A movie starring actor Kenta Kiritani and Toma Ikuta, and directed by Naoko Ogigami, “Karera ga Honki de Amutoki wa” (English title: Close-Knit) has won Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at The 67th Berlin International Film Festival. This is the first time a Japanese movie won the award, which specially given to films with LGBT topics, and presented by an independent jury in the film festival. Close-Knit, will be released in Japan cinema on February 25, 2017.
On an interview by Oricon Japan, Toma Ikuta said that he really wanted to challenge the role.”When the director approached and asked me to participate in the movie, I was really happy and quickly answered “Yes, please!”. Ikuta also explained that he studied a lot with the movie staff in order to portray the transgender character well, including wearing make up. “Lipstick is a hard work. When you drink from a bottle, it will comes off and you need to retouch it again,” he added. Lastly, he and the director hope that “Close-Knit” will make the audience think about ‘what is normal?’ in the society, because the awareness level of LGBT discrimination is still low in Japan compared to other countries.
Movie plot (from AsianWiki): 11-year-old Tomo (Rinka Kakihara) lives with mother Hiromi (Mimura), but Hiromi decides to give up on her and leaves their home. Tomo, now all alone, visits her uncle Makio’s (Kenta Kiritani) home. Makio lives with his beautiful girlfriend Rinko (Toma Ikuta). Rinko was born as a man and now works as a caregiver at a home for the elderly. Tomo is a little confused by the situation, but they begin to live as a family.
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