Shizuoka Cannes Week, 2015
While Cannes International Film Festival was held at France, there was a parallel Cannes here in Japan as well, with the “Shizuoka Cannes Week 2015”, an International Film Festival from May 9th to 24th, 2015 at Shizuoka City.
The Shizuoka Cannes Week shared not only international films and theatres mainly related to the famous Cannes Film Festival but also organised open-air market with a variety of stores selling food and clothing, etc.
Still wondering what was the most wonderful thing ? Most of the films aired at the festival were free to watch for visitors attending the event.
The Shizuoka Cannes Festival is held every year similar to the Festival de Cannes, France and unlike other previous years, this year the series of the events were hosted at three places within the Shizuoka city.
“We tried to display the unique at each place,” stated Izumi Inoue, a member of the executive committee.
As for example, a number of shops selling fresh vegetables were set-up at the Toro ruins. The farm atmosphere of Toro ruin (where rice fields dating back to 2300B.C. to 1700 B.C. had once been) served to impress visitors with the old-world charms. Similar attractions were organised at other two locations, one at the top floor of a department store; and another, at a park where films and small theatres were organised.
The event began six years ago. Back then not many people were aware of the fact that Shizuoka and Cannes were sister cities. This event would not only strengthen the relationship between the two cities but also spread the Sister- relationship between the two cities from two strikingly different countries.
This year the Shizuoka Cannes Week was organised with the support of 5 executive committee members and 45 volunteer staff. Some of the staff-members are regular visitors to the event in Japan, and continued to attend the event by volunteering as staff-members every year. The staff-members have had much fun and enjoyment at the previous events, hence they continued to join the event for the sole reason of entertainment. As testified by Inoue's statement that, “both visitors and staff enjoy this festival every year”.
Inoue joined Shizuoka Cannes Week as a volunteer staff when the event started six years ago. She did have a joyous experience and so she decided to join its executive committee. She likes this festival because it is not only an event for the local people, but a more open event sharing the culture of Cannes in Shizuoka, Japan. Inoue further said that she likes “the concept of this festival where one can enjoy a culture that is far different from their routine life and culture in Japan.”
The committee selects the shops at the open-air market from a list of applicants who apply for setting up stores at the event. Among the selected stores, there are some that are run by old people. The committee members help them to display a fashionable and trendy feel in order to attract the young visitors. The committee members wish for the success of not only the festival but for the city as a whole.
Tomiko Yamazaki visited Shizuoka Cannes Festival with her husband on May 16th, this year. Her son studies at a university in France and he has just returned to Shizuoka for a short vacation. As a citizen of Shizuoka city she says that it makes her glad to see the involvement of the youth for organising this festival from scratch. She adds that it energizes the outlook of the city.
But increasing costs and limited budgets have led the committee to decide whether or not to organise the Shizuoka Cannes Festival in the following years to come.