Saturday, 6 November 2010



It's this weekend that movie "Aardvark" premieres in The United States and Kitao Sakurai gets his first opportunity to see how Americans react to his latest film which is already a mainstay in the European festival circuit after it's first showing Locarno this past summer and the film puts to film the real life story of a blind man recovering from being an alcoholic (Larry Lewis Jr) and his larger than life Jiu Jitsu teacher (Darren Branch).

In the film, Larry and Darren play themselves and essentially reenact their lives together. At a certain point the film departs into a realm of complete fiction, but in general “Aardvark” blurs those lines considerably. It also marks the debut feature from Sakurai, who has a wide-ranging resume that includes acting in Kevin Smith’s “Dogma” as a child, and more recently working as a DP on Ry Russo-Young’s Gotham Award winning “You Wont Miss Me.” Born in Japan, at the age of three Sakurai and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he went to Japanese school and was admittedly “super shy.” But when he started doing plays, he realized the power behind acting and performing. This led to roles in film (including the aforementioned “Dogma”), which in turn led to an interest in filmmaking.

So an exciting prospect for film maker Kitao Sakurai who will gain much more respect and adulation if this film can gain praise from American audiences.

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