Screen Asia: Japan Cinefest

The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

Still from "The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere" (2016)

Asia Society warmly welcomes back partner MarCreation this April to present Japan Cinefest, an annual short film festival featuring an engaging collection of short films. With films spanning genres from drama to dance to animation, the festival celebrates the work of emerging Japanese and Japanese-American filmmakers.


7:00 pm  | Short film screenings
8:30 pm  | Q&A with Jonathan Minard, co-director of Toru
9:00 pm | Reception

Short Films


Dir. Bunji Sotoyama, 2016, Japan, 30 min.
Aoi is a high school student living with her father, Kazuo, who suffers from depression. Kazuo is unable to run his sushi restaurant due to his illness, leaving Aoi no choice but to succeed her father to save the restaurant. She turns to a magical baseball pitch to find her fate.

Shining Star

The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere
Dir. Mickey Duzyj, 2016, USA, 19 min.
In 2003, Japan was plunged into economic darkness, and people needed a ray of hope. They found one in Haru Urara, a racehorse with a pink Hello Kitty mask and a career-long losing streak.

Broken Memory

Broken Memory
Dir. Tomoko Mikanagi, 2016, Japan, 4 min.
Miki Orihara, principal dancer with the Martha Graham company, performs a solo she choreographed for herself against a backdrop of skyscrapers at sunset.

In the Clock

In the Clock
Dir. Shizuka Abe, 2015, Japan, 9 min.
He is a clockwork toy. His work is performing in front of the clock every three hours. One day, he meets the doll who is on the music box.


Dir. Yu Sato, 2016, Japan, 4 min.
A robot wakes up among heaps of trash in the deep recesses of a dark alley. With no recollection of what happened before or after he was thrown away, will this robot try to return home to the family he worked for?

I & Myself

I & Myself
Dir. Hisanori Tsukuda, 2017, Japan, 5 min.
Mizuho came to Tokyo to make her dream a reality, but things have not been going well for her. She finds herself thinking, "What did I come to Tokyo for?" Depressed and on her way home one day, she is stopped by a lady, who, to her astonishment, is another version of herself.


Dir. Jonathan Minard & Scott Rashap, 2016, USA, 14 min.
An infant's life is transformed by a new technology.


Dir. A.T., 2015, Japan, 5 min.
A girl encounters an android on the street. Unnerved by the experience, she decides to follow the android to give it a message.

About the Director

Jonathan Minard is a writer and director working between science fiction and documentary. His films examine the changing nature of being human and the unforeseen side-effects of new technology. His works include The Information Age (2013), a series of short films on the past, present and future of the internet and Herders (2009), a portrait of modern nomadic life in Mongolia. His virtual reality debut, Clouds (2014), premiered at Sundance: New Frontier. Minard’s films have been screened at Tribeca Film Festival, New York Japan CineFest, Imagine Science Film Festival, CERN: CineGlobe in Switzerland, The ArtScience Museum in Singapore, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Japan Series at Asia Society Texas Center is presented by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), with additional support from Kuraray and Nanako and Dale Tingleaf. Major support for Performing Arts programs comes from Nancy C. Allen, Ellen Gritz and Milton Rosenau, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Clayton Fund, Miller Theatre Advisory Board, New England Foundation for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Wortham Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.

Japan Series Presenting Sponsor

Japan Series Program Sponsor

Program Sponsors

City of HoustonHouston Arts Alliance 

Presenting Partner



Event Details

Thu 12 Apr 2018
7 - 10 p.m.

1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, Texas 77004

Buy Tickets
$8 Members, $12 Nonmembers
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