Selected to compete in the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) this November, Kazuhiro Soda’s black and white documentary poetically depicts the twilight days of a village and its people by the dreamlike Inland Sea.

Los Angeles, CA – October 22, 2018 – Distinguished Japanese documentarian, Kazuhiro Soda will take his silent, black and white Observational Film #7, INLAND SEA, to the world’s largest documentary film festival since 1988.

Produced by Kiyoko Kashiwagi, INLAND SEA (aka Minatomachi) takes place in a small village, Ushimado, whose rich culture and close community have been deserted by the era of modernization in post-war Japan. INLAND SEA documents the village’s remaining inhabitants – Wai-chan, the 86-year-old fisherman who dreams about retirement, Kumi-san, an 84-year-old villager who wanders the shores, convinced a social welfare facility stole her disabled son, and the “late-stage elderly” Koso-san, a widow and runner of a small seafood store, who provides leftovers to the town’s stray cats.

Inland Sea is, however, primarily a work of simple and unapologetic humanism, happily in love with people (“We’re as we are,” one remarks),” described The Hollywood Reporter.

Celebrated for observational documentaries like Campaign (2007), Mental (2008), Oyster Factory (2015), and most recently The Big House (2018), Soda has formed a revolutionary type of documenting. Adhering to his “Ten Commandments”, the rules that prohibit him from doing pre-shoot research and writing a synopsis before filming, Soda instead lets the camera to spontaneously roll, portraying the world and its people as true and unfiltered. Allowing the camera to spontaneously roll, INLAND SEA captures something far deeper – a village community facing abandonment and being forgotten. 

“Soda only fleetingly indulges in pictorial contemplations of the water (but such grace notes are beautiful indeed); he never strays beyond the confines of one town, and only interviews a tiny fraction of the population. But the main thematic thrust is similar: The bygone ways of this area are being eroded by progress and modernity; many traditions and practices die with the elderly residents,” continued THR.

Premiering in April 2018, INLAND SEA has competed worldwide, from the receiving the second-ever Glasshütte Original Documentary Award nomination at Berlinale 2018 to being honored with the nominee for the Golden Firebird Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival 2018.

“While these undercurrents are unmistakably elegiac, INLAND SEA rejects gloom. A word we keep hearing — conversationally and in greetings — is the magical Japanese term genki, meaning lively, energetic spirit, much prized in a land whose citizens have the longest life expectancy on Earth. Genki is what keeps the likes of Wan-chai and Kumiko going well into their ninth decade, and it is the pulse that sustains Soda’s winningly intimate study of quotidian minutiae,” concluded THR.

The 2018 IDFA will be held from November 14th – November 25th. For more information about INLAND SEA, please contact Sales@RockSalt.com and for press inquiries / exclusive interviews, please contact jenna@tricoast.com.

Watch the trailer for INLAND SEA here:https://vimeo.com/254417063

INLAND SEA (2018, 122 min.) Directed and written by Kazuhiro Soda. Producers: Kiyoko Kashiwagi, Kazuhiro Soda. Editor: Kazuhiro Soda. Cinematographer: Kazuhiro Soda. Japan/USA, Japanese/Silent. Laboratory X, Rock Salt Releasing, TriCoast Worldwide.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Laboratory X – Kiyoko Kashiwagi, Kazuhiro Soda.

ROCK SALT RELEASING: Daisy Hamilton and Dean Fernando.

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Founded by: Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton.

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