The endless glowing reviews of Kazuhiro Soda’s observational black and white documentary, ‘INLAND SEA’, hasn’t stopped since its screening in Berlinale and is set to compete in two upcoming international film festivals this March/April.

Los Angeles, CA – March 2, 2018 – Berlinale is over, yet critics continue to rave about Kazuhiro Soda’s silent, black and white observational film in the Forum section, ‘INLAND SEA’ (“MINATOMACHI”).

Produced by Kiyoko Kashiwagi, ‘INLAND SEA’ is a beautiful and heartwarming documentation of a local fisherman, Wai-Chan, and the other elderly inhabitants in the ancient Japanese fishing village of Ushimado.

Black and white video footage depicts how Ushimado has been forsaken by the era of modernization in post-war Japan, resulting in the rapid decline of its rich, ancient culture and tight-knit community, as stray cats roam the deserted streets.

“From disappointing words, the real image of the generation that backed Japan after the war was highlighted and invites tears and excitement. A hot applause blew up from the hall,” wrote Yuko Takano from NewsWalker.

‘INLAND SEA’ departed from the international film festival honored to have received the second-ever prestigious nomination for the 2018 Berlinale Glasshütte Original Documentary Award. ‘INLAND SEA’ will compete in two upcoming film festivals, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and “Cinéma du Réel” International Film Festival in Paris.

“If I were to spotlight just one gem in the rough that was this year’s Berlinale, it would be Japanese director Kazuhiro Soda’sMinatomachi (Inland Sea), a freeform black-and-white documentary portrait of a fishing town, filled with formidable old folks and countless cats. The seventh in his Observational Film series, Minatomachi casually, yet carefully follows the daily routines of several octogenarian residents, celebrating their lives and their livelihoods, while mourning for a generation that will soon be lost to history,” wrote Michael Leader from Sight & Sound.

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.

‘INLAND SEA’ takes “Soda‘s human observation for 122 minutes, and at no time do we lose interest in the life and fate the film brings to light. Because Soda manages to discover fascinating personalities and, even more, to let us become part of their everyday existence in a touching way,” wrote Manuel Schubert for Movie Gazette Blog.

Photo: Kiyoko Kashiwagi and Kazuhiro Soda at the ‘INLAND SEA’ screening at 2018 Berlinale. 

Soda’s first feature observational documentary, ‘CAMPAIGN’ (2007, Observational Film #1) was filmed in Japan following the political campaign of Kazuhiko YamauchiSoda’s old classmate running for a council seat in a Tokyo suburb – which was awarded the U.S. Peabody Award. His following observational films have received numerous accolades, including ‘PEACE’ (2010, Observational Film Extra), honored as the opening film of the DMZ Documentary Festival, won the Best Documentary Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Tokyo Filmex.

For March/April 2018, ‘INLAND SEA’ will compete in Asia’s oldest and most reputable platforms for filmmakers, the 2018 Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) from March 19th to April 5th, 2018, as well as the 40th “Cinéma du Réel” International Film Festival in Paris from March 23rd to April 1st 2018.

‘INLAND SEA’ was represented at 2018 Berlinale by TriCoast’s new art house label spearheaded by Daisy Hamilton, ROCK SALT RELEASING, alongside Dean Fernando, as well as TriCoast Worldwide CEOs, Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton.

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

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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