Omotenashi 盛情款待 | おもてなし
Taiwan | 2018 | 95 minutes | Drama, Romance | Chinese, Japanese, English (English subtitles) | Dutch premiere
Director: Jay Chern
Embedded deep within Japanese culture, omotenashi is a concept of providing hospitality from the heart. Jacky (Wang Po-chieh), the son of a Taiwanese businessman who bought a ryokan (traditional inn) in Kyoto, has been sent to save its failing business. But when his plans to re-sell it to a foreign hotel chain becomes known, Jacky, as well as Rika (Rena Tanaka), the feisty daughter of the ryokan’s owner, have to take a crash course in omotenashi. Capturing the beautiful scenery and traditional etiquette of Kyoto over four seasons, this elegant cross-cultural romance is made with so much care that it’s itself an expression of Omotenashi. Selected as the opening film of Hong Kong Film Festival, this Taiwan-Japan co-productions is directed by Jay Chern and co-written by Mami Sunada, who made The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary on Hayao Miyazaki. Fans of Japanese classics should keep their eyes out for a cameo by Kyoko Kagawa, the muse of Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi.
About the director
In 2006, Jay Chern graduated summa cum laude from the film program at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 2007, he returned to Taipei to become reacquainted with a culture he had long forgotten. He was accepted to the directing program at Taipei National University of the Arts, Graduate School of Filmmaking. In Taiwan, he has crewed on many award-winning films and is proficient not only as a director but also as a cinematographer, lighting director, editor and assistant director. In 2011-2012 he directed and shot his thesis short Thief, which won Best Short Film at Golden Horse Awards, Best Director at Golden Bell Awards, Best Asian Short at Tokyo’s Short Shorts Film Festival. In 2014 he wrote, directed and shot his first 90 min feature Dawn/Spring, which was nominated for Six Golden Bell Awards. Omotenashi is his latest feature work, which won the award at Hong Kong HAF 2017.
Text source and photocredit: CinemAsia Film Festival