Duduzile Mpase had a chat with the Director of Palm To The Sun film.
Q: Please introduce yourself and your role in the Palms To The Sun film.
A: I am a director of Palm To The Sun film,Tomohiko Iwasaki.
I was born in Tokyo in 1966. I started making films when I was in high school.
Q: Have you produced any other films besides this one?
I made about 20 pcs of films,most of them are shorts.
This is my first feature.
Q: Who wrote the story? What inspired the writer to write this story?
How long did it take to write it?
A: I wrote the story and there was no obvious inspiration to write it.
It took me about two months to write it.
Q: Do people in your country support their local films? Do they like
going to the cinemas?
A: Many friends of mine like Japanese films. But,Most of Japanese don't
go to cinema so often.Top answer to the question "How many times do you
go to Cinema in a year"is one!People rather like Japanese movies than
foreign ones.Many of hem are continuous from TV show and based on comics.
Japanese films are not supported so well,most of them are in low budget.
Q: Do you think there is a room for South African films in your
country? Which film genres do you think are popular with your
A: I must admit that I don't know your country well.
But, I like Neill Blomkamp who directed "District 9" and "Chappy".
Many people like them.I like Denmark Western "The Salvation” Mads
Mikkelsen stars,shooted in
South Africa.I think the beautiful and wild scenery in SA is great for film shoots.
Q: Please tell us about your challenges/problems when you were making the film.
A: There were few staffs.In first three days,only me and Akira
Nobi,Director of Photography.Just two of us!
After that, an assistant director joined in,but we were always arguing
because of terrible staff work.But at last we made good friendship.
I found that number of casts are over 50 people at last.We were just
Q: Please share with us your funniest moments on set of Palms To The Sun.
A: The scene main character Yoshio drunk. The puppet,Corona pesters Yoshio.
Kota Fudauchi,roll of Yoshio,acted only by himself,just like two people arguing.
Most of his idea.
Q: Who selected your cast?
A: I did, for the most part but some of them were introduced by Kota Fudauchi and Allen Ai (heroin).
Q: Why did you decide to work in the film industry? When did you
start? Did you have support and understanding from your family or
not? Do you have formal training?
A: I am independent film maker. After 1970's, Studio System in Japan collapsed.
There were no obvious way to work for film industry in late 80's when
I graduated University.
Most of the director after that is from independent.
I shot some shorts for TV program and received awards.
My parents don't understand my filming.
I don't have formal training.
Q: Are you coming to SA for our Ugu Film Festival?
A: Yes, I am planning to go to SA for UGUFF!
It is my first trip to the African Continent.
It takes almost 24 hours by air.
I want to learn much about culture in SA.
The Ugu Film Festival would like to thank Tomohiko Iwasaki. for sharing his story, we all look forward to hosting him!