directed by Jay Chern
Narrative Feature | 2018 | Taiwan, Japan | 95 min | Chinese, English, Japanese
The story beings with Mingyueguan (明月館), a struggling Japanese-style hotel in the suburbs of Kyoto that is bought up by a construction company owner in Taipei. The company owner sends his son Jacky (Wang Po-Chieh) to supervise the renovation. When Jacky learns that his ex-girlfriend Naoko will soon be married, he proposes to change Mingyueguan into a wedding venue for Naoko’s dream wedding in hopes of winning her back. As activity in the hotel bustles once again, the innkeeper Mitsuko (Kimiko Yo) suggests that Jacky, her daughter Rika (Rena Tanaka), and the manga-loving employee Bohao (Chun-Yao Yao) take lessons in omotenashi, the art of traditional Japanese hospitality, to help make guests feel at home. Can they save Mingyueguan?
In 2006, Jay Chern graduated summa cum laude from the film program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He then returned to Taipei to become reacquainted with a culture he had long forgotten completing his MFA at Taipei National University of the Arts, Graduate School of Filmmaking. In 2011 he directed and shot his thesis short Thief, which won Best Short Film at Golden Horse Awards, Best Director at Golden Bell Awards, Best Asian Short at Tokyo’s Short Shorts Film Festival. In 2014 he wrote, directed and shot his first television feature Dawn/Spring, which was nominated for six Golden Bell Awards. Omotenashi is his first theatrical feature, was selected as opening film at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival. In 2018 he also scripted Nezha, a racing film executive produce by Jay Chou (dir. Jem Chen) to be released in the fall of 2019.