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The Contestant

Directed by Clair Titley
2023
UK
90 minutes
All Ages
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The incredible true story of a TV contestant left naked in a room, unaware his months-long challenge was being broadcast to millions via a Japanese television show.
In 1998, a budding actor nicknamed ‘Nasubi’ auditioned for a popular TV producer. Successful, he was led into a room, ordered to strip, and tasked with entering magazine sweepstakes to win what he needed to survive – food and clothing included. Nasubi’s expressive face endeared him to viewers, but the hapless contestant was unaware that his every move was being filmed and aired live, and he’d become a mega-celebrity in Japan. With footage from the show and contemporary interviews with Nasubi and his producer, director Clair Titley uncovers the truth behind one the most extraordinary events ever broadcast, a harbinger for today’s reality television.
If it were told in a narrative film, it would seem about as realistic as Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, which might be the work of fiction that it most closely resembles
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
Your jaw may drop, your head may shake and you may well end up hating at least one character, but it’s hard to take your eyes off the damn thing – and especially hard to take your eyes off Tomoaki Hamatsu, aka Nasubi, the poor guy at the centre of it
Steve Pond, The Wrap
Program Strand
Teaser, International Documentaries
Year
2023
Classification
All Ages
Country
UK
Language
In English and Japanese with English subtitles
Director
Clair Titley
Producer
Megumi Inman, Andee Ryder, Ian Bonhôte
Cast
Tomoaki Hamatsu, Toshio Tsuchiya
Screenwriter
Clair Titley
Cinematographer
Mikul Villaluna Eriksson
Editor
Rachel Meyrick, Katie Bryer
Premiere
Australian Premiere
Genre
Documentary, Women Directors, Asia, Off-Beat
Company Credits
Production Company: Misfits Entertainment
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