Skip to main content
Riverside Mukolitta film image, director Naoko Ogigami

Riverside Mukolitta


This event has passed

North American Premiere

Naoko Ogigami, director of VIFF 2017 favorite Close-Knit, returns to the festival with a gentle comedy/drama about second chances and the transformative power of friendship.

Riverside Mukolitta stars Kenichi Matsuyama as Yamada, an ex-con trying to come to terms with the death of his estranged father. In an attempt to make a fresh start, Yamada moves to a small fishing town and finds work processing dried squid. Helping him get back on his feet, Yamada’s manager finds him a place to live in an old apartment building populated by a motley group of misfits. Holding this community together is Shiori (Hikari Mitsushima), the landlady harbouring her own tragic past. How can healing happen in such an odd place?

Based on Ogigami’s own 2019 novel, Riverside Mukolitta approaches the topic of mortality with reassuring simplicity and a dry, quirky sense of humor, taking the audience along with Yamada as he discovers that life’s sorrows and burdens are easier to bear with kindred spirits to help you bear them.


Media Partner


Kenichi Matsuyama, Tsuyoshi Muro, Hikari Mitsushima, Noriko Eguchi, Daisuke Kuroda, Toshiaki Chiku

Country of Origin





In Japanese with English subtitles

Film Contact
121 min
Comedy Drama Women Directors

Book Tickets

This event has passed.

Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre

Snow in Midsummer


Haunting, mysterious, and mournful, Chong Keat Aun’s powerful film explores the legacy of May 13, 1969, when mob violence in Kuala Lumpur led to many killings--mostly of Chinese Malaysians.

International Village 8 The Cinematheque

Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling

Art, Music & Photography Documentary

No artist instills a sense of sublime awe like the legendary Robert Irwin, Elusive yet down to earth, Irwin is a true original. His extraordinary work is honored in this stunning portrait of one of the most influential contemporary artists of our age.

International Village 9 International Village 8


Veteran director Marco Bellocchio (The Traitor) returns with a passionate historical drama about a Jewish child abducted by Pope Pius IX in 1865 on the grounds that he had been secretly baptized. This is a rich, operatic film that resonates strongly.

Park Theatre Vancouver Playhouse

The Mother of All Lies

Award Winners Documentary Women Directors

As her parents and grandmother prepare to leave the Casablanca home they have lived in for decades, Asmae El Moudir takes the opportunity to probe the past, unraveling repressed truths buried within her own family and Moroccan political history.

International Village 10

A Cooler Climate

Documentary LGBTQIA2S+

In a recollection of veteran filmmaker James Ivory's unfinished film about Afghanistan. Old footage provides a pronounced air of mystery to compliment its rough beauty, setting the scene for a look back into Ivory's life.

Vancity Theatre International Village 9

Tiger Stripes

Action & Suspense Award Winners Drama Women Directors

Winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age body horror film set in a Malaysian girls' school. 12-year-old Zaffan’s body starts to change before everyone else’s, and she becomes convinced she's turning into a monster.

International Village 8 The Rio Theatre


Executive Producer

Daiji Horiuchi, Tsuyoshi Goroh, Shinichi Tago, Kazuo Nakanishi, Yumiko Masuda, Nobuo Kameyama, Riki Takeuchi, Junji Igarashi, Takayuki Suzuki, Misaki Kawamura,Osamu Nakanishi, Nobuo Komazawa


Ryoko Nozoe, Takuro Nagai, Shintaro Hori


Naoko Ogigami


Hiroki Ando


Shinichi Fushima

Original Music


Art Director

Mayumi Tomita


Naoko Ogigami headshot, Riverside Mukolitta director

Naoko Ogigami

Naoko Ogigami was born in Japan and studied film at the University of Southern California. Her directorial debut, Yoshino’s Barber Shop (2004), received a Special Mention at the Kinderfilmfest at the Berlin International Film Festival. Her fourth film, Glasses (2007), received the Manfred Salzgeber Award, also at the Berlinale. Her 2017 film Close-Knit received awards at different film festivals, including the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlinale. She wrote for the stop-motion animation series Rilakkuma and Kaoru, which premiered on Netflix in 2019.

Filmography: Yoshino’s Barber Shop (2003); Glasses (2007); Rent-a-Cat (2012); Close-Knit (2017)