Airi Kido and TJ Kayama star as Komachi and Shosho in “Path of Dreams.”
The Japanese American National Museum, Chopso, and Eleven Arts Studios are proud to present “Path of Dreams” by Tamara Ruppart on Sunday, April 28, at 4 p.m. at JANM’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.
In poetic Japan, Komachi (Airi Kido) strikes a tantalizing bargain with suitor Shosho (TJ Kayama). If he agrees to write poetry with her for 99 nights, she promises they will create a love more beautiful than poetry. Every day he must ride to her home, and when the sun sets on the 99th night she will take him as her lover.
For 98 nights, they journey through poetry, exploring their hearts and minds, as their love and desire grow in anticipation. On the 99th night, Komachi joyfully awaits her lover. But as she watches the sun set, Komachi moves from disappointment to anger, until a sense of mystery fills the stillness in the air, and heartbreak takes hold of her heart. In her grief, she will carry Shosho with her as she walks the path of dreams.
“Path of Dreams” has won or been nominated for over 23 awards at film festivals around the world, including Best Short Film at the L.A. Women’s International Film Festival and Best Short at the Winter Film Awards in New York.
Kido has had various roles in film and television in Japan, and is best known in the U.S. for her role as Kimiko in Season 5 of HBO’s “Girls.” Her first lead role in a movie was in “Snow Child,” which premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival, winning the Russian Film Clubs Federation Award–Special Mention.
Kayama began honing his craft in theater in New York, landing on various professional stages, such as a principal role for an opera at Lincoln Center. After relocating to Los Angeles, he has been on television shows, such as “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” webisodes, commercials, and films.
Ruppart is a stage director and “Path of Dreams” marks her transition to film. Her stage credits include “Komachi,” “A Thousand Cranes,” “The Fantasticks,” “Strike-Slip,” and the world premiere of “Extinction.”
Playwright Velina Hasu Houston (“Tea,” “Kokoro,” “Calligraphy”) brings her award-winning writing to the screen for her first Japanese film. Her work focuses on the shifting boundaries of identity with regard to gender, culture, and ethnicity, often embracing a transnational view of identity based upon her own Japanese and American background.
Ko Mori, the film’s producer, produces film and television in Japan and the U.S., and often creates projects that showcase themes of identify, particularly across cultures.
“The legend of Ono no Komachi is one of beauty, feminine strength, social defiance, passion and love,” said Ruppart. “Komachi’s inner fire, controversial passion and lack of conformity to ancient society’s structural rules demonstrate the strength and will inherent in women of all cultures and societies, both ancient and modern.”
The production team believes in the power of cross-cultural collaboration and storytelling to recognize the strength in diversity and to celebrate the human spirit.
The team behind the film, including Ruppart, Mori, and Houston, will appear for a Q&A after the screening.
For more information on the film: https://pathofdreamsfilm.com/
“Path of Dreams” will stream worldwide day-and-date on April 28 on Chopso.
Chopso is the ultimate streaming destination for English-language Asian content — movies, documentaries, short films, TV and digital series. For $4.95 a month or $49.95 a year, customers can stream Chopso’s library anytime worldwide via the app (on IOS and Android devices) or website, https://www.chopso.com. All handles are @CHOPSO.
The mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. For more information, go to www.janm.org.
Eleven Arts Studios is an American film production and distribution company in Los Angeles, founded by Mori. The company uses film to bridge connections between varying cultural and global audiences all over the world. Previous credits include “Lords of Chaos” “Downrange,” “Uzumasa Limelight,” and “Man From Reno.” Currently in production: “Prisoners of the Ghostland” with Sion Sono, Nicolas Cage and Imogen Poots, and “MAXX” with Kane Kosugi and Jason Patric. Info: www.elevenarts.net