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The fourth annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival relocates to The Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles Village

Toronto, ON – Chris MaGee, co-founder of The Shinsedai Cinema Festival announced today that the fourth annual edition of the festival will be presented at The Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles Village, fromThursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Celebrating the new generation of films from Japan, the festival has become an avenue for young Japanese filmmakers to have their work screened overseas. It is renowned for presenting: dramas, quirky comedies, hard-hitting documentaries, experimental shorts and more. The Festival has also commissioned Toronto-based musicians and sound artists to create live scores for numerous classic Japanese silent films.

One early acquisition for The Festival’s 2012 line-up is the Canadian premiere of world renowned artist and animator Akino Kondoh’s new animated short film KiyaKiya.

The Shinsedai Cinema Festival has established itself as a vital part of Toronto’s lively and competitive film scene, representing a unique film project in the city. In 2011 the Festival received over 100 film submissions.

“One of the city’s youngest and most original movie events”

–          The Toronto Star

Gen Takahashi’s Confessions of a Dog received its Canadian premiere in 2010, and since then, the film has secured a DVD release in Britain and invitations for screenings from numerous festivals across the globe. The music documentary Aruongaku received its world premiere at the inaugural festival in 2009. It has gone on to be an anticipated part of the international festival circuit, winning praise wherever it has screened.

“The goal of The Shinsedai Cinema Festival has been to expose the great new films being produced in Japan to as many people in the city of Toronto as we can,” said MaGee. “The decision to move the Festival to the Revue, one of the city’s premiere repertory theatres in 2012, allows our audiences, filmmakers and out of town special guests the opportunity to enjoy the variety of cuisine, restaurants, pubs, and retail stores in Roncesvalles Village, before, between and after our screenings.”

“[Shinsedai] is wonderful! It gives young filmmakers a chance”

–          Yojiro Takita, Oscar-winning director of Departures

Programming information for The Shinsedai Cinema Festival at The Revue Cinema 2012 will be announced over the coming months and available online at www.shinsedai.ca.

The Shinsedai Cinema Festival was co-founded in 2009 by Toronto native Chris MaGee, author and founder and editor of Toronto’s own J-Film Pow-Wow, the premiere Japanese film blog in Canada, and Jasper Sharp, UK writer, film historian and curator. Its purpose is to bring modern, boundary-pushing and independent-Japanese cinema to Toronto audiences each year, challenging Western audiences’ understanding and appreciation of what Japanese film is, now, and where it is going.

Earthquake & Tsunami message

image courtesy BBC

It’s impossible to get a full scale of the disaster yet – on the one side there is the devastating news footage of fires and floods, and on the other are the proofs that Japan’s civil engineering has kept so many people safe. Judging by my twitter feed alone, it would seem that most people are reacting with calmness and efficiency to such a wild and destructive act of nature. An 8.9 is simply inconceivable to someone like myself who has never even felt an earthquake before.

I wanted to use this post not just to reach out to the people I’ve gotten to know through this blog and Twitter,  but also to join in on the fundraising efforts for the aftermath of the quake and tsunami. I have always used the Red Cross for my donations, mainly because I trust them and I know that funds are shared. Either visit your country’s Red Cross website or if you have a phone contract then text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation of $10.

However, as a pro-equality and LGBT friendly blog I want to equally promote Doctors Without Borders. As my few regulars will know, I don’t use this blog as a platform for my own personal beliefs but I do reserve the right to put all the options out there. Disaster relief is never as simple and straightforward as many of us would hope, and some people have their specific preferences. It’s pointless to get caught in controversy: just help out in a way that you hope other people might do for you if your world suddenly fell apart at the seams.

Needless to say that while I am talking mainly about Japan, funds like these will most certainly be needed for surrounding countries – especially the recently stricken New Zealand. My husband and I live a pretty spartan existence, but we always try to find something to give in cases of natural disaster.

If you live in Japan or have any better methods of donating, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter @katiemuffett and I will update this post to point people in the right direction.

My thoughts and wishes are with everyone affected by this disaster.

Updates (in chronological order): this set of images has been making the rounds on Twitter and seems to best illustrate the impact of the quake, especially on Sendai

Nicholas Kristof wrote this superb piece about Japan’s response to crises for the NYT.

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Tobias Harris (@observingjapan) sent this link where MIT students have set up a blog about the Fukushima nuclear plants – a must see for those who are subjected to the fake diagrams and ‘fallout maps’ currently making the microblog rounds. No excuse for misinformation in this day and age.