The second online edition of the Japanese Film Festival is now live!

When you think of Japanese movies, it’s the big names that come to mind first – classics like Seven Samurai and Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, modern horror blockbusters like Ringu and of course a lot of animated films. But there’s so much more to Japanese cinema, and this online film festival hosted by the Japan Foundation hopes to introduce you to that.

Presented in 25 countries and presenting around twenty films, the festival was launched on February 14 and will continue for two weeks on the dedicated online site. “JFF, or the Japanese Film Festival, is a project of the Japan Foundation created with the aim of sharing the excitement of Japanese cinema with the rest of the world. The online format of the festival will celebrate its second edition this year,” shares Koji Sato, Managing Director of the Japan Foundation. “For this year’s festival, we have selected 20 films, from new releases to classics, that fit the theme – the beauty of landscapes through the seasons, visually stunning and colorful Japanese food, the changing society of traditional worlds to modern and fantastical worlds that transcend space and time,” says Koji.

The film festival will feature many famous films, including Sode Yukiko’s Aristocratsby Yamada Atsuhiro Awakeby Mishima Yukiko bread of happiness and The floating castle directed by Shinji Higuchi and Isshin Inudo.

Koji Sato, Managing Director, The Japan Foundation

Four films to discover:

Rashomon (1950): Psychological thriller/detective film directed by Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon was the first Japanese film to receive significant international acclaim. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, received an Academy Honorary Award at the 24th Academy Awards in 1952, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Under the open sky (2020): Directed by Miwa Nishikawa, the film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and also won Best Performance for the role of actor Koji Yakusho at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival.

reverse patema (2013): This sci-fi anime film written and directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura was first a four-episode original net-animated series, Patema Inverted: Beginning of the Day, which aired in 2012. The film also aired in the UK.

His love boils the bath water (2016): Directed by Ryota Nakano, it was selected as the Japanese entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, but was not nominated. It was, however, celebrated by fans around the world.

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Marie A. Evans