Press Release

The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival
YAMAMOTO Sayaka Press Conference cum
Raise Your Arms and Twist - Documentary of NMB48International Premiere

Apr 3, 2016

3 April 2016 (Hong Kong) – The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) held the YAMAMOTO Sayaka Press Conference at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong today. FUNAHASHI Atsushi, director of Raise Your Arms and Twist – Documentary of NMB48, leader YAMAMOTO Sayaka and YAGURA Fūko attended the event and shared their insights and experience.
The name NMB48 comes from "Namba" in Osaka and is one of the most popular idol girl groups in Japan.  Produced by AKIMOTO Yasushi, the group is very active in the Kinki region.  The documentary portrays in intimate detail the daily lives of the group members and their most genuine and vivid stories behind the scene.

“I feel amazing to meet the audience right here in Hong Kong.  I hope everyone could know deeper about us through this documentary.  We are dreamers who are trying very hard to make our dreams come true. In future the group will continue to explore different areas to enrich the performance and we appreciate your continuous support,” said YAMAMOTO Sayaka, the group leader.

Director FUNAHASHI Atsushi said, “The primary aim of making this documentary is to show audience the other side of NMB48.  It offers a chance for everyone to see how hard they try to overcome challenges and their struggle to advance to the top of the entertainment business.  While I was shooting the documentary, I was moved by their determination and great perseverance.  Therefore I believe it is important to present to everyone their real and personal lives.”

Launched in 2011 as a sister group to girl band behemoth AKB48, the Osaka-based NMB48 has become a musical force itself.  With a string of No.1 hit singles and albums, not to mention sell-out performances, NMB48 continues Japan’s pop-music phenomena.  Director FUNAHASHI Atsushi, whose documentary work has previously chronicled such harrowing events as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, pulls back the curtain on the life and struggles of the band members and the workings of the idol-making industry.

To download information and film stills:
Folder: HKIFF40/Press Releases/20160403 – NMB48 Press Conference
Log In: hkiffpress
Password: Iffpress

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About The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of Asia’s most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new works and experience outstanding films.

Screening over 280 titles from more than 50 countries in over 10 major cultural venues across the territory, the Festival is Hong Kong’s largest cultural event that reaches an audience of over 600,000.

Committed to discovering new talent, the Festival premieres the breadth of Chinese cinema and showcases Asian talents. As a lifestyle event, festival-goers can enjoy world-class films, attend seminars hosted by leading filmmakers from around the world, visit film exhibitions, join celebration parties, and more.

The Festival draws extensive media coverage from over 500 local and international press members and continues to grow in importance as one of the premier platforms to launch films in Asia. HKIFF40 will be held from 21 March to 4 April 2016.


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About The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited (HKIFFS) is a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organisation dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the art and culture of film.

The Society is committed to making world cinema accessible and affordable to the public. It organises the annual flagship Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in March and April. Another annual highlight is the Summer International Film Festival (Summer IFF) held every August. Besides, the HKIFF Cine Fan Programme was launched in April 2013 with the aim to enrich and deepen the experience of Hong Kong moviegoers, the monthly programme features a variety of curate contemporary, retrospective and thematic showcases.

Passionately believing in the power of films to unite cultures and generations, the HKIFFS is devoted to giving thousands of film lovers around the region direct access to the world’s most inspired films all year round.

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