Report2018.04.2210th OIMF All Ending Concert

Even after the 10th Okinawan International Movie Festival officially ended with the closing ceremony, the festivities continued with a concert at the harbordside Naminoue Umisora Park on the evening of April 22. The event was free to the public and thousands of people filled the park, despite the rainy weather earlier in the day.

The show kicked off with a singer and guitarist who performs under the name Uma to Sakana (“Horse and Fish” in Japanese). He sang song that was created over the four days of the festival by asking filmmakers, actors and ordinary audience members to write their dreams and hopes for a future on a sketchpad. These messages were then cleverly strung together into song lyrics. The result was a look at the festival and the people who take part in it that was both entertaining and touching.

Then Okinawan musicians from several groups, including Kariyushi58, Begin and Kiiyama Shouten, came together to play on the same stage. They performed pop and rock numbers flavored with Okinawan instruments and melodies. Rimi Natsukawa sang several Okinawan ballads, while solo artists Hiro and Hiroaki Kato took turns singing with the all-star backing band.

In between the musical sets, there were short dramatic performances, all involving telephone calls. Shingo, the lead singer of the band Kariyushi58, started with a funny skit. Taking a call on his mobile phone after a song, he explained to the audience that it was God calling to assure them there would be no more rain and the concert could go on as planned, which got a big laugh from the audience. Okinawan-born Shogen and Rino Higa acted in two sketches that were more emotional, dealing with phone calls to loved ones. The performances also helped set the tone for the next songs. It was a perfect way to wrap up a festival that is not limited to movies, but also includes live performances, music, fashion, sports, photography culture events, and more.