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An

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2015

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Naomi Kawase / Feature Narrative / Japan, France, Germany / 2015 / 113 min / Colour / DCP2K / In Japanese / Arabic, English subtitles / MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.

Synopsis

Sentaro runs a tiny bakery, where he makes dorayaki – pancakes filled with ‘an’, a sweet red bean paste. He works hard but with little enthusiasm, seeming lost in sad thoughts as he serves his wares to the schoolgirls who frequent his shop. When Tokue, a slightly dotty elderly woman, applies to work as his assistant – even offering to take the job at an outrageously low wage– Sentaro is hesitant at first, but is convinced when he tastes the wonderful ‘an’ she has cooked for five decades.

As Tokue imparts her knowledge to Sentaro, teaching him to listen to the stories the beans tell in order to coax them to deliver their delicious flavour, the two develop an unlikely camaraderie. Word of mouth about the greatly improved dorayaki spreads like wildfire, and soon the bakery can barely keep up with the daily queues of hungry locals – but when rumours about Tokue’s past fly, the pair find themselves facing some difficult choices.

With her newest film, Naomi Kawase delivers a delicate, tender story of two wounded souls who come together and inspire one another to let go of the past. 'An’ is as delicious as the treat that gives it its name.

About the Director

Naomi Kawase was born in Nara, Japan. In 1997, she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or in the history of the Festival de Cannes for her first feature ‘Suzaku.’ Since then, her films have won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locarno Film Festival (‘Hotaru’, 2000), the Grand Prix at Cannes (‘The Mourning Forest,’ 2007) and the Carrosse d’Or from the Directors’ Fortnight in 2009. ‘An’ opened the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival de Cannes in 2015. Her latest film 'Radiance', won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, Cannes International Film Festival in 2017.

Credits

Director
Naomi Kawase
Screenwriter
Naomi Kawase
Producer
Masa Sawada, Koichiro Fukushima, Yoshito Oyama
Editor
Tina Baz
Production Designer
Kyoko Heya
Music
David Hadjadj
Cinematographer
Shigeki Akiyama
Sales Company
MK2
Production Company
Comme des Cinémas/​Nagoya Broadcasting Network/​Twenty Twenty Vision
Sound
Eiji Mori
Set Designer
Kyoko Heya
Distributor
Moving Turtle
Cast
Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida, Miyoko Asada, Etsuko Ichihara

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