News Sushi #78: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #78 And we (Hamish) keep serving the best News Sushi!

Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

Thanks to doing the film festival circuit, I often receive information about these festivals, so I thought I might share them with you. As, this is about creative endeavours… hope you enjoy it. But, before we do… here’s a great song from Towa!

Highlights from this year’s Out On Film Festival!

Out On Film is happy to announce the full line-up for our 32nd annual film festival. The schedule is live on our brand new website now at
as well as individual tickets and festival passes.

126 films in all…comedies, dramas, thrillers, documentaries, narratives, musicals, shorts, web series, vampires and strippers, and guests every day of the festival.

Here are some highlights.

Daryl Stephens in “From Zero to I Love You,” directed by Doug Spearman

“From Zero to I Love You”
This entertaining drama/romance is a mini “Noah’s Arc” reunion of sorts, starring Darryl Stephens and directed by Doug Spearman. Pete Logsdon (Stephens) is a gay man in Philadelphia who happens to have a history of getting involved with married men. His father and his soon-to-be step mom are on him to find someone who’s actually available and to settle down. Instead, he finds a man named Jack who is fifteen years into a perfect marriage with two beautiful children and an enviable wife.

Our Centerpiece screening is the Southeast premiere of the wondrous “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” winner of the Best Screenplay Award and the Queer Palm at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.

“Before You Know It”

This Sundance charmer blends big laughs with heartfelt family drama. In 1993 New York City, lesbian Rachel (Hannah Pearl Utt) finds herself having to take care of both her dysfunctional family and the community theater above their house. She and her sister Jackie (and Jen Tullock) discover that the mother they thought had died (Judith Light, in peak form) when they were young is alive and starring on a popular daytime soap opera. Co-starring Mandy Patinkin and Alec Baldwin, “Before You Know It” is one of the year’s most endearing and quirky treats.

“Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street”

At the time of release, The Advocate dubbed 1985’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” the gayest horror film ever made. For the film’s closeted young star, Mark Patton, such a tag was a stark reminder about the homophobia rampant in Hollywood at the time—and the painful experience he had making the high-profile film and living through the polarizing critical aftermath. This new documentary highlights Patton’s time in the horror spotlight, and Patton—who co-produced the film with Roman Chimienti, a NYC-based sound engineer—sets the record straight about the controversial sequel, which ended his acting career just as it was about to begin.

Queer Screen announces Two Screenings with Q&As

Killing Patient Zero

Killing Patient Zero is the fascinating story of Gaëtan Dugas, who offered to help with early scientific research into the origins of AIDS virus. An unfortunate series of events followed that would see him unfairly maligned as ‘Patient Zero’, the man who introduced AIDS to the world. Compelling documentary making.

Laurie Lynd – Writer/Director

Laurie Lynd is a film and television writer/director based in Toronto. Killing Patient Zero, Lynd’s first feature documentary, was a Special Presentation at the 2019 Hot Docs Film Festival. Other key works include his first feature House, and the musical shorts The Fairy Who Didn’t Want To Be A Fairy Anymore (Genie winner for Best Dramatic Short) and RSVP, which was named one of nine iconic queer Canadian films by the CFC in 2018. These last three films were selected for both the Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance.

Lynd’s second feature Breakfast With Scot premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and has won Audience Favourite Awards at dozens of film festivals. Lynd has also directed TV films, mini-series and episodes of series such as Schitt’s Creek, Queer as Folk, Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Laurie Lynd is a guest of the festival thanks to the Canadian Consulate, Sydney and ACON.

Saturday Sept 21, 4:30PM

For more info >>

Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story

When bumbling single mum Rachel meets stunning filmmaker Nikki it’s love at first sight – at least for Rachel. After a hilariously awkward beginning, true love beckons. Then a spiteful ex throws a spanner in the works. A cross-cultural romantic comedy about being your true self.

Nikki Si’ulepa – writer and director

Since 1995, Nikki Si’ulepa has worked predominantly as a writer, director, and camera operator in film, television and web series whilst dabbling in acting on screen. Nikki’s short films have won awards and screened at international film festivals including the Berlinale, Tribeca and ImagineNATIVE. Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story is the first independent feature she has written, directed and executive produced, alongside her wife Rachel Aneta Wills, who produced the film.
Rachel Aneta Wills – producer

Rachel is an actor and producer from Auckland, New Zealand and has acted in various television shows, web series, films and TV commercials. She has channelled her desire to create quality stories into creating her own film production company, RAW Productions. Netta Jones, the first short film she wrote, produced and funded, was selected for various international film festivals including the 2015 New Zealand International Film Festival.

Friday Sept 20, 7:00PM

For more info >>


I don’t normally like decorative cakes (the sugar makes them uneatable), but I couldn’t help but admire this one:

This Cake (credit: Malizzi Cakes) from r/oddlysatisfying

Shaved Ice taken to the next level!

View this post on Instagram

This #shavedice was filled with one surprise after another. 😹I was already excited about it because its main flavour base is #kuromitsu, or brown sugar syrup and the giant black sesame cracker on top looked fantastic. At first I was like, “Cool. The cracker is really not sweet at all and has a harder texture so it won’t go mushy. It complements the sweetness of the syrup.” As soon as I lifted the cracker, however, I found a scoop of #matcha #icecream. A mild feeling of dread filled me, since I’ve been ambushed by seemingly simple desserts that turned out to be wild productions before. I finished most of the #kakigori and ice cream and then saw the pool of even more syrup at the bottom. That’s… unusual, I thought suspiciously. My suspicions turned out to be correct, as there was an entire soup under the ice that consisted of sweet jelly and beans. I managed to finish it all, but I honestly went in thinking I was going to have a simple #dessert and got an entire meal out of it instead. It was great, but omg I’m glad I wasn’t too full to finish it. XD #sweets #omnomnom #food #eat #japanesesweets #zenkashoin #かき氷 #スイーツ #デザート #美味しい #然花抄院 #すごいデザートと遭遇した #ただのかき氷じゃない

A post shared by Nina Em (@ninainjapan) on

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Have a great week(end)!


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