Kyoka Tsukamoto

A Montréal based filmmaker, Kyoka Tsukamoto, has been working on some experimental films and essay works to establish her creative signature: the specificity of the film medium as the complexity of a mind - it is its capacity for using the system of the conscious mind as a cinematic form.

Experimenting with cinematic language and exploring different methods of artistic story telling have always been her greatest interest. The stories that she tells carries several layers of psychological, geographical, social, cultural and spiritual content that are organically entangled, to mirror human nature which is never simple.

Originally from Tokyo, Tsukamoto moved to Canada after graduating from art college in metal studies (Toyama University), and started film studies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada in 1997. She emigrated to Canada in 1998. After graduating from university, Tsukamoto moved to Montreal, and made some experimental essay works. She also composes music for her films and plays the piano.

It was in 2014, I was taking a walk in the Montreal Botanical garden when I heard a sound of piano. A little girl was playing the piano placed in the garden. As a child, I never liked playing the piano, it was an obligation. But as I started to play after more than 30 years of break, suddenly, melodies and rhythms just flew into my mind, and I realized that my heart started to sing. 

It was as if, the process of filmmaking cleared a path for a new expression that I had never imagined. Since 2012, I was looking for some music for my essay film “My Dearest Sister” (77min. 2018), and I realized that my piano was not only the perfect music for the film, but also an important ingredient of the story. It gave me the conviction to continue the creative process.

I composed some solo pieces and also collaborated with some exceptional musicians, such as Sarah Pagé (harp), Sam Shalabi (oud), Juan-Miguel Harnandez (viola), Soriane Renad (soprano), etc. The soundtrack album is available in CD format during film festivals.

 
 
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My Dearest Sister (2018)

Essay Documentary - HD & S8mm. 74min. Canada/Japan

  • official selection of the 27th Raindance Film Festival

  • official selection of the 21st edition of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

  • presented at la 37e éeition des Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma

  • won the New Chapter competition: the Canada Council for the Arts' special program to support the creation and sharing of exceptional artistic and literary works for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation

  • selected for the Pitching du Réel 2017, International Market Visions du Réel, Festival international de cinéma Nyon

It tells the story of two sisters, separated by time and culture, who seek to reunite after many years apart. Set against the backdrop of the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear meltdown as well as modern Tokyo, the journey takes one sister on an odyssey, trying to recover her connection to the ancestral roots in the forgotten era of Queens. It allows her to finally unlock the source of her secret anguish and find her voice, an expression of her soul when playing the piano.

Grants Received

2019-2020 Canada Council for the Arts - Grants to Film and Video Artist - Research and Creation component of the Explore and Create Program

2019 Canada Council for the Arts - Travel component of the Arts Abroad Program

2019 Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec - Travelling Grant to attend Raindance Film Festival in UK

2018 - 2019 Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec - Grant Program for Professional Artists

2017-2018 Canada Council for the Arts - Grants to Film and Video Artist - The New Chapter Program

2017    Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec – Traveling Grant to attend International Forum at Visions du Réel in Switzerland

2017-2018 PRIM - Programme d'aide à la création

2015-2016 Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec - Grant Program for Professional Artists

2015-2016 PRIM - Programme d'aide à la création

2015-2016 Canada Council for the Arts - Grants to Film and Video Artist

2012-2013 Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec - Grant Program for Professional Artists

2011-2012 National Film Board of Canada - Filmmaker Assistance Program

2003-2004 National Film Board of Canada - Filmmaker Assistance Program

2002-2003 Canada Council for the Arts - Grants to Film and Video Artist