Tomoko Matsunashi

Last updated
Tomoko Matsunashi
Born (1971-04-14) April 14, 1971 (age 47)
Hiroshima, Japan
Occupation Film director
Years active 1995

Tomoko Matsunashi(松梨 智子,Matsunashi Tomoko) is a Japanese film director and actress. She was described in 2007 as one of the female Japanese directors who "have brought some needed originality and talent to contemporary Japanese cinema." [1]

Film director occupation of a person who directs a film

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.


Life and career

Tomoko Matsunashi was born in Hiroshima, Japan on April 14, 1971. [2] She says she was interested in the theatre and wanted to be an actor from the time she was in elementary school. She attended Waseda University and although she studied business, she became part of an independent theatre group while at school. [3]

Hiroshima Designated city in Chūgoku, Japan

Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city. As of August 2016, the city had an estimated population of 1,196,274. The gross domestic product (GDP) in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Urban Employment Area, was US$61.3 billion as of 2010. Kazumi Matsui has been the city's mayor since April 2011.

Waseda University Private university in Tokyo, Japan

Waseda University, abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a Japanese private research university in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Founded in 1882 as the Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō by Ōkuma Shigenobu, the school was formally renamed Waseda University in 1902.

She also became interested in film at that time and after graduation appeared as an actress in a film directed by one of the group's members which won the audience award at the Pia Film Festival. When the director left the group, Matsunashi decided to make her own films though she had no formal training in cinema. [3] Her first film, the 1995 short, To Be or Not to Be, which she wrote, directed and acted in, won an Encouragement Prize in the Off Theater Competition at the 1996 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. [4]

The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, also sometimes called YIFFF, is held in a resort-like environment in the small town of Yūbari on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaidō. From 1990 to 1999, the festival was known as the Yubari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival.

Matsunashi appeared as an actress in the March 1996 release Tokiwa: The Manga Apartment directed by Jun Ichikawa [5] and was also in one of director Noboru Iguchi's early movies, Kurushime-san, which was first released in 1997. Iguchi's film won the Encouragement Prize at the 1998 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. [6] [7] In 1998 she was the companion and co-star of Katsuyuki Hirano in the second of his trilogy of bike-ride documentary movies Encyclopedia of a Drifter. [8] [9] The third movie in his trilogy, Shiro - The White from 1999, involved a hazardous solo trip to northern Hokkaido in a winter blizzard. [10]

Jun Ichikawa was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He was first a director of television commercials before adding filmmaking to his creative activities. His most famous film outside Japan was Tony Takitani, an adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage after suddenly collapsing at a restaurant, shortly before his latest film, Buy a Suit, was to premier at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Noboru Iguchi Japanese film director, screenwriter and actor

Noboru Iguchi is a Japanese film director, screenwriter and actor. He has worked as a director in adult video (AV) as well as in the horror and gore genres.

Katsuyuki Hirano is a Japanese director of adult videos (AV) and documentaries. He should be differentiated from the manga artist Katsuyuki Hirano (平野克幸).

Matsunashi also continued directing and another of her early films, Bitch Matilda (1998), garnered her a nomination for the New Director's Award from the Directors Guild of Japan. [2] Her next film, SABU, Goodbye to their Youth from 2000, was a mixture of science fiction and politics and was an early attempt by Matsunashi at a comic portrayal of young men from a woman's perspective. The film was shown theatrically in Osaka and Tokyo and at the TromaDance Film Festival in 2002. [2] [3] Matsunashi's next feature (from 2002) was Replicant Joe, with another science fiction-fantasy theme where the title character becomes a robot with a rocket-launcher arm and a small woolen penis. [2]

The Directors Guild of Japan is a trade union created to represent the interests of film directors in the film industry in Japan. It was founded in 1936, with Minoru Murata serving as the first president, and has continued to this day apart from a period between 1943 and 1949 when it was disbanded at first on orders from the government. It is particularly concerned with protecting the copyright and other rights the director has over the work, defending freedom of expression, and promoting the economic interests of its members. For instance, it has issued protests against efforts to prevent screenings of such films as Yasukuni and The Cove. The Guild also produced the film Eiga kantoku tte nan da on the occasion of its 70th anniversary to promote its view that the director possesses the copyright of a film.


The TromaDance Film Festival is a free annual independent film festival organized by Troma Entertainment. Founded in 1999, TromaDance was originally held in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, operating concurrently alongside the Sundance Film Festival in order to showcase an independent alternative to Sundance's perceived mainstream offerings. Between 2010 and 2013, the festival had been relocated to various locations throughout New Jersey. Since 2014, TromaDance has relocated to New York City.

International recognition came to Matsunashi with her 2005 film The Way of the Director [1] which was shown at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal in July 2005 and at the Camera Japan festival in Rotterdam in June 2006. [3] [11] Matsunashi has said that all her films "are based on my own previous experiences with my ex-boyfriends" and The Way of the Director is centered around two characters Saito and Kitagawa who both aspire to be directors. Saito makes a name for herself in independent films but Kitagawa is persuaded by a friend to become a porn director though he still dreams of going legitimate. Meeting Saito again after ten years, Kitagawa gets the idea of filming a trek to northern Hokkaido in winter with Saito. When things go wrong and Saito dies, Kitagawa eats her flesh to survive but eventually succumbs as well. A friend rescues his film footage and Kitagawa finally becomes a mainstream director. [3]

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Rotterdam Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Rotterdam is the second-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands. It is located in the province of South Holland, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270, when a dam was constructed in the Rotte, after which people settled around it for safety. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland.

In November 2007, Matsunashi announced the shooting of her next film, Happy Darts, and asked Japanese darts fans to collaborate in its making. [1] The comedy, released theatrically in Japan in November 2008, [12] [13] concerns an office lady whose humdrum life is changed when she attempts to win a national darts competition. [14]

Filmography (Director)

Filmography sources: [3] [15]

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Rist, Peter. "The Way of the (Female) Director". . Retrieved 2009-09-12.External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rist, Peter (August 31, 2005). "Tomoko Matsunashi: The Way of the Interview". Offscreen . Retrieved 2009-09-12.External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. "Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival Archive '96". . Retrieved 2009-09-16.External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. "Tokiwa-so no seishun". IMDb . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. クルシメさん (1997/日) (in Japanese). CinemaScape . Retrieved 2009-09-09.External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. クルシメさん (in Japanese). . Retrieved 2009-09-09.External link in |publisher= (help)
  8. 流れ者図鑑 (in Japanese). JMDB . Retrieved 2009-09-06.External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. "Nagaremono zukan (1998)". IMdB . Retrieved 2009-09-06.External link in |publisher= (help)
  10. 由美香 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2009-09-06.External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. "Camera Japan". . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. "Happy Darts". IMDb . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)
  13. Happyダーツ (in Japanese). AllCinema . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. Quellette, Kevin (August 23, 2008). "Are you ready for a darts training montage? Here comes 'Happy Darts'!". Nippon Cinema . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)
  15. 松梨智子 (in Japanese). AllCinema . Retrieved 2010-07-07.External link in |publisher= (help)