People have been bemoaning the state of the Japanese film industry for the last 40 years, so it’s a wonder to discover that the Japan Film and Television Art Directors Association, founded in 1939, is still going strong. The association has recently come up with a plan to recreate in miniature the gates that feature in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece Rashomon.

Rashomon was the first Japanese film ever to be screened overseas. The gates were emblematic of the film, which has been admired since it came out. The JFTADA’s plan is to recreate the gates used in the film on a scale of 1:10 for the Chofu Cinema Festival in 2020. The association hopes that planning and building the gates will give its members and their teams an opportunity to show off their skills and creativity. It also hopes that the gates will become the festival’s main attraction.

The JFTADA is also planning on holding a series of screenings, talks and exhibitions at the Chofu Cinema Festival to explain how they set about recreating the gates. The gates and the accompanying events will give the movie-going public a chance to find out more about the art director’s trade.

The Chofu Cinema Festival is due to be held between February 16th and March 10th, 2020. Chofu has long been the centre of film production in Japan. It enjoyed a heyday in the 1950s and there are still 40 studios and production companies in the neighbourhood.

Representative Director of the Japan Film and Television Art Directors Association, Koichi Takeuchi, started the project to recreate the Rashomon gates on the crowdfunding platform BOOSTER by PARCO & CAMPFIRE on November 29, 2019. For more information, see the crowdfunding page.

For more about The Chofu Cinema Festival see:

Chofu Cinema Festival official website (Japanese only).

By - George Lloyd.