Searchlight: Wataru Sato

Japanese humour is certainly very different from, well, what makes the rest of the world laugh.  Although at YDA we love it all – give us the slapstick, the bizarre, the silly, the crazier the better.  But every now and again there’s a film that leaps out from the rest, one that transcends cultural differences, and it was one such film “Dad’s Love” directed by Wataru Sato which had the international audience laughing their heads off at the screening of the finalists of the International Broadcast section in 2011. Now Wataru Sato has shot a follow-up for  the entertainment complex Sunshinesakae which we think is just as bonkers brilliant.

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Your films tend to have an amusing off-the-wall story behind them. Do you contribute to writing the narratives?

Yes, I wrote all the film scripts for Dad’s Love, Taxi, and now Chewing-gum Artist. I work as both a director and a writer. I like to imagine an amusing off-the-wall story!

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What is your creative process for developing your films? Do you storyboard them in detail or simply have a shots list?

I storyboard films in detail so that I don’t have to think too much while shooting.

What were the main challenges of the shoot and how did you overcome them?

Balancing the comedy and love story, neither must be too much. I shot as many scenes as I could and spent a lot of time editing.

What impact did winning second place in the International Broadcast section of Young Director’s Award in 2011 have?

I received many work requests. I realise that I want to make films that impress people all over the world.

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Will you be coming to Cannes  YDA this year?

Of course, I hope so!

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