Kiki Sugino

Kiki Sugino

Birthday: March 12, 1984
Born Place: Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan
Birth Name: Seo Yeong-hwa
Height: 5' 3¾" (1.62 m)


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Sugino Kiki was born in Hiroshima, Japan to parents of Korean descent on 12.03.1984. Her Hangul name is Yeong-Hwa Seo. She attended Keio University of Tokyo to study economics and travelled to South Korea, on a break during her third year at age 21, where she appeared in a minor film called Nunbushin Haru and tried her hand at singing. She had heard about the audition coincidentally and had obtained the role despite not even speaking the language of her ancestors. She was to co-produce a film with Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad in 2009, but his imminent death put an end to the project. Her breakthrough came in the comedic Hospitalité of 2010 in which she not only acted, but also co-produced. Her portrayal as a duplicitous-attractive-good-wife-gone-bad was a success. Sugino’s co-producer Fukada Koji had become a repeat collaborator by then. The film won a sectional prize in Japan and was screened at festivals around the world. The Tokyo International Film Festival accorded a section entitled Sugino Kiki: Muse Of The Asian Indie Cinema in 2011. She has gone on to act, write, direct, produce including in the film Au Revoir L’Ete in which she followed an earlier pattern this time being the duplicitous-attractive-good-daughter-gone-bad and even sing a song for a movie. Sugino was rammed by a taxi in Rotterdam, The Netherlands where she was attending an International Film Festival Rotterdam screening of Chigasaki Story and acting as a jurist. Her legs and hip were broken in five spots and she was told she will be off her feet for a year. Her 2016 film Snow Woman, which was exhibited at the Tokyo International Film Festival, is a remake or re-adaptation of Lafcadio Hearn’s scary tome Kaidan and more specifically its Yuki Onna (‘Snow Woman’) story. Sugino has become something of a darling of independent cinema, but does not wish to be restricted as such and, given her multiple talents and how much she has achieved at a young age, will not be for long. Sugino is hellbent on pushing boundaries, making a science fiction and musical movie and cites directors Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasuzo Masumura as influences.

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