Japanese Film Festival bringing something for everyone to Bangkok, Chiang Mai

Whether you’re ready for some yakuza redemption, a brilliant teenage story, or a steampunk anime, our good friends on the islands have us covered.

Hitting the two major cities – Bangkok and Chiang Mai – in February, the Japanese Film Festival returns with 12 films spanning a wide range of genres.

Highlights include Under the open sky, a touching drama about an ex-Yakuza gangster released from prison after 13 years who goes in search of the mother who abandoned him. The film won the Silver Hugo for Best Performance in an International Feature Film and the Best Audience Choice Award for an International Feature Film at the 2020 Chicago International Film Festival.

Moviegoers looking for something more than a coming-of-age comedy with a nostalgic twist and a sci-fi subplot can opt for It’s a summer movie! in which a high school girl obsessed with samurai films aspires to make her own for a school festival.

Anime fans won’t be disappointed either, as the event listing features animated steampunk fantasy Poupelle of Chimney Town. It revolves around Lubicchi, a young chimney sweep, living in an industrial town long shrouded in smoke. Lubicchi befriends a sentient anthropomorphic scumbag named Poupelle, and together they try to prove that beyond their dark, smoky skies, there is actually one full of light and stars.

In Bangkok, the Japanese Film Festival will take place from Friday to February 13 at Maison Samyan. Find the full program here. Tickets cost THB 160 (THB 140 for members).

Then it moves north to screen seven of the nine films at Maya Lifestyle in the city of Chiang Mai on the weekend of February 25-27. Moviegoers unable to make it to either location can watch online for free from February 14 through February 27.

Marie A. Evans