Milcho Manchevski

Interviewer:Andrijana Cvetkovikj

1/22.sat『Hochelaga, Land of Souls』

Video message:François Girard
Interpretation:Yuki Kuyama

1/23.sun『The Water Sprite』

Masakazu Kaneko 
Kyoko Heya


Sadao Nakajima,
Keiko Tani

Interviewer:Ken Takahashi, Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito


Interpretation (Video message):Carmen Accaputo
Piano:Ryo Torikai

1/25.tue『Fall Guy』

Mitsuru Hirata

Interviewer:Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito


Yukiko Mishima

Interviewer:Ken Takahashi, Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito

1/27.thu『Travels of Hibari And Chiemi Pt.2』

Milkman Saito

Interviewer:Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito


Yu Irie[映画監督]

Interviewer:Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito

1/27.thu『Gentle Breeze』

Yuichi Kinoshita

Interviewer:Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito

1/28.fri『Cold Rice』

Kyoko Heya

Interviewer:Ken Takahashi, Hiroshi Nishio, Hironori Ito


Atsushi Sakahara


Eigetsu, Akemi Koyama

1/29.sat『Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Inferno』

Keishi Otomo, Sou Hashimoto, Satoshi Fukushima

Interviewer:Keiko Iiboshi

1/30.sun『Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning』

Keishi Otomo, Manabu Oishi

Interviewer:Keiko Iiboshi

Milcho Manchevski

Milcho Manchevski was born in the Republic of North Macedonia and is currently based in New York. He made his directorial debut with Before the Rain which won more than 30 awards including the Venetian Golden Lion and made it into The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. Other notable works of his include Dust (2001) and Shadows (2007). Manchevski holds an Honorary Doctorate from VGIK in Moscow. Known as a versatile artist, he also works in photography, writes essays and fiction, and has taught in a number of universities.

Andrijana Cvetkovikj

Andrijana Cvetkovikj is a filmmaker, ambassador, entrepreneur, and a prominent advocate and public speaker on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on Gender Equality and Diversity. She was the first resident Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in Japan from 2014-2018. Fluent in Japanese, English, Macedonian, Serbian and Russian -Andrijana grew up in Macedonia and has lived in the USA, Bulgaria, and Japan for the last 17 years. For two decades, Cvetkovikj has worked internationally in senior executive roles in diplomacy, film, business, and academia. Cvetkovikj served as a Jury at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2021. She is currently a Director for North Asia at the Economist Group, Corporate Network; a Director of the Board of Del Sole Corporation, CEO of BrioNexus KK, and Board Advisor to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Foudnation.

François Girard

François Girard is from Quebec, Canada. Known for his versatility, he has directed not only films but also opera and stage productions. With feature films including Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993), which won four Genie Awards, and The Red Violin, winner of the Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Girard has firmly established his position as an internationally renowned director. Having worked as a director for ZED, Cirque du Soleil’s highly acclaimed resident show in Tokyo, and the stage play Ryoju (The Hunting Gun) starring Miki Nakatani, Girard has a long-lasting relationship with Japan as well. Hochelaga, Land of Souls is Girard’s second film to appear in Kyoto HISTORICA Film Festival after Silk (2007) based on the best-seller novel of the same title.

Masakazu Kaneko

Masakazu Kaneko was born in 1978 in Tokyo. After graduating Aoyama Gakuin University, he entered the Film School of Tokyo and studied under Takahisa Zeze. His thesis film Sumire Ningyo was screened at the Japan-Filmfest Hamburg (Germany).
In 2016, his first feature The Albino Tree was screened in the Beijing International Film Festival. Thereafter, the film was nominated for awards and was screened in more than 20 international film festivals in 15 countries, winning 20 awards including 9 grand prizes. The film was also screened in theaters across Japan. His latest directorial feature Ring Wandering was officially selected for the 52nd International Film Festival of India (Goa) and won the Golden Peacock Best Film. It is scheduled to be released in Japanese theaters from February 19th, 2022.

Kyoko Heya

Kyoko Heya was born in Hiroshima City, Hiroshima. While in Musashino Art University, she worked part-time as an assistant for Tsuburaya Productions’ art department. She made her debut as production designer with Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t directed by Masayuki Suo. She won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Art Direction with Shall We Dance? and I Just Didn’t Do It and was awarded the Mainichi Film Award for Best Art Direction with Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer. In 2009, she launched Damah Film Festival in Hiroshima, which became Hiroshima International Film Festival from 2015, and serves as the President of the Festival. She is the 2016 recipient of the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. Her recent filmography includes The Brightest Roof in the Universe, Yakuza and the Family (both directed by Michihito Fujii), and Ring Wandering (directed by Masakazu Kaneko) which is scheduled for theatrical release on 19th February 2022.

Sadao Nakajima

Sadao Nakajima was born in 1934 in Chiba. He joined Toei after graduating from Tokyo University and was mentored by Masahiro Makino and Tadashi Sawashima. He makes his directorial debut in 1964 with Kunoichi Ninpo. From blue movies like Ooku Maruhi Monogatari to hardboiled films including Aa Doki no Sakura, he was the backbone of the “delinquent” side of Toei films. His stories of deracines, such as Kogarashi Monjiro, Aesthetics of a Bullet, and Jinzu Burusu: Asunaki Buraiha, continue to be loved by today’s audience. Films such as Bodo Shimane Keimusho that are deliberately crafted to go out of control are examples of his extraordinary talent. He has taught in Osaka University of Arts to foster the talent that supports the Kyoto Studio today and has also been a leading voice in governmental policies to revive the film industry.

Keiko Tani

Keiko Tani was born in Osaka City. Upon graduating the Osaka University of Arts, she entered Toei Kyoto Studio as a script supervisor and worked on a number of film and TV productions. After winning the second prize in the 29th Kido Prize Scenario Contest in 2003, she also started her career as a screenwriter. She worked as a co-writer and assistant director to Sadao Nakajima for the jidaigeki film Tajūrō Junaiki (released in Spring 2019). She also was the screenwriter and script supervisor for the jidaigeki film Gozen: Junren no Ken (released in Summer 2019). She currently is an associate professor at the College of Image Arts and Sciences, Ritsumeikan University. She also is a regular contributor to “Gendai no Kotoba”, a serial in the Kyoto Shimbun evening edition.

Hironori Itoh

Hironori Itoh is a film studies scholar and film critic. He was born in 1988 in Toyohashi, Aichi. After graduating from the Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Keio University, he completed his Ph.D. coursework in the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, with Research Guidance Approval. Currently, he teaches at Kansai University, Doshisha University, and Konan University as a lecturer while working on cataloguing film-related resources at the Toei Uzumasa Eigamura Film Library. He won the 2015 Eiga Hyoron Prize with “Kokuminteki Aidoru no Sōsei: AKB48 ni Miru Fashisuto-Teki Bigaku no Kon’nichiteki Araware” (neoneo 6) and published Shigoto to Jinsei ni Kiku Kyōyō to Shite no Eiga from PHP Institute. He specializes in the works of Yasujirō Ozu.

Carmen Accaputo

Carmen Accaputo is in charge of the exploitation of the audiovisual heritage and the dissemination of the Film Collections at Cineteca di Bologna (Italy). A Cinematheque employee since 2001, she handles conservation and cataloguing of moving images at the Cinema Department. She graduated from the History of Cinema Department at the University of Bologna (Italy) and she studied History of the Silent Cinema and Film Preservation and Restoration at the Université Paris8-Vincennes-Saint Denis (France).

Ryo Torikai

Ryo Torikai is a silent film musician who specializes in the piano and percussion instruments. He plays impromptu accompaniments for films of all genres and has worked on more than 500 films so far. His style where he pays close attention to each film has been highly acclaimed, and he has participated in silent film screenings in film festivals and theaters both domestically and internationally. In 2018, he played for the world premiere screening of The Hands of Orlac, digitally restored by Filmarchiv Austria, held at the Kobe Discovery Film Festival. In 2021, he went on a nationwide tour titled “Piano x Kinema” where he performed in theaters around Japan that owns a piano. He is currently active in the Kansai area and beyond as one of the musicians who play most frequently for screenings and serves as the President of Musei Eiga Shinkōkai (Association for the Promotion of Silent Films). Twitter: @ryo_torikai

Mitsuru Hirata

Actor Mitsuru Hirata won multiple awards for his performance in Fall Guy (1982) including the 1982 Japan Academy Film Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. He also is a Yomiuri Drama Award for Best Actor winner, recognized for his performances in Konnichiwa, Kāsan and ART (2001). His recent works include films Gukoroku: Traces of Sin (2017), Hikari (2017), Fukishima 50 (2020), and The Asadas (2020), TV series Segodon (2018), Zettai Reido (2018), and Rikokatsu (2021), stage plays Utsukushiku Aoku (2019) and THE NETHER (2019). He also launched his own drama unit, Aru Company, where he has collaborated with various actors, directors, and playwrights to expand their creative horizons through theater productions such as Shitsubō no Mukōgawa (2014), Areno (2017 & 2019), and POPPY!! (2021).

Yukiko Mishima

Yukiko Mishima, born in Osaka City, started independent filmmaking at the age of 18. She joined public broadcaster NHK where she planned and directed many documentary shows focused on people, such as NHK Special, ETV Tokushū, and Top Runner. She became an independent creator in 2003 to direct narrative films and gained hands-on experience as a freelance assistant director in studios including the Toei Kyoto Studio. With Dear Etranger (2017), she won multiple awards including the Special Grand Prix of the Jury at the 41st Montreal World Film Festival and the 42nd Hochi Film Award for Best Director. Other works of hers include Shiawase no Pan (2012), Red (2020), and short film Yorokobi no Uta: Ode to Joy (2021, starring Sumiko Fuji and Kisetsu Fujiwara). Another short film of hers, IMPERIAL Osaka Dōjima Deiribashi (starring Koichi Sato), is scheduled for release as a part of MIRRORLIAR FILMS Season 2.

Milkman Saito

Born in Kyoto Prefecture in 1963. Milkman SAITO is a leading film critic who reevaluate Japanese Modernist filmmakers who were active in 1950s and 60s, including Kon Ichikawa, Ko Nakahira, Yasuzo Masumura, Tadashi Sawashima and Seijun Suzuki.

Yu Irie

Yu Irie was born in 1979 in Kanagawa and grew up in Saitama. He graduated from the Department of Cinema, Nihon University College of Art in 2003. His independently produced film SR Saitama no Rappā (8000 Miles) garnered public attention and won a number of awards including the Grand Prize in the Off Theater Competition of Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival 2009. He went on to direct sequels SR Saitama no Rappā 2: Joshi Rappā Kizudarake no Raimu (8000 Miles 2: Girl Rappers) (2010) and SR Saitama no Rappā: Rōdosaido no Tōbōsha (2012). Other films of his include Joker Game (2015), Confession of Murder (2017), Vigilante (2017), AI Amok (2020), and Shu Shu Shu no Ko (2021). He also directed Futagashira, a WOWOW jidaigeki, in 2015. His latest film Seichi X is now in theaters.

Yuichi Kinoshita
[木ノ下歌舞伎 主宰]

Yuichi Kinoshita was born in 1985 in Wakayama City. In 2006, while studying at the Kyoto University of the Arts, he launched theatrical company Kinoshita-Kabuki where he revises and directs classical plays including Sannin Kichisa, Musume Dōjōji, Yoshitsune Senbonzakura: Tokaiya, Daimotsunoura. Their 2016 performance Kanjinchō won the New Artist Award at the ACA National Arts Festival in 2016. He also is the winner of the 38th Kyoto Cultural Incentive Award (2019) and Kyoto City Award for New Artists (2020) and the recipient of Kyoto City Special Incentive Program of Art and Culture Grant. He plays an extensive role in the classical theater scene from writing to lecturing, including his revisioning work on Kirare no Yosa by Shibuya Cocoon Kabuki.

Atsushi Sakahara

Born in Kyoto 1966. During his “ronin” days after high school, Atsushi couldn’t stop his friend’s suicide.He decided to pursue three promises with the friend: studying at Kyoto Univesity, studying at an MBA program in the U.S., and winning an Oscar. He spent four extra years to get in Kyoto University. After graduation, he joined Dentsu Inc. an ad agency in Tokyo. He became a victim of the Tokyo sarin gas attack. He left Japan and earned an MBA at University of California at Berkeley. While working for a high tech start-up in Silicon Valley, Bean Cake, a short film he produced during the summer break won Palme d’Or at Cannes. He managed to make Me and the Cult Leader (AGANAI) struggling with his severe post effects. In 2020 the film is short listed for IDA award, pre-competition for the feature documentary Oscar.


Eigetsu is the Chief Monk at Daigyoji Temple of the Shinshū Bukkōji Sect. After graduating college, Eigetsu started working at a bank, but later ran away from an arranged marriage to the USA where she appeared in TV commercials and worked as a radio personality. After her return to Japan, her unique experience garnered media attention. She currently appears on TV news programs as a commentator and writes a serial column titled “Eigetsu no Gokuraku Cinema” on Mainichi Shimbun. She has published many books including Omiai 35 Kai ni Unzari Shite Amerika ni Iede Shite Sōryo ni Natte Kaette Kimashita (Gentosha) which was also translated into Chinese for publication in Taiwan. The latest work of hers is Niga Byakudō Monogatari: Inochi ni Mezameru (Shunjusha).

Akemi Koyama

After graduating from Hawaii Pacific University, Akemi Koyama worked at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel where she cultivated her hotel management skills. After her return to Japan, she joined Kyoto Brighton Hotel as a concierge and later became a concierge at the Ritz Carlton Kyoto. She currently represents Kyoto Concierge Service and also serves as a Kyoto Omotenashi Ambassador. She has expert knowledge on Kyoto and has keen interest in gastronomy, handicrafts, and art in general. She has been featured in many lectures as a highly acclaimed concierge. She also works on handicraft design and produces cultural programs in temples.

Sou Hashimoto

Sou Hashimoto was born in 1980 in Tokyo. He made his debut as an art director with Crows Zero 2 (2009, Dir. Takashi Miike). His filmography includes the Rurouni Kenshin series (2012-2021) and Platinum Data (2013) both directed by Keishi Otomo, Flower of Shanidar (2013, Dir. Gakuryū Ishii), Crows Explode (2014, Dir. Toshiaki Toyoda), HiGH&LOW: The Movie series (2016-2017), The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan (2018, Dir. Toshiaki Toyoda), music videos, and commercials.

Satoshi Fukushima

Satoshi Fukushima was born in 1961 in Hokkaido. He started his filmmaking career as a member of the production team of The Ballad of Narayama directed by Shōhei Imamura. He debuted as a film producer with Sanctuary: The Movie in 1995. His filmography includes OUT (2002), Lady Joker (2004), Norwegian Wood (2010), Sanada 10 Braves (2016), Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021), and Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021). He has been a part of the Rurouni Kenshin team since Kyoto Inferno (2014) and has teamed up with director Keishi Otomo in The Top Secret: Murder in Mind (2016) too.

Keiko Iiboshi

Keiko Iiboshi was born in 1963 in Osaka. She works in a wide range of fields from appearing as a commentator on informational TV shows to writing for newspapers and magazines. She is also known as a big Hanshin Tigers fan. A person of many interests, she is one of the most knowledgeable on figure skating, kabuki, and rakugo among celebrities and is also a film connoisseur. She especially is an ardent fan of kung-fu films and Wuxia films. She will introduce the audience of Kyoto HISTORICA Film Festival to the fascinating world of history films through talk shows and more.

Manabu Oishi

Manabu Oishi is a professor emeritus at Tokyo Gakugei University, Auditor of Japan Arts Council, and President of Jidai Kōshō Gakkai (Association for Historical Consultancy). He was born in Tokyo in 1953 and received his master’s degree in 1978 at Tokyo Gakugei University, later competing his Ph.D. coursework without degree at Tsukuba University in 1982. Publications of his include Kyōhō no Kaikaku no Chiiki Seisaku (Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1996), Jidaigeki no Mikata Tanoshimikata: Jidai Kōshō to Riarizumu (Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2013), Edo no Kyōikuryoku (Tokyo Gakugei University Press, 2007). He has also worked as a historical consultant on films such as Silence (2017), Snow on the Blades (2014), and the Rurouni Kenshin series as well as the NHK Taiga drama series Shinsengumi! (2004), Princess Atsu (2008), and Ryōmaden (2010) among many others.

Keishi Otomo

Keishi Ōtomo is a film and television director born in Iwate, in 1966. After graduating Keio University, he joined NHK in 1990. He then lived in LA from 1997 to 1999, studying scriptwriting and film direction. After returning to Japan, he worked on various NHK projects including drama series Churasan, Hagetaka: Road to Rebirth, Ryōmaden, and the film The Vulture. He left NHK in April 2011 to launch Otomo Keishi Office Inc. and became the first Japanese director to sign a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. His works thereafter include the Rurouni Kenshin films, Platinum Data (2013), The Top Secret: Murder in Mind (2016), Museum (2016), March Comes In like a Lion/March Comes In Like a Lamb (2017), Million Dollar Man (2018), and Beneath the Shadow (2020). His latest films Rurouni Kenshin: The Final/The Beginning became megahits in 2021. He also is CEO of OFFICE Oplus which he launched through a partnership with Dentsu to make films overseas.