The Japanese Film Festival returns triumphantly

The Japanese Film Festival returns for its 14th edition in April, bringing the best of Japanese cinema to audiences across Ireland. This year, Ireland’s only truly national film festival returns to its usual April slot. Screenings will take place in seven theaters nationwide, starting in Cork on Sunday April 3. April 7 will see the start of screenings in Dublin, Galway and Waterford. The festival continues in Tipperary on April 9 and ends in Dundalk on April 23. From festival favorites and hidden gems to the latest anime hits and hits, each year JFF aims to bring the best of contemporary Japanese cinema to Irish audiences – and this year is no different.

The Japanese Film Festival – An eclectic event

This year’s lineup includes Tokyo Revengers, a live-action adaptation of the hit manga/anime series and one of the biggest Japanese box office hits of 2021. Time travel, romance, yakuza drama, action – Tokyo Revengers has it all. Under the open skymeanwhile, is among the most acclaimed Japanese dramas of recent years, with veteran star Koji Yakusho’s career-best performance (The Eel, Shall We Dance?, Cure, 13 Assassins).

Other highlights of this year’s festival include Ito. This is a funny and poignant drama about a disgruntled young woman who starts working in a maid cafe. There is also Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle, a captivating interpretation of one of the most unusual chapters of the Second World War and its aftermath. And then there is Dawn upon us, a sharp social satire set in the immediate aftermath of lockdown. Foodies won’t want to miss the sumptuous The pursuit of perfection. This is a documentary that focuses on four of the most famous Japanese chefs in the world.

Entertainment galore

JFF 22 will also include the Irish premiere of the visionary stop-motion animated film junk head. Filled with grotesque creatures, bizarre sights and unexpected comedy, Junk Head is an unforgettable journey into an underground sci-fi dystopia. There’s something for everyone in this year’s anime selection. Finding Magical Doremi is a lively and charming coming-of-age story and road trip through Japan. Sing a little harmony – The last of reverse patema director Yasuhiro Yoshiura – is a cheerful and high-energy mix of drama, sci-fi and high school musical. Pompo the movie buff brings a larger than life manga character to life while serving as a celebration of all things cinematic.

Last year’s JFF included the first Irish showings of Oscar-nominated Drive My Car. JFF audiences in Cork, Galway and Waterford will this year have the chance to see director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s other masterpiece in 2021. It’s the extraordinary anthology film wheel of fortune and fantasy – on the big screen.

This is an amazing festival event seen all over Ireland. I highly recommend attending if you have the chance to visit any of these places. The atmosphere is electric and welcoming. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.

Marie A. Evans