Uno Port Art Films (UPAF) is a biennial summer outdoor film festival at the Port of Uno in Tamano, Okayama, near the famous Naoshima Island known for its contemporary art. This year, in light of the circumstances, we will be holding the festival online during September-October 2020, using Vimeo on Demand as our streaming platform.
UPAF believes in the power of film as an art form to nourish the soul. It brings together films from around the world that powerfully reflect the lives of filmmakers and show places and people whose lives are rarely seen in the films that are widely distributed in Japan. With the theme of “Life, Art, Film,” UPAF, which turned 10 this year, has been presenting edgy yet tender independent films from all over the world. This year has been hard for all of us, and so we have set the mini-theme of this festival to be “One Among Many” as we reflect on the time in which we are living in our respective places.
This year’s UPAF is online, so whether you’ve been curious about it for a while but couldn’t make it, or because you live far away or you’re new to UPAF, this will be a great opportunity for you to enjoy this homemade film festival. There will be 5 film programs, one per weekend. It will run for four weekends (9/18-10/11, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For Japan Shorts, we will screen from Fri to Tue since it is “Silver Week” holiday week in Japan), and will have some exciting events prior to the official opening of the Festival (see below). There will be a number of live Q&A sessions with directors and an opportunity for visitors to informally discuss their thoughts with each other. We hope to make this year’s UPAF unique. There will be an Audience Award because your participation in UPAF is highly appreciated. The line-up is as follows:
September 18 – October 11: Tribute to Mel Baggs
An influential autistic blogger Mel Baggs passed away in April 2020 at the age of 39. With Mel’s mother Anna Baggs’ blessing, UPAF 2020 will make Mel’s legendary video “In My Language” available with Japanese subtitles for the first time during our festival. Since it was introudced by CNN, the video has been viewed by 1.6 million people worldwide and has been translated to multiple languages. We hope that this powerful video will send positive messages to the Japanese viewers. It is available from the front page of this site and the direct link to the page is here.
September 5-6 (Sat & Sun): Pre-event #1 – Reiwa Upring Sneak Preview
(Japan-only streaming w/ English subtitile. Q&A in Japanese only) A sneak preview of the new film, Reiwa Uprising, by a legendary documentary filmmaker Kazuo Hara (The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On), which will be screened prior to its theatrical release in Japan on September 11. After purchase on Vimeo On Demand during the runtime, the film will be accessible for an additional 48 hours. While it’s a four-hour epic, it’s political entertainment that will keep you engaged throughout (we recommend that you prep some food and drinks beforehand, lol). Zoom Q&A with the Director Kazuo Hara on Sept 6, 11am Japan time. The link will be sent to the people who bought tickets.
September 13 (Sun): Pre-event #2 – UPAF 2020 Highlights
We will hold a super laid back live talk event by UPAF staff members which will give you an overview and highlights of this year’s UPAF. In Japanese but English translation can be available. Please RSVP here.
The Official 8th UPAF
Sept. 18-22 (Fri-Tue): The Inaugural Japanese Short Film Program @ UPAF
World Wide Streaming w/ English sub. 5 films selected from 72 submissions will be screened. Ticket and more info here. Q&A with the 5 directors: Mon, Sept 21, 11AM~ Japan time (1.5hrs). English-Japanese interpreting will be available. Please RSVP here.
Sept. 25-27 (Fri-Sat-Sun): White Sun, an Academy Award Entry from Nepal
Japan-only streaming w/ English and Japanese subs. A Nepalese entry for the Academy Awards, produced by Danny Glover. Ticket and more info here. Q&A with Director Deepak Rauniyar on Sunday, Sept. 27, 11:00 a.m.~ Japan time (1hr). Japanese-English translation can be available. Please RSVP here.
Oct. 2-4 (Fri-Sat-Sun): Teen UPAF
Worldwide streaming w/ Japanese sub. This program features collaborative films made by New York City teens living in the midst of the Pandemic. Admission is free and the link will be available here. Q&A date and time to be announced soon.
Oct. 9-11 (Fri-Sat): International Short Films
Worldwide streaming w/ English and Japanese subs. A Taiwanese documentary on the relationship between a father and son over family values and same-sex marriage, and more. Ticket and more info here. Q&A with Director Jay Chieh-Chun Lee on Sunday, Oct 11, 11:00am~ Japan time (1hr). Japanese-English trasnlation available. Please RSVP here.
Although it’s online, we hope to have a fun and meaningful time with you as we collectively imagine the starry sky and sea breeze of Uno. For more information on each film, please click the “Films” tab.
For more information on how to watch the films, please see the “How to watch” page.
We thank the following organizations for their generous support in making this online festival possible: Fukyo Films (Tokyo), The Match Factory (Germany), Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (Saitama), Educational Video Center (Newe York)・DCTV (Downtown Community Television Center) (New York)
Uno Port Art Films (UPAF)／宇野港芸術映画座
Artwork by AKADA Ryuichi