Cry Out in the Snow (working title) (HD / color / 120min / Japan)
OHINATA Jun, BANSE Megumi
AOI Pro. Inc.
Script Development, Pre-production
Sato Takuma studied filmmaking at the New Cinema Workshop. His first feature, Don’t Say That Word (2014), won the Audience Award and Cinema Fan Award at the Pia Film Festival 2014. The film was also nominated for the New Currents Award at Busan International Film Festival 2014. His second film, Beginning to Break Hey, Hey, Hey (2015), was sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. His short films, Sudden (2017) and Happy Happy Saturday (2018), were screened at Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival 2018 and at Ikebukuro Cinema Rosa respectively. Sticks and Stones (2018) is his latest short film.
OHINATA Jun, BANSE Megumi
Ohinata Jun joined BUNBUKU production company, founded by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Nishikawa Miwa, and has since been involved with works such as The Third Murder (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2017), which screened in the main competition section of Venice International Film Festival 2017, and Junichi (Kitahara Eiji, Hirose Nanako, 2019).
Joining AOI Pro. in 2016, Banse Megumi was soon working on comedy hit Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (Nagai Akira, 2017). After collaborating with her mentor Kore-eda on Shoplifters (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2018), she joined last year’s APM, with project My Small Land (working title, Emma Kawawada), and won the ARTE International Prize, which was her debut as a producer.
AOI Pro. has gained a strong reputation as a leader in the Japanese advertising and entertainment industries. Shoplifters (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2018), won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2018. Other features include His Lost Name (Hirose Nanako, 2018), which premiered in the New Currents at Busan International Film Festival 2018.
Tasuku goes out drinking with his buddies, forgetting about his wife who is delivering their baby, in the snowy Oga Peninsula, Akita, Japan. Kotone, his wife, is fed up with his behavior and asks for a divorce. “If I could prove myself as a father, Kotone might forgive me!” he thinks. New Year’s Eve, and the Namahage make their rounds of the homes, hollering “Are there any naughty kids?!” The children bawl, and their parents smile at the sight. This is an important ancient tradition in Oga. But that night, a naked Namahage—Tasuku drunk out of his mind—runs wildly through the streets and is caught on national TV, incurring the wrath of viewers all over Japan and turning the sacred festival into a social issue. Two years later, Shiba, a drinking buddy from Akita, comes to Tokyo and informs Tasuku that Kotone is now working in the red-light district. Tasuku decides to return to Akita to do right by his ex-wife and daughter. Enough time has passed, and he’s quit drinking… His small glimmer of hope is snuffed out as soon as he returns. Kotone is raising their daughter by herself. Tasuku doesn’t even know what his daughter looks like. Adding to his misery, Kotone informs him that she’s getting remarried. Tasuku realizes that his daughter doesn’t need him, but amidst his despair, he hopes to see her one last time as her father. On New Year’s Eve, he puts on the Namahage costume and watches her cling to her new father. Tasuku keeps his face hidden under the mask and does the only thing he can for his daughter—to honor the tradition and make her cry.