A new film by Atsushi FUNAHASHI
Japan is behind on #MeToo. This speculative film explores what may have happened in the wake of an actual incident where a hotel receptionist was harassed by her boss.
In 2018, Saki, a receptionist at a high-profile hotel chain was harassed by her superior. This speculative film is based on actual events and imagines how Saki and her coworkers may have aired out their frustration and resentment off the clock. Desperate for a break from the social media backlash, they travel to an idyllic company retreat by the sea. But the group dynamics quickly devolve into mistrust and animosity, compromising any camaraderie they may have had. The retreat is a place that beckons them back, drawing out their darkest feelings, like an old haunted house.
Ranked 121st in the world for gender equality, Japan is behind on the #MeToo movement; workplace sexual harassment is still rampant in all echelons of society. A recent Japanese government survey found that the majority of labor disputes involved either sexual or power harassment, with 82,797 cases reported in a single year. Yet 45% of victims kept silent and chose not to take any action.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT By Atsushi Funahashi
This film is based upon a real case of sexual harassment that happened in the workplace of a Tokyo hotel chain. Because the victim, the perpetrator, and those who involved refused to be filmed, I decided to make a fictionalized version, instead of shooting a documentary.
In short, this film depicts how immature we are as humans.
If we do not respect morals to determine right or wrong, the whole of society gets lost in the confusion.
On the UN’s latest gender equality ranking, Japan comes 121st, the lowest among the top 25 developed countries. The main reason is that Japanese society is based upon a masculine, feudalistic hierarchy that originated long ago from Confucianism.
Men in these countries have an unconscious feeling of genetic superiority over women, although they rarely say so.
I hope the film questions what is truly important in the midst of this moral panic. While we see many absurdities and evil minds everywhere, the film aspires to ask how we humans can tolerate people’s weakness and ignorance.
Running Time: 135 min
Format: 2K HD, B&W+Color
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Writer & Editor: Atsushi FUNAHASHI
CAST: Saki HIRAI, Megumi ITO, Takafumi YAMANAKA, Yoshio TAGUCHI, Yuta MITSUZONO, Seishi Kimura, Taku Tsujii, Arnor Shu Fujimura, Kazuaki Nomura, Makoto Hada
World Sales: ARTicle Films, Emi Ueyama
Producer/Production Company Kotaro Date, Timeflies Inc.
Phone:+81-3-5315-4182 email： email@example.com
Atsushi Funahashi is a Tokyo-New-York-based filmmaker. His debut feature echoes (2001), won three jury and audience awards at Annonay International Film Festival in France. The film has been theatrically distributed in the USA and Japan. His second film, Big River (2006), an American Wild-Wild-West roadmovie starring Jo Odagiri, was premiered at various film festivals (including Berlin, Pusan, Karlovy Vary, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai) and was released worldwide by Celluloid Dreams Director’s Label. Funahashi moved from New York to Tokyo in 2007 and has started directing films in Japan. “Deep in the Valley(2009)”, “Nuclear Nation I & II (2012, 2014)”, and “Cold Bloom (2013, produced by Office Kitano)” are all premiered at Berlin International Film Festival and theatrically released in many countries. NUCLEAR NATION series were theatrically screened in the US. TIME OUT NY reviewed it with 4 stars, saying “A CAUTIONARY TALE WORTH HEEDING.” His following “RAISE YOUR ARMS AND TWIST Documentary of NMB48”, a documentary essay on Japanese idol culture has been premiered all over the European film festivals. His latest “Company Retreat” provokes Japan’s gender equality controversy, based on an actual harassment incident. It will world premiere at Tokyo International Film Festival 2020.
FILMOGRAPHY (All as director)
“COMPANY RETREAT (Aru Shokuba)” 2020, 135 min, B&W+Color
OFFICIAL SELECTION: TOKYO International Film Festival, Tokyo Premiere 2020.
“LOVERS ON BORDERS” 2020, 122 min, Color. Portugal, Japan, USA.
Ana Moreira, Tasuku Emoto. (International Version)
“RAISE YOUR ARMS AND TWIST Documentary of NMB48”
2016, 121min, Japan, DCP, color, documentary
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Hong Kong IFF, Jeonju IFF(S.Korea), and several more.
“NUCLEAR NATION II” 2014, 114min, Japan, HD, color, documentary
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin, Seoul, Cinema du Reel (Paris), Signe de Nuit,
and many other international festivals.
World Sales: WIDE
“COLD BLOOM” 2013, 119min, Japan&Korea, HD, color, drama
WINNER: JURY AWARD, Urban International Film Festival 2015
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin, Busan, Shanghai, Ghent, Sydney, etc.
Production: Office Kitano, Producer: Shozo Ichiyama
World Sales: WIDE Management
“NUCLEAR NATION” 2012, 96min, Japan, HD, color, documentary
WINNER: Special Mention, Sicily International Environmental FF 2014. OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Moscow, Docville,
Zurich, Rio de Janeiro
Distributed worldwide more than 40 countries including Japan, US, and France.
“Deep in the Valley” 2009, 107min, Japan, HD, color+B&W, drama
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin, Hong Kong, Cinema Digital Seoul, San Paulo,
“BIG RIVER” 2005, 105 min, USA&Japan, 35mm, color, drama
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin, Hong Kong, Karlovy Vary, Shanghai,
Production: Office Kitano, Producer: Shozo Ichiyama
“echoes” 2001, 72 min, USA&Japan, 16mm, B&W, drama
WINNER: the Audience Award & Jury Award at Annonay IFF 2001.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Munchen, Karlovy Vary, Tokyo,
© 2020 BIG RIVER FILMS, TIMEFLIES Inc.