Jam Films


TOKYO, May 14, 2002-"jam Films", a groundbreaking short films project realized by the collaborative efforts of 7 Japanese filmmakers with impressive track records in feature films and enormous influence over the Japanese film industry, is about to make its appearance in countries around the world. The compilation of 7 extraordinary works produced and directed by these highly talented directors at their best, is expected to pioneer a new trend in the Japanese film industry by generating excitement around short films, the as-yet unexplored field in Japan.

No longer hidden in the shadows of feature films and positioned as mere vehicles to scout for new talents, short films are now gaining increased attention worldwide. The growing interest of the public in this exciting new genre is verified by their ever-growing presence at international film festivals and the impressive turnout of over 60,000 audiences at the annual American Short Shorts Film Festival, Japan's first full-scale film festival for short films, in the past 3 years. In contrast to feature films that are inflexible in terms of media and venue to screen them, short films are considered by many as the perfect entertainment content for the rapidly diversifying media and increasingly multi-faceted entertainment of today.


"the messenger"
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura
Yuko Shindai, dressed with black coat and with a strange tattoo on her neck, is known as a 'Messenger', an assassin. One day, Gondo receives a message from her, and she tries to eliminate him.Gondo resists and fights back, but he finds his face bleeding, and his shirt staind with blood aruond his belly, and his entire body start turning to red.

Directed by Tetsuo Shinohara
Akio, a poor singer, has been living with his lover Kyoko for years, but getting weary of each other recently. One day, when he went out for shopping he collided with a woman, Akagi, and they mistook their shopping bags each other. On the way back home, Akio found a 'kendama', a cup-and-ball toy in the bag, and he realized that he mistook Akagi's bag. In the meantime, Fujikawa, a colleague of Akagi, heard a story about the 'kendama' and began to search Akio.

"Cold Sleep"
Directed by George Iida
After waking up from the state of 'COLD-SLEEP', Fujio finds himself almost amnesia.
He gets out the 'COLD-SLEEP' capsule and goes into a old wooden school building.
He is in fact one of the members who were sent out for a 20-light-years distant planet to investigate the feasibility of human transmigration. Inside the building he meets Naomi, his only surviving colleague, and is told that all the other members are dead due to a defect of the capsule. He gradually regains his memory, and repairs radio machine to contact to the earth.

"Pandora -Hong Kong Leg-"
Directed by Rokuro Mochizuki
Mayuko has a little problem with her foot... that is athlete's foot. She has tried all the medicines, but none of them has worked. One day, she meets a strange guy, and he tells her that he has a secret medicine for her. She trusts his words and follows him to an old theater at the end of the alley. As she is told, she sits in the seat, and slips her foot into the box in front of her. And it is the beginning of a ravishing experience.

Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi
It is a room of an apartment where there are three women and a man. The man is nervously watching the women eating 'hijiki' dish, but the women are paying no attention to him. With a sudden cracking sound, a tear gas grenade is thrown in, and the apartment is now being surround by the police. The man is indeed a suspect, and the women are his hostages. While the man is almost losing control, the women don't care a bit about the grenade and keep eating 'hijiki', and they even ask him to eat together.

Directed by Isao Yukisada
Hideki Tojo (coincidentally named same as the then Prime Minister of Japan who was tried and executed for war crimes) is bored with reading the Potsdam Declaration (that made Japan proclaim unconditional surrender) in his English class, and now looking at girls who exercise the hurdles on the school grounds.After a while he notices that some of the girls pinches their shorts to straighten it, and he starts to count their pinching actions. Now he no longer listens to the class and becomes keen on counting it, and when Miss Hoshi tumbles over the hurdles He raises a loud voice.

Directed by Shunji Iwai
A girl found 'ARITA' written everywhere on her paper belongings. When she learnt that 'ARITA' was only happening to her, she has since kept it secret for 22 years. One day, she becomes obsessed with the questions that what 'ARITA' really is. To find the answer, she fires the paper, but upon firing, 'ARITA' the paper starts screaming and jumping around the room..


7 Directors:

Joji Iida
Iida won his first award at the "Pia Film Festival" in 1981 with the 8mm film "Kyusoku". After leaping to fame in 1987 with the horror movie "Cyclops" for which he played the role of a playwright-director, Iida directed his first feature film "Battle Heater" in 1989. At the same time, he produced, directed, and/or scripted numerous popular Japanese TV programs including "Yonimo Kimyo na Monogatari"(Fuji TV), and the smash hit drama series "NIGHT HEAD" (Fuji TV).
Currently plays active roles in various areas, from planning/producing TV and V-Cinema content to writing original novels.

Shunji Iwai
Iwai began his career in the music videos and CATV industry after graduating from the Yokohama State University. He won the Rookie Award presented by the Directors Guild of Japan for his TV drama "The Kids who wanted to view fire works from another perspective." in 1993, which was before his official debut as a films director. After directing short films "undo" and "PiCNiC", Iwai directed his first feature film "Love Letter" in 1995, a multi award-winning movie that enjoyed a record setting long run in Japan. Following his success with "Love Letter", Iwai directed his second feature film "Swallowtail Butterfly" set at an imaginary city Yen Town', and "April Story", an original film with beautiful visual expressions reminiscent of hand-sketched drawings. In addition to producing films, Iwai launched "All About Lily Chou-Chou", an experimental interactive novel on the Internet, in which he collected input from the readers using the BBS (Bulletin Board System) and incorporated them into his own novel. He produced a movie version of the novel in 2001.
Currently developing ideas for his next project.

Ryuhei Kitamura
Kitamura entered the Films Department at the School of Visual Arts in Australia, where he won the Best Director of the Year Award and the KODAK Award for "EXIT", a short film he produced as a graduation project. On his return home, Iwai assembled a variety of artists including actors, musicians, and designers to form naparlm Films, an original film making organization. "Down To Hell", an action horror film he produced in 10 days with 6 staffs and an outrageously low budget of 300,000 yen (approximately 3,000 dollars), won the grand prize in the 1st Indies Movie Festival. He directed his first theatrical film "Heat After Dark", a long-short movie starred and produced by a renowned Japanese actor Atsuro Watabe, and in 2001, stirred up the film festivals around the world with another smash hit theatrical film "VERSUS". In his latest film "ALIVE", Kitamura created revolutionary visual images utilizing mind-blowing computer graphics and scanning techniques with state-of-the-art HD24P.

Rokuro Mochizuki
Mochizuki spent the early years of his career with film director Masaru Kanei. A screenplay Mochizuki wrote while working with Kanei was filmized in 1983 as "Shojo Nawaningyo" by Genji Nakamura, whom he later went to work for as an assistant director. Mochizuki made his directorial debut with "Honban VideoHagu" in 1985. In 1990, he produced "Skinless Night", an I-novel summarizing his own career as a filmmaker, which was highly evaluated at numerous international film festivals in Berlin, Vancouver, Chicago, etc., and pushed him to stardom overnight.

Tetsuo Shinohara
Shinohara worked under several leading Japanese directors in his early years with whom he worked to produce 5 feature films. After spending several years making unfruitful attempts at producing independent distribution films, Shinohara won a special prize at PFF89 with "RUNNING HIGH". Shinohara's first 16mm film "Kusa No Ueno Shigoto" won the grand prize at the Kobe International Independent Film Festival in 1993, and in 1996, he directed his first feature film "Tsuki To Cabbage".

Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Tsutsumi worked for 2 years as an assistant director in a TV production company and made his directorial debut in 1980. Aside from producing numerous music programs and music videos, Tsutsumi directed a broad range of shows and events, including theatrical performances and music concerts. In 1987, he formed Sold Out, an association of talented creators, jointly with a distinguished broadcasting scenarist and songwriter, Yasushi Akimoto. Shortly after Tsutsumi directed his first movie (the first episode of the "Bakayaro!" series) in 1988, he moved to New York with Akimoto, where he stayed for a year and produced video clips and high-vision content, as well as directed "HOMELESS", a film starring Yoko Ono. In 1994, Tsutsumi and his fellow members of Sold Out established Office Crescendo Inc., where he currently directs/produces movies, TV dramas, TV commercials, music clips, as well as handles CD releases and publication.

Isao Yukisada
Yukisada built his experience as assistant director and producer of a variety of contents including movies, TV dramas, TV commercials, and video clips. He participated in the production of several Shunji Iwai films, such as "Love Letter", "Swallow Tale", and "Shigatsu Monogatari". After making a directorial debut with "Open House" (unscreened), Yukisada directed several films including "Tojiru Hi", "Zeitaku Na Hone", and "Himawari", which won the International Critics League Award at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2000 and helped him attain eminence as the up-and-coming director of great promise. In 2001, Yukisada directed a movie based on "GO", a Naoki Award-winning novel written by Ikki Kaneshiro, and won a number of prestigious awards including the Best Picture Award at the Japan Academy Awards.


"Jam Films" Fact Sheet:

Title: Jam Films
Presents: Sega Corporation
Co-presents: Amuse Inc.
Produced by: Shinya Kawai
Production: An Entertainment Inc.
Co-production: Studio Three
Original Score: Wave Master Inc.
Directors (in alphabetical order):
Joji Iida, Shunji Iwai, Ryuhei Kitamura, Rokuro Mochizuki, Tetsuo Shinohara, Yukihoko Tsutsumi, Isao Yukisada
Compilation of 7 short films (5 to 15 minutes each)
35mm American Vista
DTS Analogue Stereo System

(C)2002 SEGA/Amuse