37 Seconds is a 2019 Japanese drama written and directed by Hikari. The film features amateur actress Mei Kayama, who has cerebral palsy as 23-year-old Yuma Takada, a talented artist who wants to make her name in manga. A sympathetic magazine editor tells Takada her art is technically proficient but betrays her lack of worldly experience. Criticizing her depictions of sex as unconvincing, the editor tells the young woman, who uses a wheelchair to get around, to lose her virginity and then return. This sparks a journey of self-discovery, sexual freedom and ultimately liberation.
Hikari’s beautiful film has screened at festivals around the world including the Berlin Film Festival, Tribeca and Toronto International Film Festival winning the Audience Award in Berlin. You can read a Variety review here.
Hikari was awarded Best New Director at the 14th Asian Film Awards.