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Sho Miyake


Born in 1984 in Hokkaido, Japan. Directed his first theatrical feature film “Playback” in 2012, which was screened in the Competition at Locarno International Film Festival. His feature film in 2018, “And Your Bird Can Sing” was officially selected to the Forum section at Berlin International Film Festival. Other directorial works include a music documentary “The Cockpit”(2014) which was selected for the New Directors section of Cinema du Réel, a costume TV drama “The Courier”(2017) and a streaming TV drama series “Ju-on: Origins”(2020). His latest work is “Small, Slow but Steady” in 2022, which was selected to the Encounters section at Berlin International Film Festival.


All the Long Nights (2024)
Small, Slow but Steady (2022)
Ju-on: Origins (2020) (streaming TV drama series)
Wild Tour (2019)
World Tour (2019) (video installation)
And Your Bird Can Sing (2018)
The Courier (2017) (costume TV drama)
The Cockpit (2015) (documentary)
Playback (2012)
Good For Nothing (2010)

10+5 Questions for Sho Miyake

1. What is the first film in your memory?
Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

2. What are some of your favorite films?
Unstoppable (2010)
Déjà vu (2006)

3. Which creators have you been inspired by or influenced by?
My parents were the first ones to inspire me, then the boy Macaulay Culkin played in the Home Alone series. A boy around my age was turning electronics and toys into something else and reinventing their usage without anyone’s help. As a kid, I copied him and redecorated my room with my own hands. That was my first step as a creator.

4. What are the films that shook your world or changed your life?
When I was 11 years old, I watched “Apollo 13.” Until that moment, I thought athletes were the coolest people on Earth, but seeing NASA workers in the film, I learned that being smart is cool too. I was impressed by their intellect and creativity that went into filling the round hole. Another one is a short film I made with friends when I was 15 called “1999.” It was only three minutes long, but I found it incredibly fun to make something using my body and brain. I got so into it and exhausted all my energy that I ended up catching a cold.

5. Are there any Japanese directors of your generation you are inspired by?
Haruka Komori, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Natsuki Seta, Kohei Igarashi, Kuzoku, etc.

6. What does filmmaking mean to you?
If life came twice or three times, there would’ve been no plays, actors, cameras, or movies. We make movies because everything in life happens only once. And we continue to make movies because we are driven by different emotions; joy of working with people you love (joy of finding new charm in them through working together, to be precise), unchanging vexation you feel no matter how many films you make, surprise of the unknown, rage against unreasonable events, unnamable flush of emotion that arises when the perception of the world fundamentally changes, to list a few.

7. What are you interested in outside of films and filmmaking?
Reading analytical articles on soccer games.

8. Where’s your happy place?
Mountains, oceans, book stores, parks, coffee shops, home, editing rooms, sound mix studios.

9. What are the customs or phenomena that are unique to Japan that you want other people to know?
Manzai (a style of comedy), Conte (comedy skit), midnight radio, Rakugo (a form of verbal entertainment)

10. Where would you be in 10 years?
Wearing reading glasses?


1. What is your favorite moment in the film? (no spoilers)
I like the last shot of each main character in the film. Those were the actual last shot to film for each actor on production schedule. I wanted to keep going and do more takes because once we get a good take, that meant the end of their shoot, and I loved working with them. But all the actors gave us an amazing take right away.

2. Why did you decide to write/make this film?
I was drawn to the fact that this project was put together by a small civic movie theater, not by big production companies in Tokyo. Also, I wanted to make a film about a 20-something’s story, and I wanted to do it before the three actors I admire and myself get too old for it. So I was very lucky to come across the original novel when I did.

3. Were there any films that you watched as a reference or a source of inspiration?
I was set on not referring to any particular film in terms of storytelling and shots. Instead, I decided to enjoy and make the most out of spending time with the actors. In that sense, Richard Linklater’s films as well as actor-turned-directors’ works were in the back of my head (John Cassavetes, Clint Eastwood, etc.).

4. Was there any music you were listening to or book you were reading while you were making this film?
I made a playlist and shared it with the actors. I felt Nina Simone’s “O-H-H Child” was watching over every character in this film. Shizuka Ishibashi, who plays Sachiko, introduced me to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” and “A Case of You” during the project. Singing and dancing with them to Rihanna’s “Sex with me” was a fun memory. I also listened to an album “THINK GOOD” by OMSB which is featured in the film as well as “ZAMA CITY MAKING 35,” an album by Hi’Spec who did the film’s soundtrack.
As for books, I was reading Robert Walser’s “The Tanners” at the time. You will actually see a character reading this book in the film.

5. Any fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes or episodes you’d like to share?
As we were preparing to wet the road for an after rain scene, the rain actually started pouring and shortly stopped before we started filming. On another day, when we prayed for the sun to come out for a particular scene, the sky absolutely cleared. We were very fortunate in terms of weather.

Message to our audience about this film

This film was an attempt to take the essence of “the sparkle of life” that Yasushi Sato tried to express in his novel, and portray it in a film. With the help of the people of Hakodate who gave us an amazing environment as well as actors and crew I respect with all my heart, I was able to devote my everything to this project. Looking back, it feels almost embarrassing how carried away I was. I hope you feel the beautiful sound and light of summer, and enjoy spending precious time with the characters who live in this film. I also wish this film will become like a dear friend to you all.