From first-time writer/director Justin Ambrosino comes The 8th Samurai, a 28 minute comedy about Nanshu, a struggling actor who finally seems to have made a break in the film industry after he has landed a leading role in a famous director’s epic film about eight brave samurai warriors.
Unfortunately, the whimsical director has a terrible dream just before the day the shoot is to begin, and he is convinced that there is one samurai too many in his story. And so, Nanshu gets the axe. But while he is initially ready to accept his fate, this changes soon, and the next morning Nanshu is back to confront the director.
While at least the promotional materials give no name for the fictional production or its director, it is fairly clear who the film makers are trying to go after:
The short film has been doing the festival circuit, having won the Excellence in Filmmaking award at the Honolulu International Film Festival and being nominated for Best Student Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer and Best Editor at the Show Off Your Shorts Festival in the US. It was also shown at the New Beijing International Film Festival (China), Video Festival Imperia (Italy), George Lindsey UNA Film Festival (USA) and Carolina International Film & Video Festival (USA).
The cast is almost fully Japanese, and it actually seems like the film makers have raided the Letters from Iwo Jima set, as about half a dozen 8th Samurai actors appeared in Eastwood’s movie.
More information about the movie, including a trailer, can be found at the official website.