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Eiga Sai is widening its scope by conducting screenings in different parts of the archipelago in hopes of attracting more audiences for its 20th anniversary

More Filipinos will now get to enjoy Eiga Sai with the festival expanding its reach for its 20th anniversary.

A scene from ‘The Sting Of Death’

Hiroaki Uesugi, director of Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) said that apart from Manila, they now have screenings in Cebu, Davao and Baguio.They’re adding Bacolod and Iloilo to the list this year.

Hiroaki explained the inclusion of Cebu, Davao, and Baguio in their itinerary as a must relating “there are a lot of Japanese nationals in these places.”

“Bacolod and Iloilo, on the other hand, are places where most people appreciate Japanese culture,” he added, citing results from a survey.

Hiroaki Uesugi (mb.com.ph)

Hiroaki Uesugi

Hiroaki noted the increase in the number of films in this year’s line-up to 20. He said the films will allow Filipinos to better understand Japanese culture.

“Japanese and Filipinos have many things in common like hospitality or kindness to strangers. The two countries also share the belief in forging a strong bond within the family, as with the community. Through films we could better understand each other and celebrate our similarities,” he said.

JFM program officer Rolando B. Samson added the films could help “enlighten Filipinos on Japanese thinking.”

“We share a long history, good or bad, and it’s important that we know that somehow we’re not really that different from them.”

Best and biggest

In this year’s line up is Yojiro Takita’s “Departures,” adjudged Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy awards.

Two rare 16mm films screened at the first Eiga Sai in 1997 are also on the list, namely “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.

Ryota Nakano (mb.com.ph)

Ryota Nakano

The rest are “Chihayafuru Part. 1,” “Chihayafuru Part. 2,” “The Magnificent Nine,” “Creepy,” “The Anthem Of The Heart,” “Tsukiji Wonderland,” “Her Love Boils Bathwater,” “What A Wonderful Family!,” “Sweet Bean (An),” “The Long Excuse,” “The Mohican Comes Home,” “Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections,” “The Long Excuse,” and “Poolsideman.”

All films come with English subtitles except “Sadako Vs. Kayako,” “If Cats Disappeared From The World” and “Bakuman,” which have been dubbed in Tagalog courtesy of Viva and Tagalized Movie Channel (TMC).

Hiroaki maintained they took effort to offer a huge array of films in different genres.

“We tried to mix, so that everyone could find something they could like. We even have a documentary and, of course, animation, and the all-time Filipino favorite genre, horror,” said JFM project coordinator Ami Kurokawa.

‘Memories Of You’ (mb.com.ph)

‘Memories Of You’

On opening night, July 6, at the Shang Cineplex Cinema, “Her Love Boils Bathwater” director Ryota Nakano will hold talks for filmmakers and the general public.

Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis, except for screenings at Shang Cineplex Cinema which would cost R100/film.

Screening venues are: CCP Dream Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City (July 1 and August 5, 10 and 11), Shang Cineplex Cinema, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City (July 6-16), UP Film Institute, UP-Diliman, Quezon City (August 16-19), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Ayala, Davao City (July 21-23), FDCP Cinematheque-Davao, Davao City (July 26-30), Ayala Center Cebu Cinema, Cebu City (August 2-6), SM City Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 10-13), SM City Bacolod Cinema, Bacolod City (August 24-27), and FDCP Cinematheque-Iloilo, Iloilo City (August 25-29).

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