STOP10 Mar 2017: 'Jimami Tofu' by BananaMana Films
BananaMana Films, helmed by Jason Chan and Christian Lee, made a Netflix hit ‘Perfect Girl’ for just $1000. They are back with a new delicious tale that called ‘Jimami Tofu’. This is their first feature film and it is a marriage of food and love, that takes place in the seaside setting of Okinawa, Japan. In the film, a Chinese Singaporean chef, formerly working in Tokyo, finds himself in Okinawa begging a disgruntled old chef to teach him traditional Okinawan food. A top Japanese food critic finds herself in Singapore on an eye opening discovery of Southeast Asian cuisine. In reality both are looking for each other after an emotional breakup years ago when she left him without a trace. Emotionally crippled by their breakup he searches her home town for her but discovers instead the art of traditional Okinawan food. Through it he learns the incredible balance of two cultures: Chinese and Japanese – the homely, warmth of Chinese style cooking with the precision, delicacy and visual artistry of Japanese cuisine: a balance they never had in their relationship. When she suddenly appears in Okinawa looking to find closure he cooks and serves her their final meal. Through it she discovers what she had been yearning for all these years – the beauty of both cultures balanced to perfection and realises he has found the key to being together again.
Sounds like you can expect some serious food porn in Jimami Tofu. The film was born out of a an invitation from the Okinawan Film Office to a fully paid scouting trip to explore film locations in Okinawa. Then one thing led to another, or rather one meal led to another. The filmmakers Jason and Christian lapped up everything in Okinawa from the food to waters, the hills, the orchards and finally inspiration hit and Jimami Tofu was born. But food and scenery aside, the film is also about love and coming home to where your heart belongs.
Watch the film trailer here:
The cast of Jimami Tofu includes Jason Chan, Mari Yamamoto, Rino Nakasone and Masane Tsukayama.
Landing his first major role as the Green Samurai Ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Jason Chan worked on multiple films , TV and theatre roles in Singapore before starting Banamana films together with Christian Lee. Acting in all of their productions, Jason will once again take up the lead role in this production.
Mari Yamamoto an up and coming actress who has been doing various productions such as Allure (2014) and Bourek (2015) . Taking the lead actress role in Jimami Tofu, she will be showcasing her acting skills pair with her strong command of both the English and Japanese languages. She will be playing Yuki.
Part of the cast includes classic Okinawa actor, voice artist and narrator Masatane Tsukayama. Spanning a career of 53 years as of 2017 , Mr Tsukayama has seen and done it all. His body of work embraces various genres and left a strong impression both in the film industry and the Japanese animation industry too. He will be playing Sakumoto.
Here is how you can watch the film this month!
The filmmakers will be holding a series of private screenings in Singapore in March. We are offering SINdie readers a chance join in some of these screenings. If you are interested, simply drop us an email now at email@example.com
Alternatively, look out for our Facebook post on the upcoming private screenings and you can respond to our posts to get invited!
Pictures from their 1st private screening at the National Museum on 28 Feb 2017
Lucky for the filmmakers, they have actually secured pre-sales agreements with international distributors including Korean media giant IHQ, Japanese global TV platform VIKI and Encore Inflight, as announced at Asia Television Forum last year.
About BananaMana Films
BananaMana Films is an award-winning Singapore production company that specializes in creating Asian scripted dramas in English for film, TV and web. Their most recent film project “Bang Bang Club” won the prestigious Platinum REMI Award at the Houston International Film Festival 2016. Their first drama “What Do Men Want?” was broadcast on national TV in 2014 and was awarded “Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series” in LA. It is currently under negotiation for acquisition by Sundance Channel SEA. Their second drama series “Perfect Girl” went on to win 7 international awards from 16 nominations. Most notable being Best Drama Series, Toronto Web Festival 2015 and Outstanding Writing, Directing and Drama at Los Angeles Web Festival 2015. Furthermore, Perfect Girl became the first Singaporean drama to be acquired by global TV platform VIKI. It has since also been acquired by Encore Inflight.
Founded by Christian Lee and Jason Chan, BananaMana Films has quickly become one of the premiere production companies in Singapore for narrative film and TV production. Film awards of note: Gold Remi, Best Family Feature at Houston International Film Festival 2008, for the movie SLAM, which Christian Lee produced and was acquired for worldwide distribution by Sony International.
Written by Deitrich Mohan
For the full list of March 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.