Atsushi Funahashi was born in Osaka, Japan, and graduated from Tokyo University with a B.A. in cinema studies. He moved to New York in 1997 and studied film directing at the School of Visual Arts. His debut feature echoes (2001) was well received by critics and film festivals, winning three jury and audience awards at Annonay International Film Festival in France. The film has been theatrically distributed in the USA and Japan. His second film, Big River (2006), starring Jo Odagiri, was selected for the Berlinale Co-Production Market and PPP (Pusan Promotion Plan) at its project stage. Produced by Office Kitano, the film was shown at various film festivals (including Berlin, Pusan, Karlovy Vary, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai) and was released worldwide by Celluloid Dreams Director’s Label. Funahashi has also directed several HDTV documentaries on social issues and New York ethnic culture for NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting network. One of these documentaries, For the Joyful Moment of Life (2005), won a Telly Award. Funahashi moved back to Tokyo in 2007 and has started directing films in Japan. Deep in the Valley is his first Japanese film.
Deep In The Valley
(HD, Part Color, Drama, 129min, Big River Films, Japan)
Official Selection Berlin International Film Festival, the Forum of New Cinema 2009
(35mm cinemascope, Color, Drama, 105 minutes, Office Kitano, USA/Japan)
Official Selection : Berlin International Film Festival, the Forum of New Cinema 2006, Pusan (New Currents competition, 2005), Karlovy Vary, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Durban.
Theatrically released in Japan, Korea, France, and the US.
Awards : Special Jury Prize, Audience Award, Special Jury Prize of All Time (Annonay, France, 2003). Official Selection : Munich, Karlovy Vary, Tokyo.
Theatrical release in USA and Japan
For the Joyful Moment of Life -Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease-
(NHK, USA-Japan, HDTV documentary, 20 min)
AWARDS: Telly Silver Award 2005(USA)
Jazz on Sundays
(NHK, USA-Japan, HDTV documentary, 20 min)
On Marjorie Eliot, the great jazz pianist of New York City's famed Harlem.
One Year from the Day - Annual Commemoration of September 11-
(NHK, USA-Japan, HDTV documentary, 50 min)
On American families who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001.
Born in Toyama in 1964, Noriyuki Mizuguchi graduated from Yokohama Broadcasting & Film Institute (now called Japan Academy of Moving Image), then worked for acclaimed director of photography Junichiro Hayashi. Mizuguchi worked as an assistant cinematographer on films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Miike, and Hide Nakata. He has been independent since Kurosawa’s Doppelganger (2002). His filmography also includes The Grudge (additional photography; 2003), Inferno (2005), Ghost Train (2006), and Zen (2009).
Teruhisa Seki worked for many years as an assistant lighting technician for Shohei Imamura, Yoichi Sai, Takeshi Kitano, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Since becoming independent he has worked on A Blue Automobile (2004), Ghost Train (2006), White Room (2006), Last Words (2007), and Life: Tears in Heaven (2007).
Janek Duszynski was born in Warsaw in 1976. After graduating from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Duszynski moved to New York and studied music composition at the Juilliard School. He attained a master’s degree in music there, then, declining an opportunity to continue his studies at Princeton University, moved back to Poland. Duszynski’s music is widely performed in both Europe and the U.S. In 2001, Distant Place for string quartet and tenor won a prize at the Didur’s Composers Competition.
Born in Tokyo in 1982, Ayako Negishi dropped out of Waseda University’s Department of Commerce to study scriptwriting and directing under Tetsuo Shinohara and Kazuyoshi Kumakiri at ENBU Seminar. Now she is writing a new film while keeping her day job at an IT company.
A film and theater school in Tokyo, ENBU Seminar was established in 1998. Inviting professional stage directors and filmmakers as teachers, ENBU focuses on educating the actors and directors of the next generation. Alumni include Masahide Ichii (director of Naked of Defenses, New Currents Award at Pusan International Film Festival, 2008), Yuki Iwata (director of The Graduates), Yukiko Motoya (writer of Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers!), and Chigusa Takaku (actress in The Japanese Wife).