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News about cinema and our exclusives interviews / Actualités sur le cinéma et nos interviews exclusives

Exclusive interview with Junichi Kajioka, a Japanese actor and  filmmaker based in London.

By Jean-Paul Eliard
The October 23th, 2018

 

Hi Junichi, first, I'm very happy to do this interview about you.
Bonjour! Thank you so much for having me here, Jean-Paul!

 

What did you like about the film and your role in Johnny English Strikes 
Again?

“Johnny English Strikes Again” has just been released in the UK. I play the 
Japanese prime minister in this film. I’m so lucky to have been involved in this 
film working with such creative professionals. 

 

How was the filming of this movie?
We shot the scene in Buckinghamshire, England, and I acted alongside Dame
Emma Thompson. I’m such a fan of her work and I’m delighted to have had 
the experience. She is very kind and generous.

We had time to talk about each other’s past works and she even gave me some tips about screenwriting when she found out that I’m also a screenwriter.

It was a precious memory from the set. 
 

You tell me, you are    touring with one of your films in Japan.
What is the title and the storyline of this movie? 

Yes, I’ve just come back from a screening tour in Japan and it went well.

The film is called    ”SUGIHARA SURVIVORS: Jewish and Japanese,

Past and Future”.  This is a short documentary film about Mr. Chiune Sugihara,

a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish people in WWII,

and some of the "Sugihara survivors", who he helped save.

The film shows a Japanese writer trying to trace the identities of some of the survivors. I am pleased that the film has won several awards at film festivals. 

 

To see trailer please click on poster below

How did you move from being an actor to a filmmaker?
I always wanted to make films myself but I never had courage to do it. After 
making my directorial debut film “IMPHAL 1944”, I found I have become more 
passionate about filmmaking. I wrote, directed, acted in and produced the film.
I hadn’t done so many multiple roles in a film before but it was so rewarding. 
Since then, I want to keep making my own films, especially related to 
connections between Japan and Britain. Now I have established my own 
company Culture Bridge Productions. I hope to introduce Japanese people 
and cultures to a wider audience, at the same time I try to connect different 
cultures and people through my films.

Photo ©Shuichi Inoue

What is your next challenge?
I’m planning to make another film dedicated to the Battle of Imphal in 
commemoration of the 75th anniversary in 2019. I think it’s very important to 
record survivors’ voices while it’s still possible and pass this part of history to 
the next generation. We need to understand and learn from these stories.

Do you wish to add something?
Yes, there is recent news on my acting. I played a lead in a Scottish horror 
film called “Dark Highlands”. It has a World premiere at the Scottish 
Independent Film Festival and has been nominated in 7 categories including 
Best Actor.

The film now has a distribution deal in the US. 

Congratulations to the producer Michael, the director Mark and all the crew.

I’m also appearing in Kabir Khan’s Amazon prime series “The Forgotten Army”

in India early next year. Watch out for this!

 

To see trailer please click on poster below

“Dark Highlands” has its World Premiere in Edinburgh, Scotland , on October 26. 

 

Johnny English Strikes Again is currently on release in cinemas in the UK and worldwide.

 

Thank you very much for your interview Junichi and I wish you the best.

 

More information about Junichi on  IMDb, on Facebook  and on Instagram

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