NEW YORK PREMIERE In 1998, Tomoaki Hamatsu, an aspiring Japanese comedian who became known as Nasubi, participated in a reality TV program. His Sisyphean challenge: to live alone in an apartment and subsist entirely off what he could win in magazine sweepstakes until he reaches 1 million yen in prizes. As days turn to weeks and months, the program, which is live-streamed, unbeknownst to Nasubi, grows popular, and the conditions take their toll on our hero. At the dawn of the internet age, this striking film forewarns the ethical concerns of reality entertainment in the 21st century. – Brandon Harrison 

The first screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Clair Titley, producers Megumi Inman and Andee Ryder, and subject “Nasubi” Tomoaki Hamatsu.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, THE CONTESTANT will not be available for online screenings as previously announced.

All in-person screening venues provide sound amplification headphones upon request with venue management. IFC Center can also provide a T-Coil loop for compatible devices.


Director: Clair Titley
Executive Producer: Clair Titley
Producer: Andee Ryder, Megumi Inman, Ian Bonhôte
Cinematographer: Mikul Eriksson
Editor: Rachel Meyrick, Katie Bryer
Language: English, Japanese
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2023
Sales Agent: MRC Entertainment