In his film from 2012, Motoki Katsuhide sets off the drama which revolved around the seven-years-long journey of the Japanese interplanetary probe Hayabusa to the Itokawa planetoid and back, 157 million miles away from Earth. The project’s goal was not only to bring back to samples of matter from a far-away corner of the Solar system, but first of all to test the functionality of many innovative – and outright revolutionary – technical solutions, such as ion propulsion, which were expected to push the envelope in space exploration. After some of the previous projects’ failure, the Hayabusa (the name means falcon in English) was a matter of pride for Japanese astronomy. The space research drama, which we will be able to witness as it unravelled day by day, is at the same time a human drama – its progress and results have inevitably impacted the lives of Japanese scientists as well as their families.
Motoki Mitsuhide (*1963) hails (just like this year’s festival’s main guest Takita Yōjirō) from the mountain prefecture of Toyama. After his studies in the USA he became a household name of the Shōchiku studio, a creator with a rather wide range of genres. His latest film Chōkōsoku! Sankin Kōtai (Samurai Hustle / Mission Impossible: Samurai, 2014) has received Japan Academy Prize for Director of the Year, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and Screenplay of the Year.