Ando Jose / Novelist
I’ve heard people say, reverentially, that it wasn’t Eddison who discovered movies but the unknown ancients that played with firelit shadows on cave walls. I believe that ever since then, movies have been depictions of people’s dreams while reflecting scenes from their eras. My favourite thing about film festivals is everyone gathering together! I’m really looking forward to this year’s festival starting.

Tsuyoshi Kizu / Writer / Journalist
Every queer person has a story about themselves. And if you hear our story, then this story will soon become our story.
Films give us the power, in this way, to change the world. That’s what I believe. And this is why I hope for more queers to find themselves.

Mizuki Kodama / Film Writer
Even when people want to watch a queer themed movie, there ends up being a lot of miscommunication because of how those themes aren’t often communicated clearly when the film is delivered.
I remember feeling a sense of unease about whether the stories people wanted are actually getting to them (and whether or not the meaning came across clearly).
Within that, I think the awareness that results from the Tokyo International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Rainbow Reel Tokyo is huge.

Takai Yutori / Gunma University, Associate Professor
Congratulations on the 31st Rainbow Reel Tokyo film festival! I’ve mostly lived without much experience with movies. Aside from when I was a child, I feel like I was kept far away from ‘stories’, and before I even realised it I was keeping myself away from them too. But, there’s no need at all for anyone to think like that. Queer people can discover themselves without avoiding movies and this film festival will be a chance for many people to do exactly that.

Daniel Takeda / Writer
No matter where you turn in society, it’s focused on a cishet standard. So, it’s quite difficult for queer people to have a chance of seeing themselves or their values. Amidst that, movies that deal with queer themes are – to be frank – shown as a “New World”. It’s necessary to understand yourself when deciding to lead a life that differs to the typical or obvious way of living. Let’s see lots of different ways of living, and appreciate movies with many perspectives and ways of thinking.

Nakamura Ippan / illustrator, comicartist
Currently, I identify as non-binary. I was also born in Japan and have held Japanese citizenship since birth, as well as being a native Japanese speaker living in Tokyo. I was further quite blessed financially when I left university. With that kind of strongly held privilege in life I think about what I can do for society, as a single person with the power of a creator, every single day.
Lots of thoughtless words get thrown around in Japan. Movies feel like guidling lights showing individuals that have been hidden by society are in fact there. I express my solidarity at the Tokyo International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Rainbow Reel Tokyo, and thinking about how I can reduce the number of hurt people by even one and doing it.

Kazuki Minamoto / comic artist
When I was in middle school, I realized that I was gay and looked for even the smallest thing that would help me…, which is when I experienced many movies with sexual minorities as a theme.
In creative works, we are able to get close to someone, and I believe that there are times they have the power to help people too.
Even though it’s from the sidelines, I am fully supporting this film festival, where you can experience many of those kinds of movies, so it can continue happening.

Wakabayashi Yuma / Transgender actor,
Stage producer

“I might be the only person who has this kind of identity and values in the whole world.”
That is what I had been thinking long time but I have found the person like me in the films and those experiences helped me many times in my life.
I think the Rainbow Reel Tokyo is an amazing film festival where you can watch overseas films that you usually cannot find and films produced by LGBTQ+people.
There are many sad events and words in the world now but I hope you meet the wonderful works here and I hope it will be an opportunity to affirm yourself.

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