Tonight, Santa Ana will be the site of the U.S. continental premiere of a film about a group of high school girls who decide to turn their economically battered town's fortunes around by hosting and competing in a calligraphy contest.
Ryuichi Inomata's Shodo Girls!! is based on a popular televised event in Japan called Shodo Performance Koshien, a competition among groups of high school girls who create traditional calligraphy on 10 meter sheets of paper.
Choreographed and set to music, the unique competition has been credited with revitalizing the ancient art form.
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The film, which was released in Japan this year, is set in Shikokuchuo city, the country's paper producing capital. The severe economic recession has the town's businesses closing at an alarming rate. Inspired by their new Calligraphy Club adviser, the oddball collection of students set out to organize a competition that will revive both their spirits and the town.
Tonight's 7:30 screening is presented by the Orange County Film Society, in association with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Segerstrom Center for the Arts, as part of the JapanOC "Japanese Film Spotlight" event. The movie is shown in Japanese with English subtitles.
Tickets are $12 and are available at the Regency South Coast Village Theatre box office or at orangecountyfilmsociety.com. The event is free to Orange County Film Society members, and membership information is available at the web address above as well.
Regency South Coast Village Theatre is at 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, across the street from South Coast Plaza.