My first film of SXSW was Sake-Bomb the fish out of water tale of a young sake maker who comes to California seeking his the woman he'd fallen in love with in Japan. Along the way his cousin (clearly a douchebag of the year finalist) is enlisted to aid him in the quest. Part comedy, part drama and presumably part social critique Sake-Bomb isn't going to be one of my festival favorites. I rarely laughed, the asshole cousin makes the attempted shift to redemption way too late, and subtlety as a concept doesn't exist anywhere onscreen. That said, Gaku Hamada as Naoto delivers an enjoyable performance even while constrained by the goings on around him.
Judging by the attendance it's clear a ton of heart went into the making of the film. I tried to capture some of that energy below. What follows are pictures of the director and cast. Most notably cracking open a sake cask in celebration of their opening night screening. Click on any of the pictures for a closer view.