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J-Pop “Idols” have fast become a phenomenon in Japan as girl bands and pop music permeate Japanese life. Meet Rio, a bona fide “Tokyo Idol” who takes the viewer with her on her journey toward fame. Now, meet her “brothers”: a group of adult middle-aged male super fans (ages 35 – 50) who devote their lives to following her—in the virtual world and in real life. Once considered to be on the fringes of society, the “brothers” (many who gave up salaried jobs to pursue their interest in idol culture) have since blown-up and become mainstream. The film chronicles the growing disconnect between men and women in hypermodern societies.
With her provocative look into the Japanese pop music industry and its focus on traditional beauty ideals, filmmaker Kyoko Miyake confronts the nature of gender power dynamics at work. As the female idols become younger and younger, Miyake offers a critique on the veil of internet fame and the new terms of engagement that are now playing out IRL around the globe.
Kyoko is a Peabody award-winning filmmaker from Japan. Her documentary Brakeless was supported by BBC / ITVS / IKON / NHK / DR and won the prestigious Peabody Award 2014 after airing to great acclaim on BBC and PBS. Kyoko’s first feature-length documentary, My Atomic Aunt (aka Beyond the Wave) was internationally coproduced by broadcasters including BBC, NHK and WDR and supported by numerous grants such as Sundance. It has been screened at festivals across the world, winning Gold Plaque at Chicago International Film Festival.
Kyoko is currently developing her first feature film, Femme Fatale, with Freddy Olsson (Sweden) and Guillaume de Seille (France). The project has been selected by Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation for L’Atelier which selects 15 projects from promising young directors from all over the world.
Several short documentaries Kyoko directed have been shown at festivals internationally including Berlin, London, Sydney and SilverDocs. Hackney Lullabies won the Berlin Today Award 2011 at the Berlin Film Festival. Mrs. Birks’ Sunday Roast, commissioned through Film London’s scheme has been added to the British Film Institute’s National Archive collection, and enjoyed a successful 2-week run at the IFC Center New York in 2011. Kyoko has been selected for prestigious schemes such as Berlinale Talent Campus, Japanese government’s Artists Grant, Talent Campus Tokyo, Crossing Borders, Documentary Campus, and Pola Art Foundation Grant.
Kyoko left Japan to study history of English witchcraft at Oxford as a Swire Centenary Scholar, having studied English history at Tokyo University. While studying and working for British and Japanese media, she picked up a camera to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a filmmaker and started to make short films on her own.
DIRECTOR KYOKO MIYAKE
PRODUCERS FELIX MATSCHKE, BOB MOORE, KYOKO MIYAKE
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY VAN ROYKO
EDITOR ANNA PRICE
COMPOSER DAVID DRURY
SOUND DESIGNER TYLER FITZMAURICE
LINE PRODUCER VALERIE SHAMASH
POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISORS EDMUND DUFF AND VICTOR SANDRASAGRA
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS DANIEL CROSS, MILA AUNG-THWIN, JUTTA KRUG, NICK FRASER, KATE TOWNSEND, MARGJE DE KONING, AXEL ARNO, TORE TOMTER, METTE HOFFMANN MEYER, MELISSA KAJPUST, MAUREEN LEVITT & JULIE DI CRESCE
World Premiere at Sundance, January 2017
European Premiere et CPH:DOX, March 2017
DOCVILLE 2017, March 2017
Canadian Premiere at Hot Docs, April 2017
Hawaii International Film Festival, April 2017
Nashville Film Festival, April 2017
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, April 2017
Northwestfest, April 2017
IndieLisboa 2017, May 2017
San Francisco DOC FEST, June 2017
Fantasia Film Festival, July 2017
JAPAN CUTS New York, July 2017
YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS , August 2017