What does the Japanese Film Festival have in store for us this year?

Japanese classic ‘Rashomon’ to premiere at this year’s Japanese Film Festival

MANILA — It’s an annual tradition in the Philippines for the Japan Foundation Manila to present outstanding, award-winning and contemporary Japanese films to Filipino audiences for free.

Building on the success of the Japanese Film Festival (JFF) in 2020, the Japan Foundation Manila is bringing the event to the comfort of every Filipino home with another virtual edition this year.

This year, the JFF will take place over two full weeks from February 14 to 27.

Japan Foundation Manila director Suzuki Ben said this year’s JFF “gives viewers the chance to experience and learn about Japanese customs and culture, as the films shown reflect our contemporary society and document life people at certain times.

“Films are indeed powerful vehicles for cultural exchange and bilateral relations,” he added.

Part of this year’s lineup includes “It’s a Summer Movie“, “Under the Open Sky”. “Aristocrats”, “Ito”, “Awake”, “Mio’s Cookbook” and “Masked War”.

The festival will also feature two outstanding documentaries – ‘The God of Ramen’ and ‘Sumodo: Successors of the Samurai’.

Viewers can also enjoy animated content with “Time of Eve The Movie” and “Patema Inverted”.

In addition, the classic film “Rashomon”, the period film “The Floating Castle”, and the food films “Brea of ​​Happiness” and “The Chef of South Polar” are also included in the lineup.

Also enjoy five other drama films released from 2008 to 2018: ‘ReLIFE’, ‘Happy Flight’, ‘Her Love Boils Bathwater’, ‘Until the Break of Dawn’ and ‘Ozland’.

According to Liza Dino, Director of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, these cinematic gems contain “themes and stories that Filipinos also deeply appreciate, demonstrating this strong bond between our two cultures.”

“This fine selection of some of the best Japanese films is a springboard of inspiration for any filmmaker looking to learn more about excellent Japanese cinema,” she said.

“As always, JFM spares no effort to provide an educational and highly entertaining experience and the FDCP is very pleased to be a part of this endeavor,” she added.

In addition to presenting these films online for free, Japan Foundation Manila has also prepared “Let’s Talk about Japanese Films”, a two-part free online discussion event that will be available for interested participants even outside the Philippines.

The first session will take place on February 14 at 2 p.m. which will also serve as the opening event of the festival, while the other roundtable will take place on February 22 at 8 p.m.

These events aim to bring Japanese films closer to the general public.

Japanese Film Festival, Japan Foundation Manila, Film Development Council of the Philippines

Marie A. Evans