Home  /  Everything Else: Article  /  Woman in Focus: Kiki Sugino - Multi-talented Actress, Producer and Director!

Woman in Focus: Kiki Sugino - Multi-talented Actress, Producer and Director!

By InCinemas  /  22 Sep 2017 (Friday)

Film Still from Snow Woman (directed by Kiki Sugino)

Women in Film is back for its third edition!

Organised by Objectifs, the series aims to celebrate the achievements of women working in the film industry, an industry that has, since time immemorial, been dominated by men. 

This edition of Women in Film (WIF) highlights the films and career of Japanese multi-hypenated talent Kiki Sugino. She is an actress, producer, and director.

Photo credit: Japan Times

Borned in 1984, Kiki Sugino, whose father is a Korean Japanese and whose mother migrated from Korea to Japan, started her career as a singer in Korea before moving into acting. Her first few screen appearances were bit roles in Korean films. She had a bit role as a waitress in Kim Ki-Duk's feature film Time (2006). In 2010, Sugino stepped into the role of producer when she produced Magic & Loss, directed by Lim Kah Wai. She also acted in Magic & Loss. Since then, Sugino has produced eight more films. But it seems that what Sugino enjoys most is directing. In an interview, she said that she was most happy on set when she is either acting or directing, adding that directing has given her the "biggest adrenaline rush of my life up till now"

WIF will screen three of Sugino's films. They are Kyoto Elegy (2014), Snow Woman (2016) and Odayaka (2012). Kyoto Elegy and Snow Woman are directed and acted by Sugino. Odayaka, which is directed by Nobuteru Uchida, stars Sugino.

1. Kyoto Elegy

Kyoto Elegy (2014) is Sugino's debut feature film. Based on the award-winning novel “Manganiku to boku”  by Shiki Asaka, the film tells the story of Watabe (played by Takahiro Miura), a 20-year-old socially awkward law student and his relationship with three women. One of them is the overweight girl Satomi, played by Sugino, who develops feelings for Watabe. But when Watabe falls instead for a pretty fellow student, Satomi turns on Watabe. The film had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival and marks Sugino as a director to watch. 

2. Snow Woman

Snow Woman (2016) is Sugino's third feature film. In this film, Sugino adapts and retells the ancient ghost story of the snow woman (or yuki-onna, as is known in Japan) from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic ghost story anthology Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. The snow woman is often a tall beautiful woman with long black hair. Legend has it that the snow woman is someone who died in the snow and returns to kill unsuspecting mortals, especially males. Aschewing conventional Japanese horror conventions, Sugino's Snow Woman is reminiscient of the ethereal and evocative style of Kenji Mizoguchi's ghost story film Ugetsu (1953). Employing a measured pace and beautiful widescreen cinematography, Snow Woman demands your patience but is ultimately rewarding.  

3. Odayaka
Directed by Nobuteru Uchida, Odayaka (2012) tells the story of two women, played by Kiki Sugino and Yukiko Shinohara, who have to struggle with personal familial crises, set against the aftermath of the March 11 Earthquake. Sugino's character, Saeko, is desperate to ensure that her daughter is not affected by the radiation. She also has to deal with her husband's sudden announcement of divorce. The film had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2012. It was also screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2013.

Women in Film 2017
Date: 19 - 28 October 
Venue: Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film

Check out the other films featured in Women in Film 2017 here!
You say

Get Showtimes