Fukada Koji directed Hospitalité (2010), Au revoir l′été (2013), internationally renowned Sayônara (2015), and Harmonium (2016), which screened in the Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival 2016 and won the Jury Prize. His film, The Man from the Sea (2018), was released all over the world, and in May 2018 he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. His next film, A Girl Missing (2019), screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2019, and although his latest film, The Real Thing (2020), is a reworking of his first drama series, which aired in 2019, it was chosen for Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2020.
Kameda Yuko started out as an AD on short documentaries about education, culture and medicine. Moving into production, she first worked on The Legend of the Sea, Sky and Coral (Shiina Makoto, 1991). She later worked on various films, such as A Last Note (Shindo Kaneto, 1995), Dr. Akagi (Imamura Shohei, 1998), Tokiwa: The Manga Apartment (Ichikawa Jun, 1996), and Turn (Hirayama Hideyuki, 2001), before becoming Line Producer on Adrenaline Drive (Yaguchi Shinobu, 1999) and films such as Sunflower (Yukisada Isao, 2000). In 2002, her first film as a producer, Gunjo-no Yoru-no Hanemoufu (Isomura Itsumichi), was released in Japan. She produced the Korean-Japanese co-production, Higanjima (Kim Taekyun, 2009), which screened in the Midnight Passion at Busan International Film Festival 2009, and Rinco′s Restaurant (Tominaga Mai, 2010). Since 2016, alongside director Fukada Koji, she has worked on the planning and development of the LOVE LIFE project, joining CHIPANGU Inc. as producer.
Oyama Yoshito worked as the director of Warner Mycal in 2006 and in 2015 established MAMFILM as representative director and president. In 2018 he established CHIPANGU Inc. as co-representative. He worked on Harmonium (Fukada Koji, 2016), Just Only Love (Imaizumi Rikiya, 2018), and others.
Sawada Masa is the founder of Comme des Cinemas, an independent French production company based in Paris. He aims to make high-quality international films, specializing in European and Japanese co-productions. Recent credits for Comme des Cinemas include feature films Sweet Bean (aka. An, Kawase Naomi, 2015), A Girl Missing (Fukada Koji, 2019) and Harmonium (Fukada Koji, 2016), which won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2016.
Production Company, CHIPANGU Inc. was established in 2018 with a focus on production and financing of feature films and actively seeking international co-productions. The representative producers of CHIPANG Inc. are Oyama Yoshito, executive producer of Harmonium (Fukada Koji, 2016), and Sawada Masa, producer of Harmonium (Fukada Koji, 2016) and Sweet Bean (aka. An, Kawase Naomi, 2015). CHIPANGU Inc. has upcoming releases in 2020 and 2021, and also some projects under development, such as LOVE LIFE.
Osawa Taeko lives a peaceful life with her husband, Jiro, with whom she remarried a year ago, and her 6-year-old son, Keita. One day, Keita dies in an accident during a party. Taeko, who is unable to recover from her sadness, feels a rift with her husband, who cannot share her feelings. At the funeral, Park Sangsoo, Keita′s real father, who had been missing, suddenly shows up. Park cries in front of Keita′s body, slaps Taeko across the cheek, and runs away. Jiro meets Park again at the city office where he works. Park is a street person and deaf. As an NPO staff member, Taeko tries to rehabilitate Park but fails due to various problems. With no place to go, Park comes to live with Taeko and Jiro. Jiro is jealous of Park and Taeko being together and tries to show Park his intimacy with Taeko. Meanwhile, Park suddenly decides to return to Korea. On the day of departure, Taeko leaves Jiro and boards Park’s ferry. The bus from Busan breaks down, so Taeko and Park get off and start walking. On the way to their destination they are picked up by a Korean lady in her car. When they arrive at their destination, Taeko realizes the purpose of Park’s return is to attend his son′s wedding. All the attendees begin to move into the wedding hall. Park also disappears into the ceremony hall. Taeko is left alone. She turns on her heels and begins to return the way she came.
It was around 2003 when I came up with the simple story for this movie, while listening to the song Love Life by Akiko Yano. The couple has one little boy, who dies unexpectedly in an accident. The wife can’t share her sorrow with her husband and feels a widening rift between them because the son was not her husband’s child but her ex-husband’s. When making a movie, I think the most important thing is how universal it is. Therefore, the main motif of this movie is not the sadness of the couple who lost a child but individual loneliness caused by an inability to share sadness. Loneliness is the essence of everyone’s inherent ego. The concept of this movie has continued to capture my imagination for 16 years. Then, in 2020, in the face of the sudden Coronavirus catastrophe, a way of life that we took for granted was lost, and the whole world was swallowed by a wave of division and unaccustomed reliance upon online communication. In such an era, I′d like to make this movie, about a couple facing each other in the loneliness of losing their precious existence, while listening to Akiko Yano’s gently singing voice "I love you, no matter how far you are, soft days that open up in the heart… "