Nobuhiro Suwa (諏訪 敦彦, Suwa Nobuhiro, born May 28, 1960 in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture) is a Japanese film director working in Japan and France. His directorial works and screenplays often make use of improvisation techniques. Currently, Suwa is the President of Tokyo Zokei University.
Nobuhiro Suwa at the Vienna International Film Festival 2009
|Known for||M/Other (1999)|
Having graduated from Hiroshima Prefectural Hatsukaichi High School (located in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima), Suwa studied at Tokyo Zokei University, under the tutorship of Nobuhiro Kawanaka. While at the college, he began working producing independent films, of which Hanasareru Gang was chosen for the Pia Film Festival. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei, Suwa began directing television documentary films, and worked with directors such as Sōgo Ishii and Masashi Yamamoto.
In 1996, his feature film directorial debut, 2/Duo (2/デュオ, 2/Dyuo) was released. Suwa's second film, M/Other, was released soon after in 1999, winning the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and being the subject of several other awards and critical acclaim, both in Japan and internationally. M/Other also won the award for best screenplay at the 50th Mainichi Film Awards. His assistant director in the film was Miwa Nishikawa.
Suwa's third feature film, H Story (starring Kō Machida), was released in March 2000. It presents itself as an autobiographical documentary on an attempt to remake Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour, and had been noted as an audacious attempt at a Nouvelle Vague portrayal of his hometown, Hiroshima. The film is bilingual French-Japanese. Also during the same year, he guest-appeared in and co-created the Sōgo Ishii-directed samurai epic Gojoe Reisenki: GOJEI.
In 2005, he directed and wrote Un Couple Parfait (不完全なふたり, Fukanzen no Futari, a.k.a. A Perfect Couple), which featured a French cast and crew and is entirely in French. The film won the Special Prize of the Jury Award and the C.I.C.A.E. Award at the 58th Locarno Film Festival.
Later, in 2006, Suwa participated in the international omnibus film Paris, je t'aime. He directed and wrote the segment representing the 2nd arrondissement, filmed at Place des Victoires. Paris, je t'aime was the opening film of the Un Certain Regard selection at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2009, Suwa directed jointly with Hippolyte Girardot Yuki & Nina, another French-Japanese bilingual movie which was shot in both France and Japan.
- Santa ga machi ni yatte kuru (16mm) (1982)
- Hanasareru GANG (8mm) (1995)
- 2/Duo (1997)
- M/Other (1999)
- H Story ( 2001)
- After war (Segment: "A letter from Hiroshima") (2002)
- Un couple parfait (2005)
- Paris je t'aime (segment: Place des Victoires) (2006)
- Yuki & Nina (co-directed with Hippolyte Girardot) (2009)
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight (2017)
- The Phone of the Wind (2020)
- "M/Other (1999) - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Festival de Cannes: H Story". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- On the genre of H Story and its relations with Hiroshima non amour, see G. HAINGE, A Tale of (at least) two Hiroshimas : Nobuhiro Suwa’s H Story and Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima mon amour, Contemporary French Civilization 32, 2 (2008), p. 147-173; Id., The Reverse Atomic Principle of Hiroshima mon amour Archived 2011-01-10 at the Wayback Machine.
- "諏訪敦彦とは - はてなダイアリー". Hate na Diary. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Un couple parfait (2005) - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Nobuhiro Suwa on IMDb
- Profile at Tokyo Zokei University (in Japanese)
- Extensive interview of Suwa about his career before M/Other (in French)
- For a study of French language in Suwa's movies, see A. D'Hautcourt, « Nobuhiro Suwa et le(s) français », Journal of Inquiry and Research 92, 2010, p. 129-139 (in French)