Yubari 2014 Preview: Twitch's Most Anticipated Movies
This Thursday sees the opening of the 2014 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival way up in the wintry climes of Hokkaido, Japan. Christopher O'Keeffe and I will be pulling on our long-johns and heading out into the snow to savour one of the most eclectic and bizarre programmes of independent genre films anywhere on the festival circuit.
The festival's big ticket Special Invitation programme features a raft of top flight Hollywood offerings that have yet to receive a theatrical release in Japan, including 12 Years A Slave, Frozen and This Is The End. However, we're far more interested in the domestic offerings, which include Fantastic Fest alumnus Greatful Dead from Uchida Eiji, and Mizuochi Yutaka's The Great Shu Ra Ra Boom, adapted from the novel by Makime Manabu, which opens the festival. Japanese audiences will also be able to check out Josh Johnson's excellent love letter to the VHS era, Rewind This!, a sizeable portion of which was filmed on location in Japan.
While the sheer wealth of short and feature length films on offer at Yubari, in large part from unknown, first-time filmmakers unable to market their work, makes the festival something of a crap shoot, here are a few titles that have caught our eye and we'll be checking out for sure!