From Up On Poppy Hill (Kokurikozaka kara)

Following in his father’s footsteps, anime director Goro Miyazaki creates a charmingly nostalgic, sometimes tragic story of young love and student protest against the period of revitalization before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

From Up on Poppy Hill

The story is set in 1963 in Yokohama. Kokuriko Manor sits on a hill overlooking the harbour. A 16 year-old girl, Umi, lives in that house. Every morning she raises a signal flag facing the sea. The flag means “I pray for safe voyages”. A 17 year-old boy, Shun, always sees this flag from the sea as he rides a tugboat to school. Gradually the pair are drawn to each other but they are faced with a sudden trial. Even so, they keep going without running from facing the hardships of reality.

I Am a Hero

Hideo is still a manga artist’s assistant at the age of 35. Increasingly frustrated by his fruitless dreams, Hideo’s girlfriend, Tekko, kicks him out. Days later, Hideo returns to apologize to Tekko, but she’s been infected by the mysterious virus that turns humans into ZQN, and attacks him! Hideo flees Tokyo, taking his shotgun with him. The city is already overflowing with people infected with the virus. Amid the panic, Hideo meets high school student Hiromi, and they team together to escape. Hideo and Hiromi seek refuge, along with other survivors, on the roof of a shopping mall where they must shoot ZQNs on sight. Will Hideo be able to protect Hiromi and find a cure for the virus? [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]

Our Little Sister

Three sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father – absent from the family home for the last 15 years – dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings… [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

Peak: The Rescuers

The film stars Oguri Shun as an experienced mountain climber and rescue team volunteer named Shimazaki Sanpo. Sanpo loves the mountains and wants as many people as possible to experience everything they have to offer—so much so that he never holds a grudge against anyone for causing an accident due to their own negligence. Even if a fellow rescuer dies, he’s the kind of man who can look toward the corpse and say “You did your best.” One spring, newcomer Shiina Kumi (Nagasawa Masami) is assigned to the Nagano prefecture mountain rescue team where she experiences growth thanks to Sanpo’s guidance and the seemingly harsh training methods of the team’s captain, Noda (Sasaki Kuranosuke). However, she becomes depressed when she’s unable to translate her skills to a real-life situation. As her confidence wanes, multiple accidents occur simultaneously due to a mountain blizzard, forcing the entire team into action.