Celebrating 20 years of Japanese films

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The Japan Foundation, Manila is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Japanese Film Festival (JFF), widely  known as Eiga Sai.

In a recent event held at the Shang Cineplex, lineup of films was announced including the special guests that will grace the month-long fest.

From  July 1, in honor of the Philippines-Japan  Friendship Month, to Aug. 29, with 20 films of various genres selected for more than 100  screenings across six major cities nationwide, JFF Eiga Sai 20th anniversary edition is set to be the  biggest and best yet.  

 Yojiro Takita’s “Departures” (2008)

JFF | Eiga Sai 2017 will officially kick off its 20th anniversary in grand style opening night on Thursday, July 6, with the screening of Her Love Boils Bathwater at the  Shang Cineplex to be  graced by this year’s special guest director Ryota Nakano. The film director is scheduled to  hold talks for  filmmakers and the general public during his stay in the Philippines.

To commemorate the anniversary, JFF | Eiga Sai 2017 presents a retrospective showcase of a few films. There will be a special encore screening of Departures, the 81st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language winner and one of the most well-received films in the history of Eiga Sai. 

Two rare  16mm films screened at the first Japanese Film Festival in 1997: The Sting of Death directed by Kohei Oguri, the Grand Prix du Jury winner at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and Memories of You directed by Shinichiro Sawai, were exhibited on July 1 at the birthplace of the Japanese Film Festival, CCP, serving as a prelude to the grand opening night on July 6 at the Shangri-La Plaza.

 Kohei Oguri’s “The Sting of Death” (1990)

A long-lasting partnership with CCP and the Japan Foundation’s support towards independent filmmakers brings forth again the screening of the Japanese independent film: Poolsideman, winner of the Best Picture Award in the Japanese Cinema Splash at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2016.

Hirobumi Watanabe, director of the film will also be present at his Philippine premier during the  Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in August, an allied festival of JFF | Eiga Sai since last year.

Eiga Sai’s 20th edition is part of the Japan Foundation Asia Center’s unified Japanese Film Festival held around Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, and together with the Japan Foundation, Manila, different genres of films from animation, drama, comedy, documentary, to horror, were curated with a total of 20 titles – 17 of which are with English subtitles and three are dubbed in Tagalog, offering Japanese film lovers the chance to experience their favorite genre while discovering something new.

Ryota Nakano’s “Her Love Boils Bathwater” (2016)

In addition to the cinema partners from last year, JFF | Eiga Sai 2017 is expanding its reach and impact in the wider region by adding cinemas in Bacolod and Iloilo, and extending the festival period till the end of August. 

As with the previous years, JFF | Eiga Sai 2017 will also have its provincial run in Baguio, Cebu and Davao. Screening venues are: CCP Dream Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City (July 1 and Aug. 5, 10 and 11), Shang Cineplex Cinema, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City (July 6 to 16), UP Film Institute, UP-Diliman, Quezon City (Aug. 16 to 19), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Ayala, Davao City (July 21 to 23), FDCP Cinematheque-Davao, Davao City (July 26 to 30), Ayala Center Cebu Cinema, Cebu City (Aug. 2 to 6), SM City Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (Aug. 10 to 13), SM City Bacolod Cinema, Bacolod City (Aug. 24 to 27), and FDCP Cinematheque-Iloilo, Iloilo City (Aug. 25 to 29).

Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis, except the screenings at Shang Cineplex Cinema which will be PHP 100 per one film screening.

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