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  • World Premiere


Side by Side

サイド バイ サイド 隣にいる人

Director: ITO Chihiro (伊藤ちひろ)

2023|Japan|130min|Language: Japanese|Subtitles: English

Date Time Venue Guest
3/19 Sun 18:30 *Sold Out ABC Hall 《Award & Closing Ceremony》
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SAKAGUCHI Kentaro (坂口健太郎)
SAITO Asuka (齋藤飛鳥)
ASAKA Kodai (浅香航大)
ISOMURA Ameri (磯村アメリ)
ICHIKAWA Mikako (市川実日子)

MIYAMA (SAKAGUCHI Kentaro) is a mysterious young man with the ability to sense the thoughts of other people. These thoughts sometimes take the form of a spirit that haunts MIYAMA. With this power, he can detect and heal people suffering from physical ailments and emotional traumas. He does this while living a quiet life with his girlfriend Shiori (ICHIKAWA Mikako), a nurse, and her daughter Mimi (ISOMURA Ameri). While locals accept him, the mystery of his background lingers and it all comes out when he confronts the thoughts of KUSAKA (ASAKA Kodai), who was his junior in high school, now working as a musician in Tokyo. MIYAMA’s meeting with KUSAKA reunites him with his ex-girlfriend Riko (SAITO Asuka), a woman who is part of the past that he ran away from.

About the Cast and Crew

ITO Chihiro began her film career as art department staff in charge of props before she met YUKISADA Isao (行定勲) who invited her to write a screenplay for his film “Seventh Anniversary” (セブンス アニバーサリー/2003). Immediately after her writing debut, she worked on screenplays for a string of live-action films and anime, including mega-hit “Crying Out Love in the Center of the World” (世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ/2004) and OSHII Mamoru’s (押井守) “The Sky Crawlers” (スカイ・クロラ/2008). Recently, she has worked under the pen name HORIZUMI Anne (堀泉杏) on YUKISADA’s films “Narratage” (ナラタージュ/2017) and “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese” (窮鼠はチーズの夢を見る/2020). In 2022, she debuted as a director with “In Her Room”(ひとりぼっちじゃない). It was produced by YUKISADA Isao and played in the Nippon Cinema Now section at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2022. On top of writing screenplays, she has also written for the stage and also a picture book. “Side by Side” is her second film and was shot in the beautiful landscape of Nagano Prefecture.

The main character, MIYAMA, is played by SAKAGUCHI Kentaro, a talented young actor who has risen to leading man status through parts in "Our Little Sister" (海街diary), “Narratage,” “The Last 10 Years” (余命10年) and “Hell Dogs” (ヘルドッグス), as well as the NHK TV series "Okaeri Mone" (おかえりモネ). He brings to life the mysterious character of MIYAMA with his overwhelming sense of transparency and a backstory that unravels when he comes into contact with people from his past. MIYAMA‘s ex-lover, Riko, is played by SAITO Asuka, who made her screen debut as the heroine in the Japanese remake of the Taiwanese film "You Are the Apple of My Eye” (あの頃、君を追いかけた), and more recently appeared in the live-action adaptation of “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” (映像研には手を出すな!). This is her first film since announcing her graduation from the idol group Nogizaka46, and she brings a new level of charm to the role. They are given top support from ASAKA Kodai, who has appeared in “Theater” (劇場), and ICHIKAWA Mikako, a veteran actor who has appeared in “Rent-a-cat” (レンタネコ), “Shin Godzilla” (シン・ゴジラ) and “A Girl Missing” (よこがお).

“Side by Side” has its World Premiere screening at OAFF on Sunday, March 19 before it opens theatrically in Japan on April 14th.

Distributor in Japan / World Sales

Happinet Phantom Studios

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Director ITO Chihiro, Producer YUKISADA Isao