2013 Japan Film Festival S.F. Welcomes Director Shinsuke Sato as a Guest of Honor

May 30th 2013
Award Winning Director Of GANTZ, GANTZ II And SAND CHRONICLES Makes A Rare U.S. Personal Appearance For S.F. Bay Area's First Dedicated Japanese Film Festival Taking Place At NEW PEOPLE Cinema

San Francisco, CA, May 29, 2013 – The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, the popular yearly San Francisco summertime Japanese Pop Culture celebration, has announced director Shinsuke Sato as the first Guest of Honor for its inaugural Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film event for the S.F. Bay Area, taking place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning Saturday, July 27th through Sunday August 4th.

Director Shinsuke Sato will appear for the very special U.S. premiere of his latest film, Library Wars, on Friday, August 2nd at 7:00pm, and Saturday, August 3rd at 1:10pm. The film is a new live-action sci-fi adventure adapted from the bestselling novel and anime series originally written by Hiro Arikawa. In addition to introducing his new film, Sato will engage in an insightful Q&A session with audiences immediately following each theatrical screening.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco invites attendees to catch more than 15 films, representing a vivid cross-section of recent Japanese live-action as well as anime cinema, that will have their exclusive U.S. and/or San Francisco premiere at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. The Festival will also be a prominent feature of the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, taking place across Japantown on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. A complete schedule of films and advance ticket information is available on www.jffsf.org.

Library Wars is set in the year 2019 in Japan, a new law is passed to crack down on free expression, which allows for the government to create an armed force to find and destroy objectionable printed material. Meanwhile, to oppose this oppressive crackdown, the Library Force is created. The Library Force includes instructor Atsushi Dojo (Junichi Okada) and Iku Kasahara (Nana Eikura), who work to protect the libraries. A fierce battle soon ensues between these two groups.

“It's a tremendous honor to welcome director Shinsuke Sato as a very special Guest of Honor for our first annual Japan Film Festival of San Francisco,” says Manami Iiboshi, the Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “His newest film, Library Wars, takes the battle for free speech in an action-packed new direction that shows his creativity and prowess as a filmmaker. We look forward to audiences having this rare opportunity to meet and interact with one of Japan's most visionary directors at the kick-off of a unique new annual film festival celebrating the best of new Japanese cinema!”

Director Shinsuke Sato was born in 1970 in Hiroshima, Japan. In 1993, while attending Musashino Art University, he wrote the screenplay and directed the 16mm short film, Ryonai Genshuku, which won the 1994 Pia Film Festival Grand Prize. This success launched his career as a film and television drama screenwriter. In 2001, he made his major debut as a director with LOVE SONG. Sato followed this project with The Princess Blade, which was screened at numerous film festivals around the world and distributed in over 20 countries including the United States and United Kingdom. In 2003, the feature film was released in North America and received tremendous critical acclaim.

In the fall of 2007, Sato directed the film, Sand Chronicles, which was also based on a popular manga comic series and became a major Japanese office hit. In 2009, he collaborated with Production I.G and Fuji Television on the full-length animated film, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, as a screenwriter and director. Oblivion Island was nominated for Best Animated Film at the 33rd Japan Academy Awards. At Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival 2010, the film was also awarded the Jury Prize – Special Mention for the Best Animated Feature Film, and at the 14th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival, it won the Special Jury Prize in the feature films category. In 2010, Sato directed GANTZ and the sequel, Gantz II: Perfect Answer, which were also based on hugely popular Japanese anime and manga series. Both films became box office hits. The films are distributed in the U.S. by NEW PEOPLE Entertainment.

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com

About J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

Additional information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.

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