Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Japan's first film university to be launched next year"

From today's Japan Today:

A vocational film school in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, is set to become Japan’s first accredited university specializing in filmmaking from April next year, with the goal of becoming an academy of motion picture arts drawing students not only from Japan but other Asian countries, the school said.

‘‘We hope to make the university a major movie hub, gathering young Asians,’’ said Tadao Sato, head of the Japan Academy of Moving Images.

‘‘Making it a university was a dream of director Imamura,’’ he said, referring to the late film director Shohei Imamura, who founded the precursor to the Japan Academy.

The corporation running the vocational school plans to file an application for accreditation with the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry in late March.

Imamura, a two-time laureate of the Cannes International Film Festival Palme d’Or for ‘‘The Ballad of Narayama’’ and ‘‘The Eel,’’ launched the previous school 35 years ago.

Graduates of the school include many distinguished filmmakers, including Sang-il Lee, the director of ‘‘Hula Girls.’‘

Film academies in China and South Korea have asked for an exchange program with the school.

But progress has not been made on the proposals because the school is not an accredited institution that can transfer credits to and from other like institutions and offer scholarships.

‘‘We would be able to exchange teachers and students across borders if we become a university,’’ Sato said.

Sato has introduced Asian films to Japan through his work as a film critic.

While continuing to teach filmmaking techniques, such as camera work and the history of movies in Japan and abroad, the school plans to provide additional education needed to understand film cultures, including literature, philosophy and languages, school officials said.

The school has been enrolling 200 students a year in the acting and imaging departments.

It plans to get rid of the acting department, reducing the enrolment quota to 140 a year when it becomes a university.

No comments: