

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