The theme for the 2015 Venice Buddhist Film Festival is “Decisions.” The Film Festival will run on four consecutive Sundays, March 1 through March 22 at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. See times below.
A short discussion will follow each film, with a special panel discussion following the screening of Lil Tokyo Reporter on March 22. No reservations are required. Admission is free; suggested $5 donation per person each Sunday to support the VHBT Buddhist Education Committee. Any funds collected at the final screening on March 22 will be donated to the Lil Tokyo Reporter production organization. Free parking in temple lot and on streets.
For more information about the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Film Festival, contact Richard Modiano.
March 1, 12:00 Noon
Late Spring 晩春 (Banshun) (Japan, 1949)
Professor Shukichi Somiya (Chishu Ryu), a widower, has only one child, a twenty-seven-year-old unmarried daughter, Noriko (Setsuko Hara), who takes care of the household and the everyday needs — cooking, cleaning, mending, etc. — of her father. Professor Somiya believes that he’s selfishly preventing his daughter from leading her only life and contrives to find a husband for her. Will Noriko marry and lead her own life? Only she can make that decision.
Winner of the Kinema Junpo Award for Best Film (1950).
March 8, 1:00PM
A Man Escaped (France, 1956)
French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given a new cellmate. Should he kill him, or risk revealing his plans to someone who may be a Gestapo informer?
Winner of the award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival (1957) and the award for Best Film by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics (1958).
March 15, 12:00 Noon
High Noon (USA, 1952)
Will Kane (Gary Cooper) the longtime marshal of Hadleyville, New Mexico Territory, has just married pacifist Quaker Amy Fowler (Grace Kelly) and turned in his badge. He intends to become a storekeeper elsewhere. Suddenly, the town learns that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), a criminal whom Kane brought to justice, is due to arrive on the noon train. Should Kane stay and face his enemy or should he heed his wife’s pleas to avoid violence and leave town?
Winner of four Oscars (Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Cooper); Best Film Editing; Best Music, Original Song; and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
March 22, 12:30PM
Lil Tokyo Reporter (USA, 2014)
Sei Fujii (Chris Tashima) is a crusading reporter for a newspaper in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo in 1935. He is concerned that the exploitation of the poor by local gambling concerns will not only hurt the community directly, but will also sabotage the efforts to make the rest of Los Angeles accept the Japanese of Little Tokyo as loyal and trustworthy Americans. Fujii sets out to bring the power of the press to play against the gambling houses. Filmmakers Jeffrey Chin (Director), Chris Tashima (Lead Actor) and Carole Fujita (Executive Producer) will be present to talk about the film.