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Kazuhiro Soda

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Native name
想田 和弘

Kiyoko Kashiwagi


Kazuhiro Soda

Documentary filmmaker

Kazuhiro Soda imagesmidnighteyecominterviewsheaderskazuhiro

1970 (age 44–45)
Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

School of Visual Arts, University of Tokyo

Campaign 2, Mental, Campaign, Au revoir l' ete, Theatre 1

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Tatsuru Uchida, takashi Odajima, Koji Fukada, Kanji Furutachi, Kenji Yamauchi

Interview with kazuhiro soda campaign

Kazuhiro Soda (想田 和弘, Sōda, born 1970 in Tochigi Prefecture) is a Japanese documentary filmmaker based in New York City, USA. He has lived in New York since 1993. He is known for his observational style and method of documentary film-making.


In 2005, Kazuhiro Soda shot Campaign (Senkyo) (2007, 120 minutes), depicting a political campaign in Kawasaki, Japan, by Kazuhiko Yamauchi, an inexperienced candidate officially endorsed by the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party. When completed, it was invited to the forum section of Berlin International Film Festival in 2007. PBS broadcast a 52-minute version, which won the Peabody Award in 2008. The TV version was broadcast under a different title, Campaign! The Kawasaki Candidate as part of the Why Democracy? series, a global media event co-produced by 33 broadcasters around the world, including the BBC, CBC, and NHK. The 120-minute theatrical version won the Best Documentary Award at the Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival in 2008.

From 2005 to 2007, Soda shot Mental (Seishin) (2008, 135 minutes), which focuses on the lives of patients in a small mental clinic Chorale Okayama in Japan. The film was world-premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2008, and won the Best Documentary Award (PIFF Mecenat Award) there. It also won the Best Documentary Award at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2008. Other awards include Special Jury Mention at the 2009 Miami International Film Festival, Outstanding Documentary Award at the 2009 Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Inter-religious Jury Prize at Visions du Reel in 2009.

In September 2010, Soda premiered a documentary, Peace (2010, 75 minutes), as the opening film of the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (DMZ Docs). Peace depicts the lives of people with disabilities and cats in Okayama, Japan, and was initially commissioned by DMZ Docs as a short documentary. Peace later won the Audience Award at Tokyo Filmex, Buyens-Chagoll Award at Visions du Reel, and Best Documentary Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

In 2009, Soda started shooting Theater 1" and "Theatre 2", a documentary series about a playwright/theater director Oriza Hirata and his company, Seinendan. The series was world-premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in 2012, and won the Young Jury's Prize at the Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes, France in 2012.

He has published several books in Japanese including Mental Illness and Mosaic from Chuohoki Publishing, "The Reason Why I Make Documentaries" from Kodansha Publishing, and "Theatre vs. Film - Can a Documentary Capture Fiction?" from Iwanami Publishing.

Soda attended Tokyo University from 1989 to 1993, majoring in religious studies. He also earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in film-making.

MY way of making movie make me the next Godard or Truffaut "interview with Kazuhiro Soda"

Fiction films

  • A Night in New York (1995), writer/director/editor
  • A Flower and a Woman (1995), writer/director/editor
  • Freezing Sunlight (1996), writer/director/editor
  • The Flicker (1997), writer/director/editor
  • Documentary films

  • Campaign (2007), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Mental (2008), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Peace (2010), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Theatre 1 (2012), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Theatre 2 (2012), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Campaign 2 (2013), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Oyster Factory (2015), writer/director/editor/producer
  • Books

  • Mental Illness and Mosaic (Chuohoki Publishing), 2009 ISBN 978-4-8058-3014-7
  • The Reason Why I Make Documentaries (Kodansha Publishing), 2010 ISBN 4062881136
  • Theatre vs. Film - Can a Documentary Capture Fiction? (Iwanami Publishing), 2012 ISBN 4000222880
  • References

    Kazuhiro Soda Wikipedia

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