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Japan House to Host Short Film Master Class and Screenings

Kazuhiro Tsuji working on a sculpture of the famed underground cartoonist and satirist Robert Crumb. Pimentel’s film is one of four to be screened at a Japan House event on Jan. 17.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, Japan House Los Angeles and Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia will showcase a collection of shorts in Hollywood.

Naomi Kawase

The free one-day film festival will bring together premier film talent from Japan, including Cannes Film Festival judge Naomi Kawase and actor and Screen Actors Guild member Tetsuya Bessho, at the historic TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

The two-part program aims to bring a sense of intrigue and cultural discovery to festival attendees through the art of short contemporary visual storytelling.

The festival opens with the master class “The Possibilities of Film,” as celebrated Japanese female director Kawase presents her unique insight on the future of film and explores the short-film format.

The class will be followed by a discussion with Akira Mizuta Lippit, vice dean and professor of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Division of Cinema and Media Studies.

This special program offers a rare classroom-like environment in a theatre, as it invites the audience Aline Pimentel’s “The Human Face” profiles Oscar-winning makeup artist to participate in a live dialogue with the director and is also set as the U.S. premiere of her 2017 film “Parallel World.”

“Benjamin’s Last Day at Katong Swimming Complex” by Yee Wei Chai is among the films to be featured.

The screenings will follow, featuring these films:

The U.S. premiere of Daishi Matsunaga’s “Canaria” (2018);

“Benjamin’s Last Day at Katong Swimming Complex” (2017) by Yee Wei Chai, 2018 SSFF & Asia’s Grand Prix George Lucas Award winner;

“Lies” (2015) by Kawase;

“The Human Face” (2017) by Aline Pimentel, a multiple awardwinning short documentary about Kazuhiro Tsuji, the first person of Japanese and Asian descent to win the makeup and hairstyling Oscar at the 2018 Academy Awards. The film stars director Guillermo Del Toro, Tsuji, actor Gary Oldman (who was transformed into Winston Churchill for “Darkest Hour”), and artist Chet Zar.

The program will be accompanied by introductions made by special guests representing respective films.

SSFA & Asia has grown exponentially since it was established to promote short films to the Japanese audience in 1999. The festival first debuted outside of Asia in Hollywood

in 2002, and Japan House Los Angeles is pleased to bring this festival back with its founder, Bessho, and the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles to provide an interactive platform to share Japanese culture through the form of short films.

“Master Class with Naomi Kawase: The Possibilities of Film” runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres at Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Level 3. The film screenings begin at 6:30 p.m.

The festival is free to the public, but requires reservations. More information and reservation forms at

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