Since ROCK SALT RELEASING’s showing of Soda’s black + white observational documentary at this year’s Berlinale, ‘INLAND SEA’ has begun to compete around the world with its next endeavor to the 65th Sydney Film Festival this June.

Los Angeles, CA – May 17, 2018 – ‘INLAND SEA’ to compete at the 2018 Sydney Film Festival this June.

Amongst the many talented films from all corners of the world, the 2018 Sydney Film Festival (SFF) will display the latest from distinguished Japanese filmmaker, Kazuhiro Soda (‘Campaign’, ‘Mental’, ‘Oyster Factory’) and his black and white observational documentary, ‘INLAND SEA’ (‘Minatomachi’). SFF will take place from Wednesday, June 6th – Sunday, June 17th for the festival’s 65th year.

Produced by Kiyoko Kashiwagi, Wai-chan is one of the last remaining fishermen in Ushimado, a small village in Seto Inland Sea, Japan. At the age of 86, he still fishes alone on a small boat to make his living, dreaming about retirement. Kumi-san is an 84-year-old villager who wanders around the shore everyday. She believes a social welfare facility “stole” her disabled son to receive subsidy from the government. A “late-stage elderly” Koso-san runs a small seafood store left by her deceased husband. She sells fish to local villagers and provides leftovers to stray cats.Forsaken by the era of modernization of post-war Japan, Ushimado, a town so beloved by film director Shohei Imamura that he set two of his films there (‘Black Rain’, ‘Dr. Akagi’), is rapidly aging and declining. Its rich, ancient culture and the tight-knit community are also on the verge of disappearing. 

“Sydney Film Festival’s documentary program will again deliver the most exciting true stories about people, places, enterprises and phenomena from Australia and around the globe,” continued official Moodley, adding that SFF kick-starts “exciting conversations and showcase powerful ideas and bold statements that open eyes, expand horizons and enrich the lives of our audiences and community.”

In recent interview with IndiePost’s Jeonghun Lee, Soda explained his reasoning for “what kind of occasion this movie was made” for. He stated, “Kiyoko Kashiwagi, a producer who worked with us, and I often used to take a vacation in Ushimado. I happened to know a local fisherman and talked about it. All the fishermen in the village were aged, and there was no succession to them. It was not long before the fishermen would disappear in the village. This was a problem that the entire Japanese society would face. He took a camera and came back to Ushimado, recording the town and its people. And now that I have not taken a documentary on this place, I never thought I would have a chance again. So it was actually a little urgent mind. I wanted to preserve the community and people living in this town in a documentary film like Time Capsule.”

Photo: From IndiePost.

Influenced by Frederick Wiseman, Soda’s “observation” films have become celebrated worldwide, as they adhere to his unique film style of following his “Ten Commandments” – ones that prohibit Soda from doing pre-shoot research or writing a synopsis before filming has formed a revolutionary type of documentary, one in which he spontaneously rolls the camera. “I am a filmmaker. That’s it. What I have to do is to show the reality in front of the camera. I sometimes use my movies for social movements. I think it’s up to people who use movies or just watch them,” Soda said to IndiePost’s Lee.

‘INLAND SEA’ began its competition at 2018 Berlinale as an official selection in the Forum section and nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award 2018. ‘INLAND SEA’ has competed the 40th “Cinéma du Réel” International Film Festival in Paris and recently had its North American Premiere at New York’s Lincoln Arts of Real. SFF will take place from Wednesday, June 6th – Sunday, June 17th for the 65th year of bringing together the world’s best and new films in Australia for the greatest, strangest and most exciting work that cinema has to offer.

ROCK SALT RELEASING is Hollywood’s newest independent sales and distribution label spearheaded by Acquisitions Executive Daisy Hamilton and Dean Fernando at TriCoast Worldwide. ROCK SALT RELEASING has acquired the worldwide rights for prominent Japanese director Kazuhiro Soda’s ‘INLAND SEA’ (2018, 122 min, Observational Film #7).

For more information about ‘INLAND SEA’, please visit:

For ‘INLAND SEA’ press inquiries, please contact

INLAND SEA (2018, 122 min.) Directed by Kazuhiro Soda. Editor: Kazuhiro Soda. Cinematographer: Kazuhiro Soda. Original Music: Kazuhiro Soda. Japan/USA. Silent. Laboratory X, TriCoast Worldwide, Rock Salt Releasing.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Laboratory X – Kiyoko Kashiwagi, Kazuhiro Soda.

ROCK SALT RELEASING: Daisy Hamilton and Dean Fernando.

About TriCoast Worldwide: 

TriCoast Worldwide is a premium international sales agent, representing the best of US and international films at all the major film markets. Sister company to TriCoast Entertainment and TriCoast Studios, the company is located at the Studio facility in Culver City, Los Angeles. Founded by: Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton.

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