International Competition

Japanese Film Competition (Feature Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Short Length)

Japanese Film Competition (Short Length)

Kitten ◊ wp◊

7.18 (Mon) 10:30 Convention Hall
7.22 (Fri) 14:20 Audio Visual Hall
7.21 (Thu) 10:00 - 7.27 (Wed) 23:00
Short ① World Premiere

When book-loving Rin Ishimatsu enters high school, she stops reading in order to make friends. But she ends up serving on the library committee with Rei, whom she meets on her first day at school. One day, on the way home from school, Rin sees a kitten and is asked a strange question by Rei.


Director: Airi YAMAGUCHI
Cast: Moka, Naoki INUKAI, Sayuri FUJII, Erika SATO, Noriko MIYAGASAKI

2022 / Japan / 19min.


“If the cat you just saw is injured and is helped by a human, how do you think the cat would feel?” – How would you answer this question asked in the film? Based on director Airi Yamaguchi’s own experience, Kitten is a coming-of-age film which poetically depicts the sadness of not being able to honestly express one's feelings as one grows older, as well as the virtue and the danger of trying to gauge the feelings of others. The fresh performances by Moka and Naoki Inukai truly embody the delicacy of fragile teenagers, and Sayuri Fujii, who plays the librarian Katsu, leaves a dignified impression. How their adolescent horizons are broadened by adults who are not parents or teachers will strike a chord with viewers. This is the third student film from Waseda University's Department of Intermedia Art and Science to be selected, which proves the quality of their filmmaking program under the guidance of directors Hirokazu Kore-eda and Makoto Shinozaki. The film will make its world premiere at the festival.


Director: Airi YAMAGUCHI

Born in Yamagata City, Gifu Prefecture. Yamaguchi studied film and moving images at the Tsuchida and Kore-eda laboratory, Department of Intermedia Art and Science, Waseda University.


I made this film based on an ethics lesson at my elementary school. The fear of words spoken out of kindness and sympathy, or hands reached out to you. Now that I’m at university, it was a precious experience for me to face this fear that I have had since my childhood and make a film about it. I’m very honored to be given this opportunity.