TodoiF starts as a special streamer of Japanese independent films

With the mission of making Japanese independent cinema accessible to a global audience, todoiF launched on Friday as a new specialized streaming platform.

The service is privately supported and operated by Kawano Koichi, a San Francisco State University alumnus who worked as a talent agent in Japan for two decades before helping found another Japanese specialty streamer, Cinema Discoveries, between 2019-21.

The new company will start very small, possibly with just eight carefully curated titles, and make them available on a transactional VOD basis only. New titles are uploaded monthly and are typically available for a year before the service is retired. An unspecified portion of the fees paid by clients will be returned to the filmmakers.

“Our mission is to carefully select independent films and to recommend and introduce the new directors to as many people as possible in overseas markets, regardless of international reputation, trends or fads. We will also feature a variety of independent films and cult films from Japan,” said Kawano diversity.

“We showcase the works of emerging Japanese directors who will lead the film industry and help them follow internationally renowned filmmakers like Tsukamoto Shinya, Kore-eda Hirokazu and Hamaguchi Ryusuke.”

Among the initial cast are: Shimizu Kento’s The Drifting Post, which was selected at 10 Japanese and 20 international film festivals; Nagai Kazuo’s “Smell, But I Love You,” which screened at more than 20 film festivals in Japan and abroad and won three awards; and Takeishi Akihiro’s “Curry Rice,” which screened at the xxx Cannes Festival. Also shown are Sawa Keiichiro’s Resident of Alice and Kawachi Akira’s Fear of Missing Out, both of which were recently released in Japanese cinemas.

In the category of cult films, the streamer offers Nakahama Kosuke’s “Sorrows” and Matsumoto Daiki’s “Miporin”. For Asian countries (excluding Japan), it offers “Noise” directed by Matsumoto Yusaku, whose first commercial feature film “Zenbu, Boku no Sei” will soon be released in Japanese cinemas.

Movies can be rented individually or as a collection for prices ranging from $4.00 to $22.00. Downloads and sharing are not available and there are currently no plans to integrate the service into any larger platform, cable TV or mobile platforms.

Apart from these limitations, the functionality is very normal. Movies can be viewed on PCs running Windows 7 or later, or Intel-based Macs running macOS 10.12 and later. Viewers can also watch the show on Android tablets and smartphones with Chrome, and iPhones and iPads with Safari. When using Apple TV, Fire TV, or Roku devices, viewers can use the Eventive TV app. Alternatively, Chromecast can be used to cast movies to a Chrome-equipped computer or Android phone.

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Credits page of new Japanese streaming service TodoiF.
TodoiF. TodoiF starts as a special streamer of Japanese independent films

Charles Jones

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