A press conference featuring a special screening of “GFP BUNNY,” this year’s winner of the Best Picture Award in the JAPANESE EYES section at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), was held November 12, 2012, at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ). Prior to the screening, Yoshi Yatabe, TIFF programming director introduced the JAPANESE EYES section. Following the screening, Chairman Tom Yoda summarized this year’s TIFF and gave a congratulatory speech. The 25th TIFF was held October 20-28, 2012, at Roppongi Hills and other venues in Tokyo.
Notes and Quotes from the Press Conference
Yoshi Yatabe, TIFF programming director
“For the past 4 years we have shifted JAPANESE EYES section more to support the independent Japanese films. More specifically speaking, we support part of the English subtitling fees, we offer 500,000 yen and to the winner of the selection, 1 million yen. This is the effort to urge more young independent film makers to make their films. And also have them to bring their films overseas. We do have high prospective for “GFP BUNNY”. So I would appreciate your continuous support.”
Tom Yoda, Chairman, Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF & TIFFCOM)
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to many of you to provide us lots of support and we were able to finish the 25th edition of Tokyo International Film Festival in good result. For the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix “The Other Son” was chosen, for the JAPANESE EYES section, “GFP BUNNY” won the Best Picture. It was always our intention to discover and support indie film makers in Japan. We had award-winning films “hospitalité” in 2010 and “About the Pink Sky” in 2011, both were extremely successful in Japan and overseas as well. So we are hoping to that this film will also gather a lot of international attention because of the director Tsuchiya’s creativity and innovativeness. I do hope his film and career will succeed and thrive in the future. Next year TIFF will mark the 26th edition and I would appreciate for your continuous support.”
Yutaka Tsuchiya (Director of “GFP BUNNY”)
Q: How do you feel about the crowd funding? Are you sort of disappointed that you have to go that route or do you see that as positive future for the independent Japanese cinema?
A: I do admit there is a disappointing side having to resort to this tactic but I do perceive it in a positive ways as well. It is definitely a new way from what was previously done, trying to collect funds from a crowded people rather than a certain individual or a party or an organization. So I would like to think of it more in positive aspect in a new way of funding a film. At the same time it doesn’t have to be all about crowd funding, for example, among the 2 million yen that is in need for this film, half can be done by crowd funding, remaining can be subsidized by other organizations. I think we can collect these pieces and puzzle them together to collect all the funds.
Q: The director’s previous film “PEEP “TV” SHOW” was also about technology and how security cameras are always watching us. It was about 8 or 9 years ago. What is your opinion in about the biggest change in technology since then and how it changed our daily lives?
A: First of all, I think the biggest change was the wider spread of the internet and also social networking. “PEEP “TV” SHOW” was all about the security cameras and surveillance. But now people are voluntarily showing their personal information, they are showing where there were, and their data. They are throwing themselves into being “seen”.
Q: I’m really curious how you decided, when you are writing a script, to break the fourth wall. The way you did was very unique.
A: At the 2010 TIFF, I have pitched the project called “New Hello” which budget was 20 million yen. It was more intricately, very much solidly structured, even more than this one. First of all, the project didn’t pick up and second of all I realized that it was not quite the film that I really wanted to make. Back when I was doing that project, it was in my mind that I would have to create a project that fit it in the format of feature film in order to fund the project. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out, so that I decided to give up on the whole formatting my project as a film ideal. Maybe I want to deconstruct what the film supposed to be. Maybe I want to do away with the format. So I decided to go back to basics and what I really wanted to do. And that was sort of deconstructing film as a format. Hence you see “GFP BUNNY”.
Q: How much of that “science” was from the original story, the real story film?
How much of the film is fiction and how much of the film is real?
A: I only know about that incident is what was in the press, magazine or newspapers at that time. I didn’t do any deeper or further research. So all you see is what I saw in the media that is all true or not, I really can’t give you the answer. The actual diary, we know that she wrote a blog back in 2005, this is actually archived on the internet so I read up on her blog and what you see in the film is what the impression that I had of her from reading her blog, the way I think which she perceived of the world. So I took that girl in 2005 and putting her in 2011, how she would see the world today. In that sense, what you see is fiction. In the actual blog, she doesn’t give any mention to the human gene at all, but what you see in the film is a voice over of what she actually wrote. 70% or 80% of the girl’s diary or voice over is actually taken from the 2005 diaries that she wrote. But the genome part is fictionalized that I added in.
Q: The girl in the film is a big chemistry fan not really doing any biology. She is also a big fan of 1950’s serial killer, Graham Young. So she seems to be a psychopath rather than representing the contemporary Japanese society. Only that girl from 2005 doesn’t seem to fit in the film, so why did you connect that separate isolated dot to other dots? And also, since I am a scientist, I always hate to see the scientists in the movies that depicted as mad scientists…
A: As for the scientists in the film, I actually think what they are doing is pretty cool. So I didn’t intend to characterize them as mad scientists. So I hope you did not perceive it as such. For the girl’s relation with the science, reading her blog from 2005, what really caught my interest most is her point of view as pure observer. You see that she tries to poison her mother but it was probably not because she hated her and did not intend to actually kill her mother. It wasn’t from the twisted emotion or anything. It was on the same level as observing or experimenting with an ant or a hamster and next she decided to experiment with was her mother. It’s all on the same level to her. So that really caught my attention. I wanted to see or experiment with the idea of if you put some one girl like her in today’s world how would she perceived the world and system. That was what I wanted to depict. What you see in the film, it is not actually her; it is how I perceive her. So let me make that clear first. And it is also the statement of the society, today’s society where people are reduced to data. If you shop on Amazon.com, you become marketed in the sense that Amazon knows how many times you clicked on certain banners or products. Next time you login, Amazon knows what products it should suggest you. It becomes more precise marketing, kind of society, Amazon doesn’t know if you are left or right wing, it is all in numbers. To me that drew a parallel to how the girl sees the ant or hamster and her mother all on the same level. That was I wanted to bring forth in the film.
“GFP BUNNY” (The film will be released at UPLINK theatre in 2013)
Director / Screenplay / Editor :
Official Site(Japanese only)