[eltdf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”” background_color=””]H[/eltdf_dropcaps]ow does one know success before knowing the essence of humility, time and love for the same? If there is a filmmaker who has made of cinema something personal, it’s Naomi Kawase. A woman who built her cinema without references and without knowing much of other people’s cinema, but absolutely aware of her own surroundings, the profound sensibility of her fellow people and the value of life.
For her, cinema is simply a medium of expression in which she shares her stories with the audience. Naomi didn’t fall in love with cinema by watching movies. According to her and in a mocking tone, “the God of cinema and told me it’s what I should be doing”. Cinema reached her to eventually reclaim her magnificent contributions that are known her cinematic legacy. Naomi wanted to do something she could be doing until the end of her days, and something she could be building with her heart and spirit.
Naomi began her career in documentaries. When the film rolls it’s as if she were carving time, learning from it, responding to it. She talks about her first project which consisted of her finding her father, whom she had never met, by looking all over the world with a camera; this turned into the documentary Moe No Suzaku, which was immediately acclaimed by critics. This was followed by a portrait of her grandmother, the woman who raised her. Naomi always handles very personal topics with the intention of creating with absolute objectivity the subjectivity that life offers. She is interested in what comes from the heart.
Naomi Kawase’s Master Class, the International Tributee at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, took place at the Principal Theater. The interview was in Japanese, with simultaneous translation in Spanish, highlighting communication with our guests, subtlety and directness while speaking; each pause a sigh, each idea an exemplary anecdote.
After a few words from director Sarah Hoch, a video shown with Naomi Kawase’s profile, an emotional journey through this distinguished director’s film career; a tribute to contemplation, a poetic style where maximum humility dominates. Once the video was finished, the director who is also the executive director of the Nara International Film Festival took the participants on a tour through the lovely walks of her career, from her beginnings as a teacher to her first films, her relationships with her grandmother and son, her call to Cannes, the essence of pure cinema, her promoting young creators from her home city at the Nara Festival and the different programs, as well as the future, of a working agenda filled with commitments and projects that will soon become Japanese cinematic history itself.
By the end of the conference, Naomi asked to turn on the lights in the theater to observe the faces of the people who wished to ask questions. Someone asked what she would say to young filmmakers. Naomi considers herself a young filmmaker and would probably like for someone to give her advice, but the advice she would give to filmmakers is to create something that only they could create. The authenticity in the person, the encounter with oneself, that’s her secret. At the end of the day, the best gift one can give is one that cannot come from anyone else.