Watch: Japanese Short Film ‘The Voice Actress’ Featuring ‘Kingyo’
by Alex Billington
February 9, 2023
“Undefeated by the rain… Undefeated by the wind… Undefeated by the snow and the scorching summer heat.” Oh my this is such a wonderful short film – one of the best this year so far. The Voice Actress is an entrancing 15-minute short film made by Japanese-American filmmaker Anna J. Takayama. It’s a tribute to her mom, who was also a voice actress in Japan. After first premiering at festivals last year and picking up some awards – the short is now available online for everyone. It’s a must watch! The fictional film follows a woman named Kingyo, played by Urara Takano (who’s also a real voice actress in Japan for many anime characters), who possesses an ability to see the soul in all things. But the voice acting world is changing and she must find a way to reconcile her way of living with the modern industry. It’s a beautifully shot, sincere film about a woman who deeply cares about her work and her (voice) performances being authentic. I really adore how patient and serene this short is, with all these lovely little touches like the fish and her umbrella.
Thanks to Vimeo Staff Picks for the tip on this one. Here’s the intro direct from Vimeo: “Kingyo, a veteran voice actress working in Tokyo, possesses a unique ability to see the soul in all things, living and inanimate. The voice acting world is changing and she must find a way to reconcile her way of living with the modern industry.” The Voice Actress is a short film written and directed and edited by Los Angeles based filmmaker Anna J. Takayama (高山杏奈) – you can see more of her filmmaking work on her Vimeo or follow her on IG @anna_j_takayama. Produced by Joe Skinner. Featuring cinematography by Conor Murphy. This first premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Award; it also played at numerous other festivals including at the 2022 Palm Springs ShortFest. It’s inspired by Anna’s mother. “I have always wanted to document my mother’s talent and her [own] style of voice acting, which stems from empathy and imagination.” For more info, visit Vimeo or the film’s official site. To find more shorts, click here. Thoughts?