SciFi Japan

    14th Japanese Film Festival in Australia this November

    Source: Japan Foundation, Sydney Official Site: Special Thanks to Amanda Thompson and Evon Fung

    Currently sitting in sixth position of Sydney’s top ten film festivals according to Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Travel Guide, is the Japanese Film Festival, continuing its euphoric presence for its 14th year. Last year, the festival received an audience of 10,000 entering our festival doors to participate in a panoramic feast of Japanese cinema. This year, with a line up of 22 feature films, 21 of which are Australian premieres, the 2010 program promises to be nothing short of spectacular.

    Special Guests and Events (Sydney only)

    ANIME MATSURI: From the studio that created the animation sequences in KILL BILL Vol. 1, Production I.G’s Naoyoshi Shiotani joins the festival for a Q&A session on Saturday 27 November for the special double screening of two Production I.G films, TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE and OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR. On the same day, the festival will also screen the feature-length anime premiere TIME OF EVE, set in a futuristic Japan where humans and androids coexist. FILM FORUM: Japan’s prolific Film Critic and President of the Japan Academy of Moving Images, Tadao Sato, along with Director Tsutomu Abe and Director Shigeki Chiba, leads a panel discussion on film education in Japan after the screening of KYOTO STORY on Tuesday 23 November. KYOTO STORY is an educational collaboration designed to foster young talent between two established Directors, Yoji Yamada and Tsutomu Abe, together with 22 students from Ritsumeikan University College of Image Arts and Science.


    This year we are showcasing a female focused line up. All Australian premieres! VILLON`S WIFE is a period melodrama about a wife’s devotion to her self-destructive yet talented husband. Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Osamu Dazai. Director Kichitaro Negishi won Best Director for this film at the 33rd Montreal World Film Festival. FLOWERS brings together Japan’s leading actresses on the one screen, tracing the journey of six women over three generations in their respective periods. It paints a beautiful portrait of the dramatic changes which have occurred in Japan from the 1930s to the present. Love is timeless. Based on the lyrics of a love song that moved a nation, Hanamizuki (FLOWERING DOGWOOD) promises to be a romance for the ages. The immensely talented male lead, Toma Ikuta, will capture your heart in this soulfully romantic gem.

    From romance to the collision of traditional and modern culture, SHODO GIRLS tells a tale of hope and community spirit where youth and vigour meet age and wisdom to overcome the towns struggle to remain on the map. Based on a true story, what happens when traditional Japanese calligraphy meets contemporary J-Pop and dance? Charlie’s Angels meets Alfred Hitchcock in ZERO FOCUS, a suspense-thriller that follows a series of murders and the sudden disappearance of newlywed Kenichi. Ryoko Hirosue (DEPARTURES, GOEMON, FLOWERS), Miki Nakatani (MEMORIES OF MATSUKO, FLAVOR OF HAPPINESS), Tae Kimura (ALL AROUND US) team up in an immersive and nail-biting cinema experience marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of writer Seicho Matsumoto. FLAVOR OF HAPPINESS starring Miki Nakatani, winner of Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards for her enchanting performance in MEMORIES OF MATSUKO, which screened at the 12th JFF. Here she sizzles on screen as she creates memorable dishes sure to get the audience craving for more! A young couple, caught in the awkward transition of reminiscing the yesteryear and facing the harsh realities of adulthood. SOLANIN is based on the original smash hit manga series written by Inio Asano, and depicts the troubled relationship between Meiko and Taneda. You are sure to be inspired with a stunning musical performance by Aoi Miyazaki.

    Opening and Closing Films

    The ‘Out of Competition’ closing film at this year’s 60th Berlin Film Festival was internationally acclaimed director Yoji Yamada’s ABOUT HER BROTHER. Starring Tsurube Shofukutei, Japan’s top comedian, About Her Brother will open the 14th Japanese Film Festival in an Australian first; an emotionally moving film on sibling bonds. Based on a best-selling medical novel, A LONE SCALPEL concludes the festival with a compelling drama about a gifted surgeon making a controversial decision that could end his career.

    Other Highlights

    If horror and thrillers is your thing, CONFESSIONS is a bone-chilling psycho drama where obsession and vengeance have no limits. For the adventurous, THE SUMMIT: A CHRONICLE OF STONES is not to be missed with stunning panoramic scenery of the breathtaking Mt. Tsurugidake. This year’s epic, CASTLE UNDER FIERY SKIES takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour to the blueprint of building the greatest castle of all time… Azuchi Castle. Samurai connoisseurs will enjoy SWORD OF DESPERATION, the latest novel adaptation from author of The Twilight Samurai series, Shuhei Fujisawa. Other titles in this year’s program include DEAR DOCTOR, FEEL THE WIND, BOX! and more. For full programming information, visit

    14th Japanese Film Festival

    Sydney 22 – 28 November Event Cinemas, George Street Melbournee 2 – 7 December ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square Single session admission, on sale 29 October (Sydney) and 4 November (Melbourne) Adult $15 Concession $13 Japan Foundation Members $11 5-Film Pass: $60 (Excludes Opening and Closing films, available only from the venue’s box office. Films must be selected at time of purchase.)

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