Screening of “The Harimaya Bridge” in Irvine, April 23-May 6

The Harimaya Bridge

Daily: 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:10pm, and 10:00pm

April 23 – May 6, 2010

Regal Westpark8
3755 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 622-8609

Excerpt from Director Aaron Woolfolk interview

The Harimaya Bridge has been a fascinating journey because you had two different film aesthetics – American and Japanese – kind of competing to get their way. You had that in me … I of course grew up with the American film aesthetic, but my inspiration for this was Japanese films and trying to achieve what I liked about them. But you also had it with the people around me … Japanese and American.   More

The Harimaya Bridge is a drama about an American man who must travel to rural Japan to claim some important items belonging to his late son, from whom he was estranged. While there, he learns several secrets his son left behind.

The story takes place in Kochi Prefecture, a deeply rural part of Japan where traditional customs remain strong. The movie addresses the bond and conflict between father and son, as well as the prejudices that often exist between people of different backgrounds.

Veteran actor of film and stage Ben Guillory stars along with award-winning Japanese actresses Saki Takaoka and Misa Shimizu.

Popular international stars Misono, Hajime Yamasaki, Miho Shiraishi, and veteran American actor Peter Coyote are also featured along with newcomers Victor Grant and Honoka.

Rounding out the cast is acclaimed actor Danny Glover, best known for his leading roles in the Lethal Weapon and SAW franchises. Glover also serves as an executive producer on the film.
Harimaya Funeral
The Harimaya Bridge was written and directed by Aaron Woolfolk, a veteran of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program who taught junior high school English in Kochi Prefecture.

Woolfolk won a Directors Guild of America Best African-American Student Filmmaker award for his first movie, the short film Rage! He then returned to Kochi and made the short films Eki (The Station) and Kuroi Hitsuji (Black Sheep), both of which won several awards and screened at top film festivals and showcases around the world. The Harimaya Bridgeis Woolfolk’s first feature film.

Harimaya Wedding Ceremony

The Harimaya Bridge

Ben Guillory / Saki Takaoka / Misa Shimizu / Danny Glover / Victor Grant / Sakura Thomas / Misono / Hajime Yamazaki / Miho Shiraishi / Honoka

Directed and Written by …..… Aaron Woolfolk
Produced by ……….…………..Ko Mori, Aaron Woolfolk
Executive Producers …………Danny Glover, Naoshi Yoda, John Kim
Cinematographer ………….… Masao Nakabori
Editor …………………………….. John Coniglio
Music ……………………………. Kazunori Maruyama


The Harimaya Bridge is the story of an African-American man who must travel to rural Japan to claim some important items belonging to his late estranged son. While there, he discovers life-altering secrets.

The story takes place in Kochi, a part of Japan where traditional customs remain strong. The film is a drama about the bonds and conflicts between father and son, the sins of the distant past, and the latent prejudices that can exist within people.

Director/Writer Aaron Woolfolk

Aaron Woolfolk was born and raised in Oakland, California. He received degrees in both Ethnic Studies and Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.

After working in rural Kochi prefecture in Japan as a junior high school English teacher, Aaron returned to the U.S. to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. He attended the graduate film program at Columbia University, where he received a M.F.A. in film with an emphasis on directing.

For his first film Rage!, Aaron won a Director Guild of America award. His short film Eki (The Station) and Kuroi Hitsuji (Black Sheep) won several awards, screened in many international festivals, and continue to be featured on cable television.

Aaron was the recipient of an ABC Talent Development Grant, and was later a 2004-2005 Walt Disney Studio/ABC Entertainment Writing Fellow. His first play, Bronzeville (co-written with Tim Toyama), premiered in Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. Aaron was nominated for an Ovation Award in the category Playwriting for an Original Play.

The Harimaya Bridge Official Site