“The reason why Kakekomi (2015) is dear to me is that the director Masato Harada was present at Eigasai 2016, a Japanese film festival that I went to when I was still living in Manila, The Philipines. The film is set in the Edo period and it portrays how difficult it was to divorce for women in those times. The story is based on the novel by Hisashi Inoue. Women would go to an Engyō-ji temple to hide because divorcing was a big taboo in Japan. After the film, there was a Q & A with the director and I remember that I loved film in general so much, but I never thought of working in the film industry. Because in the Philipines it feels so unreachable. It feels like it is something that only the elite can do or for which you need to go to an expensive film school or maybe even be good-looking. I was always just a part of the audience. But after hearing Harada passionately speak about making his film historically accurate, how he dealt with problems and how things during production don’t always go the way they were supposed to be, I began to consider filmmaking. I was impressed to discover how one person was able to direct, oversee, produce and finish the film. I left the cinema theatre that day with a retirement goal. While keeping what I learned from Kakekomi‘s director in mind, I hadn’t entered film school or made any film projects. Along the way, I stumbled on travel videos such as Hong Kong Strong of about six minutes. It’s basically a video sequence of quick shots that show you the culture and people from a Hong Kong. Through another one of Hong Kong Strong’s videos, I discovered how accessible it is to make those videos so I could use it to make my own travel videos as I am passionate about traveling as well. It is around that time that I moved to the Netherlands to live with my boyfriend. It was a sudden shift leaving the Philipines and go to the Netherlands. Quite a culture shock, but I thought it would be smart to document the transition, stories, and experiences that will otherwise quickly fade away. All of this drove me to join CinemAsia FilmLAB where I wrote a short film script that tells the story of different women some strong and willing to do anything to survive.” – Maine Galvez
Photo and story by Feargal Agard
Director: Masato Harada | Cast: Yo Oizumi, Erika Toda, Hikari Mitsushima, Rina Uchiyama.
You can discover films from Asia at CinemAsia Film Festival 2019 from the 5th till the 10th of March.
Go to the festival programme to get your tickets: https://cinemasia.nl/en/film-programme-2019/programme-schedule/