Premieres Saturday, October 14 at 10 PM ET/PT on HBO
The short film TOKYO PROJECT, starring Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mad Men”), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (HBO’s “Girls”) and Shu Kakizawa (HBO’s “Girls”), explores a mysterious romance between two strangers, the exclusive presentation is written and directed by Richard Shepard (HBO’s “Girls”; Emmy® winner for “Ugly Betty”), executive produced by Lena Dunham (HBO’s “Girls”), Jenni Konner (HBO’s “Girls”) and Karen J. Lauder, and produced by Stacey Reiss and Richard Shepard.
Sebastian (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) is on a business trip to Tokyo. Handsome and hip, he represents a high-end Brooklyn men's grooming product company that has been successful in Japan. But there’s a sadness in Sebastian that's not hard to notice, a past that’s haunting him. He's also a film nerd, fascinated by Tokyo’s visual splendor and its rich cinematic history. Sebastian is also fascinated by Claire (Elisabeth Moss), a beautiful and mysterious woman he keeps running into, first at a noodle shop, and later at a hidden jewel of a sake bar.
There’s clearly something between them. Claire is a photographer, and roams the rich streets of this amazing city in search of images that will linger. Like Sebastian, there’s more to her than meets the eye – a haunted sadness that proves an undeniable attraction for him. “Tokyo is a city of ghosts,” she says.
Out with Shu (Shu Kakizawa), his local business partner, Sebastian reveals what is haunting him. He and his wife lost a child, and many months later are barely hanging on as a couple. Shu jokes that after all this time Sebastian should have an affair with a stranger. “It’s easier with strangers. No history,” Shu says. His idea lingers in Sebastian’s mind, as he’s already intrigued with Claire.
So begins an erotic, highly charged night between two Americans in a foreign land. But all is not what it seems. Truth is fiction, and fiction the new reality. And though the film has a haunted feel, this intimate story is also hopeful. Tokyo may be a city of ghosts, but it’s also a mysterious, romantic city of rebirth.