Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #146: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond

Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
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”!

Happy Friday, everyone~! How are you doing this week?

We had Tanabata last week, which I always think is so romantic, although, my partner says that the two celestial lovers did the wrong thing, and that’s why they were banished and only allowed to meet once a year if the weather is right.

It’s almost time for the Gion Matsuri (which I’ve never been to because Kyoto is so hot in Summer):

OK, now let’s begin with some poetry and music:

Watch with closed captions on for the translation:

This week, I’ve been to a couple of watch parties for the Gilbert Baker Film Festival. The first watch party was for Under Wraps, the collection that my film, Matcha & Vanilla, is a part of. It’s all about dealing with life in the closet. Queer UK artist Lee Campbell, who I’ve interviewed a couple of times, is part of this collection, as is SIDES.

Sides is a short film by Felene M. Cayetano, who is (from her bio) a Belizean Garifuna author, mother, poet, librarian, and editor. She lives in Belize, where she advocates for cultural continuity, literacy, authors, poets, and small publishers through the Belize National Library Service and Information System, the Belize Book Industry Association, and the Belize Copyright Licensing Agency. Her two collections of poetry are entitled Evolution: Weaving in and out of Consciousness While the Truth is Somewhere in the Middle and Crossing Bridges. Belizean Nail Soup is the title of her short story anthology with other Belizean writers.

Check them out here: Felene M. Cayetano

Sides is about a lesbian couple who are in the closet. Isieni and Miriam, a young couple, pack for vacation. On the road trip, they each learn more about what the other really wants. Their relationship has lasted three years, but will it survive this road trip? It is a film with a powerful message.

Watch the collection now: Gilbert Baker | Under Wraps GBFF2022 Collection | Gilbert Baker Film Festival GBFFPride’23

I also watched the Choose You collection and went to the watch party on Zoom. Tisa Key, who has been interviewed by this website, has her web series Where is the love? as part of the collection, as does Josef Steiff, whose film Jesse James is a powerful meditation on same-sex domestic violence. FLOAT, is a music video about an Alien and a Cowgirl who fall in love and skateboard in the sky. It’s an animation, so if you are a fan of the B-52s Alien Fantasy genre, I recommend it. Also, Free Rein is a delightful romantic comedy about a tourist and a local girl who fall in love despite the language barrier.

Check out the collection here: Gilbert Baker | Choose You GBFF2022 Collection | Gilbert Baker Film Festival GBFFPride’23

Over on YouTube, Anthony Aguiar has rereleased a short film of his:

“Sometimes love can be sketchy. In this gay short film, a young gay man spends his time drawing sketches and daydreaming of a life he wishes he had. This gay love story is one that many LGBTQ people have gone through, in terms of the aspect of imagining your life with someone who you have no idea might also be LGBTQ too. This version of Only Always You has been upscaled to 4K and recolor graded and also has new elements added.”

Over on LesFlicks, which is fighting for survival, as many businesses are with the pandemic, and with the economic downturn. They need 500 new subscribers in order to break even. To be transparent, I do have a film on their platform, and it would mean a lot for me if they survived, as they are very supportive of all their creators, and believe in what they do, just as this website does.

Donate here: Save Lesflicks from closure! | Lesflicks Ltd (Powered by Donorbox)

I am a subscriber myself and have enjoyed many of their films.

HOPE (2022)

Hope’s interview for her dream job is a nightmare. Awed by her potential new boss’ beauty, she can’t focus on anything else… but then it’s true what they say, it’s best not to date those you work with!

Watch Hope (2022) on Lesflicks

This is a very quirky film, about love and job interviews, which are two things that scare many of us!


A new Australian web series is coming soon to LesFlicks…

“Looking for love in your 40s is not easy when the lesbian dating pool is more like a muddy puddle! When Lex reluctantly takes a foray into the world of dating, she surprisingly finds there is more than one person vying for her attention!”

Love Me Lex is a brand new, 7-episode, lesbian web series from writer and director Sanja Katich, produced by Stephanie Davis and Somedae Pictures. This project was filmed in 2022 with principal production funding from Screen Australia, as well as additional funding from The Sapphic Investment Film Fund (SapphicIFF) and Infinite Pies Productions.

LOVE ME LEX SERIES – Love Me Lex series – coming 2023

Love Me Lex Trailer (2023)

You might have noticed that I’ve been embedding links from Mastodon, as I’ve signed up there. I’m still on Twitter, and I’ve joined threads as well, but in case you want to follow me there:

Hamish Downie (@hamishdownie@famichiki.jp) – Famichiki

And I’m @hamishdowniewriter on threads.

Also, this week, I shared An American Piano on YouTube for the first time, hoping to share the film with a wider audience:

I would really appreciate it if you could watch it, and share it with your friends and family.

I also went to see the Roses recently, and here are the ones based on Golden Age Stars:



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michael Chan (@michaelcwchan)

That’s all for this week. Happy Movie Watching!


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