The Woodsman and the Rain

Rookie movie director Koichi and his crew travels to the mountain village of Yamamura to film his next movie. The villagers are eventually enlisted to help film the movie and, in particular, 60-year-old lumberjack Katsuhiko helps against his will.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl grows into an exquisite young lady raised by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. From the countryside to the grand capital city, even unseen she enthralls all who encounter her, including five noble suitors. Ultimately she must face her fate, punishment for her crime. [Synopsis courtesy of Director’s Fortnight]

A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story

Haru has an excellent sense of taste and surpassing skill in the kitchen, but she and her first husband got divorced after just one year of marriage because of her impetuous character. One day Dennai Funaki, samurai chef from Kaga, proposes that Haru should marry his son and heir. The Funaki family serves the Lords of Kaga not with the sword but with the kitchen-knife and have been renowned as “Kitchen Samurai” for generations. But Haru’s new husband Yasunobu, wields a kitchen-knife with no skill whatsoever. In order to save the Funaki family name and its position as kitchen samurai, Haru decides to teach Yasunobu the art of cuisine. The story is inspired by a real-life family in Kaga which has survived countless upheavals with its cuisine. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

A Story of Yonosuke

The year is 1987 and Japan is just reaching the peak of its economic success. Eighteen-year old Yonosuke Yokomichi arrives in Tokyo from Nagasaki. Ordinary in every way possible, he lives in a suburb far from the excitement of the big city and commutes to a university in the center of Tokyo.