Film festival spotlights Japan’s hero

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The Edinburgh International Film Festival is to look back at the work of the late Japanese director Shinji Somai.

Hugely admired in his own country, his work is only beginning to be recognised on an international platform, with many of the films due to feature at the festival making their European premieres.

Chris Fujiwara, artistic director of the EIFF, said: “Shinji Somai is one of the most personal and original Japanese filmmakers. Audiences and critics will be amazed by what they discover.”

The films of Somai, who died in 2001, are said to have become a constant source of inspiration for Japanese filmmakers, yet have remained almost inaccessible to western audiences.

Kanako Hayashi, director of Tokyo Filmex, which is collaborating with EIFF on the retrospective, said: “I urge lovers of film not to miss this chance to follow Somai’s unique artistic trajectory throughout his works in Edinburgh.”