18th Osaka Asian Film Festival – Closing Film 2023

Side by Side directed by Ito Chihiro will close the Osaka Asian Film Festival which will take place from March 10 – 19, 2023 in Osaka, Japan.

Side by Side by Ito Chihiro – Japan | 2023 – 130 minutes | World Premiere

MIYAMA (SAKAGUCHI Kentaro) is a mysterious young man with the ability to sense the thoughts of other people. These thoughts sometimes take the form of a spirit that haunts MIYAMA. With this power, he can detect and heal people suffering from physical ailments and emotional traumas. He does this while living a quiet life with his girlfriend Shiori (ICHIKAWA Mikako), a nurse, and her daughter Mimi (ISOMURA Ameri). While locals accept him, the mystery of his background lingers and it all comes out when he confronts the thoughts of KUSAKA (ASAKA Kodai), who was his junior in high school, now working as a musician in Tokyo. MIYAMA’s meeting with KUSAKA reunites him with his ex-girlfriend Riko (SAITO Asuka), a woman who is part of the past that he ran away from. (OAFF 2023)


About the director:
ITO Chihiro began her film career as art department staff in charge of props before she met YUKISADA Isao (行定勲) who invited her to write a screenplay for his film “Seventh Anniversary” (セブンス アニバーサリー/2003). Immediately after her writing debut, she worked on screenplays for a string of live-action films and anime, including mega-hit “Crying Out Love in the Center of the World” (世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ/2004) and OSHII Mamoru’s (押井守) “The Sky Crawlers” (スカイ・クロラ/2008). Recently, she has worked under the pen name HORIZUMI Anne (堀泉杏) on YUKISADA’s films “Narratage” (ナラタージュ/2017) and “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese” (窮鼠はチーズの夢を見る/2020). In 2022, she debuted as a director with “In Her Room”(ひとりぼっちじゃない). It was produced by YUKISADA Isao and played in the Nippon Cinema Now section at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2022. On top of writing screenplays, she has also written for the stage and also a picture book. “Side by Side” is her second film and was shot in the beautiful landscape of Nagano Prefecture.

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