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Mio, a third-year university student, has been living her daily life without any clear dreams for the future, feeling embarrassed to put in effort. She avoids the morning rush hour and spends the long hours before classes in the classroom. Kai, who takes the same classes, confidently shares his dreams without hesitation, providing a bit of encouragement for Mio. Her sister, living together, seems to be happily following the flow, with marriage already decided. Mio finds herself drifting between a life that goes with the flow and one that resists it. As her internship begins and she enters the CSR department, she faces complicated relationships contrary to the image of social contribution. She also has to consider living on her own. On Valentine's Day, she waits for Kai to give chocolate, but he doesn't show up; instead, he had quit university and returned hometown. Mio cries on bridge.

Our Review

The narrative unfolds as Mio initially navigates a world of solitude, devoid of companionship. However, as the film progresses, a profound transformation takes place within her character. The catalyst for this metamorphosis is the blossoming friendship between Mio and Kai, an individual characterized by a personality that starkly contrasts Mio's own. Shinji Betchaku, the director, skillfully captures this evolution, creating a cinematic experience that is both visually compelling and emotionally resonant.

"Mio" is a testament to the artistry of Shinji Betchaku, who adeptly weaves a tale of self-discovery and interpersonal connection. The film's success is further heightened by the outstanding performance of Ayaka Iwasaki, whose portrayal of Mio adds depth and authenticity to the storyline. As the characters navigate the complexities of young love and inner transformation, Betchaku's cinematography delicately captures the nuances of their evolving emotions.

The film's pace, deliberately slow and gentle, allows the audience to immerse themselves in the subtleties of Mio's journey. It transcends the conventional narrative of romance, offering a poignant exploration of personal growth and the dynamics of relationships. In "Mio," the audience is invited to witness not just the external shifts in the characters' lives but also the internal transformations that shape their identities.

Ultimately, "Mio" stands as more than a mere cinematic piece; it is a heartfelt portrayal of the universal themes of friendship, love, and self-discovery, leaving a lasting impression on viewers who resonate with its relatable and moving narrative.

Director Statement

This film depicts vague but severe inner conflicts of modern young people in Japan.

Director Biography - Shinji Betchaku

<Career Summary>

I graduated from Nihon University College of Art and was awarded the prize for the Kanagawa Playwriting Contest as the youngest-ever winner at the age of 19. Subsequently, I completed my studies at Nihon University Graduate School and was granted a scholarship to study at Royal Holloway University of London for one year. After returning to Japan, I began my career teaching acting and directing theaters, working with major productions and schools. In 2005, I founded the STONE WINGS ACTING SCHOOL in Tokyo, where I serve as headmaster and main teacher. Additionally, I have used my actor training method to teach business training courses. Currently, I serve as the CEO of ASCEND FEATHER Inc. and president of the Global Drama Education Association. In 2018, I founded an international acting school called WIAS.


Kanagawa Playwrighting Contest –The Best PlayLibran Short Story for Children Contest“The Trilogy ~The Oresteia and the Modern Performances~” –Yukawa Award (The Best Dissertation) by Nihon University Graduate School


Written about 60 plays ( including scenarios)Directed about 30 productions.Acted about 20 productions.


Greek TragedyTheatre EducationStanislavskiMichael ChekhovTheatre GamesImprovisationsTraining for Business (Improvisation and Presentation)


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