The second online edition of the Japanese Film Festival is now streaming live!
All the way from Nippon, streaming 20 films into more than 25 countries across the world, the festival hopes to introduce global audiences to Japanese cinema
When you think of Japanese movies, it’s the big names that first pop into your mind — classics like Seven Samurai and Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, modern horror blockbusters like Ringu and of course a whole lot of anime movies. But there’s so much more to Japanese cinema and this online film festival being organised by the Japan Foundation hopes to introduce you to just that.
Screening in 25 countries and featuring around 20 films, the festival was launched on February 14 and will continue for two weeks on the dedicated online website. “JFF, or the Japanese Film Festival, is a project of the Japan Foundation created with the aim to share 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, director-general, The Japan Foundation. “For this year’s festival, we have selected 20 films, from new releases to classics, which fit with the theme — scenic beauty across the seasons, visually stunning and vividly colourful Japanese food, the changing of society from traditional to modern and fantastic worlds which transcend space and time,” Koji explains.
The film festival will feature many celebrated films including Sode Yukiko’s Aristocrats, Yamada Atsuhiro’s Awake, Mishima Yukiko’s Bread of Happiness and The Floating Castle directed by Shinji Higuchi and Isshin Inudo.
Four films to look out for:
Rashomon (1950): Psychological thriller/crime film directed by Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon was the first Japanese film to receive a significant international reception. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, was given 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 actor Koji Yakusho’s role at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival.
Patema Inverted (2013): This animated science fiction film written and directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura was first a four-episode original net animation series, Patema Inverted: Beginning of the Day, streamed in 2012. The film was also broadcasted in the UK.
Her Love Boils Bathwater (2016): Directed by Ryota Nakano, it was selected as the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It was however celebrated by fans across the world.
Streaming on watch.jff.jpf.go.jp