Monday, November 28, 2011

Reporting from P-LABO FILMFES 2011

Signage welcoming attendees to P-LABO FILMFES 2011!

Shortly after returning from the Ginza Mechagodzilla celebration in early November, I received an e-mail from screenwriter Wataru Mimura (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla 2000), inviting me to attend his film festival at the end of the month.

Having read about this film fest in the pages of G-FAN, I was interested in attending, and soon I made plans to see it for myself.

Screenwriter Hiroshi Kashiwabara hosts a talk show, following the screening of his samurai-era short film.

One of the guests I wanted to meet was Hiroshi Kashiwabara, notable to Godzilla fans as the screenwriter of Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, Godzilla 2000, and Godzilla x Megaguirus. Mr. Kashiwabara screened his short film "The Man Who Waits," which takes place during feudal Japan.

Hiroshi Kashiwabara meets me for the first time. Many thanks to Mr. Mimura for introducing me to him.

Following the screening, Mr. Kashiwabara hosted a talk show and fielded questions from the audience.

Sandwiched between the creators of many of the recent Godzilla flicks, Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura.

After the talk show, several short, independent movies were screened, many of which were quite good. I was (pleasantly) surprised at how many of them I enjoyed. One was even subtitled in English! (If only all of them were...)

Godzilla's boss, Shogo Tomiyama, addresses P-LABO FILMFES 2011.

The end of the event saw longtime Toho producer Shogo Tomiyama take the stage for a 60-minute speech on the trials and tribulations of filmmaking. Mr. Tomiyama's comments were well-received, and I just hope that the aspiring filmmakers in attendance were taking notes!

Yours truly with Tomiyama-sama. Thanks again to Mr. Mimura for introducing us!

The highlight of the speech (for me) was when Mr. Tomiyama pointed me out to the audience and addressed me from the stage. It was totally unexpected, but most welcome!

That's all, folks! Messrs. Mimura, Kashiwabara, and Tomiyama compare notes as the film fest winds down.

Suffice it to say, I had a great time. The films were (by and large) fun and well-made, and I enjoyed meeting the special guests. I also made friends with a Japanese filmmaker named Takahide Ubutaka, who speaks very good English. Not only that, he loves American wrestling! It truly is a small world!

If there's a P-LABO FILMFES 2012, count me in!

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