First Love

Overview:The theme of the story is first love. The film depicts a variety of first loves, but the happily ever after begins to take an unsettling turn, and the first love takes a sudden turn in an unexpected direction. The film is a story in which 17 actors were initially chosen, and then cast in roles and written for each actor based on his or her individuality.

Synopsis:The story is about the ensemble drama depicting several "first color ≈ first love”. Yasuko, a former teacher, is reunited with her pupils for the first time in 10 years and spends a brief, happy time with them. One of her students, Tsuyoshi, adores Yasuko more than anyone else. Fuyumi is given a ring for the first time in her life and develops a liking for the man. The story is about the first loves of the little people who live and breathe in the town.

  • Yurugu Matsumoto
  • Yurugu Matsumoto
  • Yurugu Matsumoto
  • Yoko Matsuda
    Key Cast
    "Yasuko Kashiwagi"
  • Daiki Takama
    Key Cast
    "Takeshi Wakui"
  • Yuka Ono
    Key Cast
    "Fuyumi Shiratori"
  • Soraka
    Key Cast
    "Chihiro Tsubaki"
  • Kaori Natsume
    Key Cast
    "Misuzu Konno"
  • Tsuge Junichiro
    Key Cast
    "Jin Saotome"
  • Soudai Nagao
    Key Cast
    "Koujiro Todoroki"
  • Yu-Ki Koga
    Key Cast
    "Kouji Hirano"
  • Misaki Mizumura
    Key Cast
    "Yoko Katsuta"
  • Mari Ichihara
    Key Cast
    "Ayumi Chono"
  • Asana Mori
    Key Cast
    "Chika Kawase"
  • Masato Iida
    Key Cast
    "Shinya Kashiwagi"
  • Yu-Ka Kasai
    Key Cast
    "Yuki Tadokoro"
  • Chika Hiraoka
    Key Cast
    "Mami Okunuki"
  • Takumi Hori
    Key Cast
    "Katsuyuki Sato"
  • Kousei Yao
    Key Cast
    "Minoru Togashiki"
  • Nansyuu Miyashita
    Key Cast
    "Ryohei Takahashi"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
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  • Runtime:
    37 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    700,000 JPY
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • Shooting Format:
    Digital,4K,Panasonic LUMIX
  • Aspect Ratio:
    Cinema Scope
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Yurugu Matsumoto

Born 1969, Tachikawa City, Tokyo, Japan. In the 1990s, Matsumoto started making his own 8mm films while a student at the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image. He later began working as a freelance assistant director in commercial, studio filmmaking and served under such directors as Takashi Ishii, Takashi Yamazaki, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Hitoshi Yazaki, Banmei Takahashi, and Shinsuke Sato. His last film as assistant director was Nobuhiko Obayashi's HANAGATAMI. Now, Matsumoto focuses on directing his own work, mainly documentary TV dramas, as well as his passion for independent shorts. Many of Matsumoto's shorts have been nominated and won awards at numerous film festivals. PAY PHONE won the Japan Competition Best Actor Award at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2018, which is an Academy Awards accredited festival and one of the biggest short film festivals in Asia. The film also won Best Narrative Short at Kansas City FilmFest International 2020, a festival with a quarter-century of history. It has been screened at over sixty national and international film festivals, winning 20 awards. including five Grands Prix. Cassette Tape, the sequel to PAY PHONE, premiered at the 6th Hachioji Short Film Festival where it won both the Grand Prix and Audience Award. After that, it won Grand Prix and Best Actress at the 23rd Yokohama Visual Entertainment Festival, making Matsumoto the very first director to win Grands Prix there four years in a row.

From pop idol vehicles to socially aware melodramas, Matsumoto has directed a wide range of film productions. His VIRGIN BREEZE, a short he wrote and directed for the Japanese pop idol girl band Nogizaka 46, won significant critical acclaim. Meanwhile, Matsumoto's feature-length TALKING TO THE STARRY SKY is based on the true stories of people with disabilities and their supporters and sheds light on their forgotten experiences following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The movie won an encouragement award from the highly authoritative 37th Japan Film Revitalization Committee.

Matsumoto's screenplay for TSUREZURE was nominated in the synopsis competition at the 3rd MPA/DHU Film Workshop. Carlos Saldanha (known for his Ice Age: The Meltdown, Rio, etc.) highly commended it. The same project also advanced to the final stage at the Sundance Institute/NHK Award 2017, where it was selected as one of the top nine screenplays.

In his hometown of Tachikawa City, Matsumoto actively contributes to film culture as a teacher in his local "Moviemaking Workshop" and as a judge for the Tachikawa Meigazadori Cinema Festival.

AZUSA (1992), CRIMSON TEARS (1993), OPEN TO VISITORS (1993), MIX (2015), GACHA GACHA (2016), VIRGIN BREEZE (2017), PAY PHONE (2019), CASSETTE TAPE (2019), Talking to the Starry Sky (2019), PALETTE (2020), 2020 Tokyo 12 Actors (2021),First Love(2022)

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Director Statement

One never knows when or at what point life will change. A person who was living a peaceful life may suddenly become involved in a crime and become a victim or a perpetrator. I depicted such unpredictable life blended with the first love that everyone experiences.