2020 / Japanese Film: Real story of fantasy marketing department of engineering firm Maeda Corporation, online screening Dec. 5 at 7:00 pm, PST

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is a project held by the Japan Foundation to promote Japanese film around the world. The JFF Plus: Online Festival will be held from Dec. 4 – 13 in the U.S. at https://watch.jff.jpf.go.jp/

December 5 (Saturday) 7:00 p.m., PST
Project Dreams – How to Build Maziber Z’s Hanger
Maeda Kentsetsu Fantasy Eigyobu

Films are available for 24 hours only, from the scheduled starting times at https://watch.jff.jpf.go.jp/    You will no longer be able to playback films when they reach the 24-hour expiration limit.

2020, 1 hour 55 min.
Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writer: Makoto Ueda
Cast: Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroaki Ogi, Yusuke Kamiji, Yukino Kishii, Chikara Honda, Keita Machida, Seiji Rokkaku
Official website: https://maeda-f-movie.com/

The emblematic anime series Maziner Z, adapted from the manga by the legendary Go Nagai, has obsessed Japan for decades.

So when Asagawa (Hiroaki Ogi), marketing director at the prestigious Maeda Corporation, asked his team to put together a detailed file on the possible construction of the iconic Mazinger Z hangar, the project was greeted with enthusiasm by the character’s handful of fans, but with great disbelief by the majority of the office workers, who normally have their feet firmly planted in reality.

So why work for weeks on the feasibility, deadlines, and costs of a fantasy construction project that will probably never see the light of day, to house a giant robot that doesn’t exist?

However, Asagawa’s infectious spirit is slowly but surely spreading among his team. Together, they will do their utmost to achieve the impossible: make the imaginary real.

As fanciful as this premise may seem, Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hanger by Tsutomu Hanabusa is indeed based in real facts.

The fantasy marketing department of the engineering firm Maeda Corporation exists, as does the file on the Mazinger Z hangar.

Thanks to the imaginative screenplay by Makoto Ueda, who worked with animation master Masaaki Yuasa on the UFO Night is Short, Walk on Girl, as well as on the 2018 Satoshi Kon Award winner Penguin Highway, Project Dreams offers a panoply of funny and endearing characters, while making judicious use of sequences from the animated series to create a fascinating work, one which challenges the boundaries between reality and fiction.

Source: Japan Foundation, Fantasia (Montreal)