7-10 OCTOBER 2023
Asian Project Market

2023 Project

What’s Love Got to Do with It? Director HIROSE Nanako Country/Region Japan
  • Producer KITAHARA Eiji, KOIDE Daiju
  • Production Company Bunbuku
  • Writer HIROSE Nanako
  • Shooting Format HD  |  color  |  100min
  • Genre Drama, Comedy
  • Project Status Script Development, Financing
  • Goals at APM Financing, Co-production, Distribution, International Sales, Festival Contact
  • Total Budget USD 1,000,000
  • Financing in Place USD 600,000


Uta and Morio are married, but she has a lover of the same-sex, Junna. When faced with a choice, she proposes that Morio and Junna have a child together.


Uta, a writer of children′s stories who hates children, and her husband, Morio, are in their third year of marriage. When her husband Morio, who has long wanted children, finally insists that it is time to start a family, Uta consults her lover, Junna, who is an editor. Junna reveals her displeasure. She is in the process of testing her fertility through artificial insemination, using sperm from a sperm bank. Cornered, Uta comes out to Morio, and takes a gamble. She plans to bring Morio and Junna together and gradually get them used to each other.
At first, Morio and Junna constantly fight and compete, but gradually they begin to warm to one another. After much discussion, the three of them vow to raise a child together. They try many times to conceive using the syringe method. Finally, Junna′s wish comes true and she gives birth to a child.
The three begin to live together with the child, but Uta, who is neither mother nor father, questions the meaning of her own existence and begins to feel anxious and helpless. In contrast, Morio and Junna grow closer and closer, becoming more and more convinced of their love for their child. They are like a real couple.
Uta was lonely. Uta did not really want a child, she just wanted their love. To end her agony, Uta decides to love her unborn child in order to repair their love.

Director's Statement

From the age of 20, Japanese women are constantly asked, “Are you married yet?” Once married, they are asked whether they have children yet. When it comes to LGBTQ people, good old-fashioned family values are even more pressing.
There was a time when I myself had strong doubts about the concept of family. I found it very painful to think that I had to fall in love and get married, like other people.
What we need, in order to be with the person we love, is not set forms or rules. We can surely live more "freely". With such a message, I hope this story will reach those who find it difficult to live with all kinds of ties and social norms.

Producer's Statement

Regardless of gender or sexual orientation, I will depict in my film how to love and live with the person in front of me, sometimes earnestly and sometimes with humor. In the second half of the story, the three main characters have a child. Confronted by a newborn baby, the three characters suffer again.
What positive legacy can we leave behind for the next generation and what can we pass on?
In order to live in a world where everyone can love and accept each other for who they are, even if just a little, we aim to create a work that can provoke a conversation and hopefully lead to change.

Director's Profile


Director and screenwriter Hirose Nanako was born in Kanagawa prefecture in 1987, graduated from Musashino Art University, and joined Bunbuku production company in 2011. She made her directorial debut with His Lost Name (2018), the story of a young man with a secret, and his pseudo-father-son relationship with the owner of a carpentry shop. The film premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2018, was awarded Special Mention at Tokyo FILMeX 2018, and won the New Director Grand Prix at Takasaki Film Festival 2019. In December of the same year, she released Book-Paper-Scissors (2019), a documentary film about Kikuchi Nobuyoshi, a book cover craftsman. She also directed episodes 3 and 5 of TV series Junichi (2019), based on a novel by Inoue Areno, and was one of the main directors of Soredemo Ai-wo Chikaimasuka? (2021), a TV adaptation of the manga series by Hagiwara Keiku.

Producer's Profile

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Having worked as a director at a production company, in 2006 Kitahara Eiji participated in writing the script for film, Still Walking (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2008), and since then has been involved in planning, producing, and script-writing for almost all Kore-eda′s works. In 2014, he helped to launch production group, Bunbuku. He oversaw planning and production for His Lost Name (Hirose Nanako, 2018), and planned and directed TV drama, Junichi (2019), the first Japanese drama to be selected in the competition section at Cannes International Series Festival 2019. My Small Land (Kawawada Emma, 2022), for which he oversaw planning and production, won Amnesty International Jury Special Mention at Berlin International Film Festival 2022.

Koide Daiju is a producer with Toei Company, Ltd. He produced Ganbare!! Robocon (Ishida Hidenori, 2021), The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea (Ogawa Sara, 2021), Hell Dogs (Harada Masato, 2022), and Shin Kamen Rider (Anno Hideaki, 2023).

Bunbuku is a Tokyo-based production company dedicated to planning and producing feature films, documentaries, television shows and commercials, led primarily by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Nishikawa Miwa.