Non-Japanese filmmakers based in Japan are a varied lot, but they all face the fact that certain doors open to their Japanese counterparts — from directing jobs at TV networks to distribution deals with major film companies — are pretty much closed to them. And yet some make films hard to distinguish from the local product, as if they’ve mastered the Japanese “way of film” despite never quite becoming industry insiders.
One who has pulled off this feat is Anshul Chauhan, who came to Japan from India in 2011 and has since worked as an animator, CG artist and filmmaker. His first feature, the woman-in-crisis drama “Bad Poetry Tokyo,” won prizes at festivals here and abroad, including three best actress prizes for lead Shuna Iijima, beginning with the 2018 Osaka Asian Film Festival. For a director who never attended film school and had made only four shorts and a documentary prior to “Bad Poetry Tokyo,” this is a small miracle — or rather evidence of a large talent.