Sunday, November 22, 2015

P-LABO FILMFES 2015! Toho Power Players Turn Out for the Film Festival!

Yours truly with Wataru Mimura, the mastermind behind P-LABO FILMFES.

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation by e-mail from screenwriter Wataru Mimura (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla 2000) to attend the latest P-LABO FILMFES on November 22. Suffice it to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The last I had talked to Mimura-san about it, it seemed he had decided to put the film festival on indefinite hiatus.

Former Toho President Shogo Tomiyama addresses the audience. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

This year, however, it came roaring back to life! Guest speakers included Shogo Tomiyama (producer for the Heisei and Millennium series of Godzilla films) and screenwriter Hiroshi Kashiwabara (Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus).

Yours truly with Godzilla's former boss, Shogo Tomiyama, at P-LABO FILMFES.

Many short-subject films were screened at the festival, and they varied widely in style and genre. One was a zombie comedy, and another was a rather tragic tale of a young scientist who builds a perfect female robot. All were V-cinema (i.e., shot on video), and the zombie comedy reminded me of the type of movies Conrad Brooks made a few years ago. (And I mean that in a good way!)

Hiroshi Kashiwabara discusses his latest action project. Photo by Brett Homenick.

It was great to see Kashiwabara-san again, as I hadn't seen him in over two years. We had a nice chat, but given that things were moving quickly, it had to be kept brief. Here's hoping I'll see Kashiwabara-san again in less than two years.

I must thank Mimura-san again for inviting me to the festival. Many of the films were enjoyable, and it is always a blast to catch up with familiar faces. Here's hoping there will be a P-LABO FILMFES 2016!

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