International Competition

Japanese Film Competition (Feature Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Short Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Short Length)

Psychology Counselor ◊ wp◊

9/25 (Sat) 10:00 - 10/3 (Sun) 23:00
Cinema Discoveries
World Premiere
Is this fiction or reality?
A psychological horror film that will stoke the audience's terror.

Mami, a psychology counselor, is preparing to go home on her final day at work before going on maternity leave when a woman named Akemi comes into the clinic without an appointment. Mami decides to ask just about the purpose of her visit, but Akemi's problem is puzzling.

Psychology Counselor

©DrunkenBird 2020

Director: Zenzo SAKAI

2021 / Japan / 42min.


As the story advances, the uneasiness only seems to magnify in this work that skillfully jabs at the audience's psyche. The experimental script by director Zenzo Sakai induces a strange experience like being lost in a maze. The director has said he wants to make films that the audience would find interesting, and not films with a theme or message. That intention comes through in this film. Sakai was the screenwriter of Makoto Shinozaki's Since Then (12) and Sharing (14). Additionally, he is enthusiastically involved with the video production team Drunken Bird along with Yasuyuki Dodo, the producer of this film. Mutsumi Suzuki, who plays the counselor, stars for the second time following Sakai's RIP (18) which won the Jury Special Prize at the 12th Fukui Film Festival. The mysterious patient, Akemi, is played by Maki Nishiyama who starred in Bunyo Kimura's Goodbye (08) and has also appeared in numerous other films.

Psychology Counselor
Psychology Counselor

監督:Zenzo SAKAI

Director: Zenzo SAKAI

Sakai was born in 1985. He completed courses at The Film School of Tokyo in 2012. As an independent director he released omocha wo kaiho suru (12), RIP (18), among others. In 2019, his film project kariudo no yoake (working title), won the Tokyo FILMeX New Director Award's Runner-Up Award. He has written the screenplays for Makoto Shinozaki's Since Then (12) and Sharing (14). Together with Yasuyuki Dodo, he is actively producing independent films under the moniker Drunken Bird.


For myself, there's nothing I want to bring attention to nor themes I want to raise through films; those are simply my own feelings for the work and not the cast or crew's. However, I am fascinated in what people find interesting. I enjoy making films while enthralled by the experimentation and discovery of this. Therefore, I hope the audience will find it interesting too.