Directed by HIKARI
FEATURE NARRATIVE 115 Minutes North American Premiere
Yuma (Mei Kayama), 23 and living with cerebral palsy, sketches intricate sci-fi vistas as she dreams of breaking away. Her caring but protective mother (Misuzu Kanno) insists on sheltering her under her watchful eye. At the same time, Yuma is an accomplished artist collaborating on a manga series with her YouTube star cousin (Minori Hagiwara), who opts to keep Yuma hidden from the public eye and treat her as a ghostwriter.

Patiently and empathetically observed, 37 Seconds marks an impressive narrative debut from Hikari. She gradually expands the scope of Yuma’s explorations until her travels take her further than she could ever have anticipated. Although Yuma’s search for physical, creative, and sexual autonomy suits a broad canvas, Hikari maintains an intimate focus on her protagonist. Kayama is extraordinary as Yuma, holding the center in what deserves to be a breakout performance.

—Frederic Boyer
Animation, Drama
About the Director(s)
HIKARI is an award-winning writer and director. Her debut feature film, 37 Seconds, won the Panorama Audience Award and CICEA Art Cinema Award at 69th Berlinale. Her other directorial credit includes Tsuyako (2011), A Better Tomorrow (2013), and Where We Begin (2015).

Film Info
Cast & Credits
  • Cinematographer:
    Stephen Blahut
  • Director:
  • Screenwriter:
  • Editor:
    Thomas A. Krueger
  • Producer:
    Shin Yamaguchi
  • Cast:
    Mei Kayama, Misuzu Kanno, Shunsuke Daito, Makiko Watanabe, Yoshihiko Kumashino, Minori Hagiwara, Shohei Uno, Haruka Imou, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Shizuka Ishibashi, Toshinori Omi, Yuka Itaya