International Competition

Japanese Film Competition (Feature Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Short Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Feature Length)

Song for Laurel ◊ wp◊

9/25 (Sat) 10:00 - 10/3 (Sun) 23:00
Cinema Discoveries
World Premiere
A lopsided love turns a person into a tree.
This fantastical love story is based on a Greek myth.

Toko returned from studying abroad out of concern for her boyfriend Manabu who lost his father. She goes to the home of their mutual friend Tasuku and sees Manabu there drawing a laurel tree in the garden. Manabu informs her he loves Tasuku and that love turned Tasuku into a tree.

Song for Laurel

©2021 東京藝術大学大学院映像研究科

Director: Takumi HABUTO

2021 / Japan / 76min.


Based on the story of Apollo and Daphne, this fable-like film depicts through its four characters the anguish of love that has difficulty coming together. Though a thesis project of the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media's Department of Film Production, what will first hold the audience's gaze is the unsurprisingly high-quality visuals. While being based on a Greek myth, the film has the look and feel of a classic Japanese film largely due to the camerawork which fully elicits the charm in the Japanese architectural elegance of Tasuku's home. One can imagine the elaborate location scouting and lengthy rehearsals involved which once again brings to attention how important these things are to the work. The screenplay is co-written by Reina Kobayashi and director Takumi Habuto, showing he can write a solid script and deserves to be paid closer attention in the future.

Song for Laurel
Song for Laurel

監督:Takumi HABUTO

Director: Takumi HABUTO

Born in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Habuto participated in a filmmaking workshop in high school. After graduation, he entered Musashino Art University's Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences. While coming into contact with performance art, and experimental video among a wide variety of visuals, he diligently produced films such as Night Tennis court and the Rabbit. After graduating, he attended the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media's Department of Film Production where he studied under both Nobuhiko Suwa and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Currently he is a freelancer moving back and forth between visual media and music.


In my birthplace of Fukuroi in Shizuoka, children sing a song of mourning for the deceased under a large umbrella once a year. This umbrella goes from home to home. I was a child at the time so I didn't comprehend that there was a lot of love in this practice. For young people, loss was a fantasy. But there's only deep sadness as time passes. It's sand as far as the eye can see. Nothing seems to be there. However, what makes this film complete is that I believe there is something important there. I hope you'll find your love during the film.