The Japan Foundation, Manila mounts the first online Japanese Film Festival to continue sharing Japanese culture with the Filipino people amid the pandemic. It continues its tradition of bringing quality Japanese films and sharing its diverse culture to the Filipino people through the digital edition of the Japanese Film Festival.
This year, the festival put the spotlight on 28 short and full-length feature films in various genres, which will be available for 24 hours in the newly launched JFF Plus, https://watch.jff.jpf.go.jp/ a website run by the Japan Foundation to spread Japanese films overseas.
Our 30-minute Sessions
Teen music romance featuring singing and instrumental scenes with a fresh cast of young actors. College student Sota picks up a cassette tape left behind by musician Aki when he died a year ago. When the tape is played back, Aki takes over Sota's body for just 30 minutes. They share the same body and rush to reunite a band that split up and bring a smile to Aki's girlfriend Kana's face.
Project Dreams- How to Build Mazinger Z's Hangar
DIRECTOR : (JP) 英 勉 / (EN) HANABUSA Tsutomu Company employees are depicted earnestly grappling with meaningless things in this drama. Doi of the Maeda Construction Company's Advertising group has little passion for his work. One day the group's leader Asagawa declares, "Let's build the hangar for Mazinger Z!" Having been dragged in by Asagawa, Doi and his co-workers commence putting on appearances of having taken on this request from a fantasy world.
Norman the Snowman: The Northern Light
DIRECTOR : (JP) 八代健志 / (EN) YASHIRO Takeshi As the first snow falls on a town in the northern country, a boy sneaks out of his house to board a northbound train with his friend “Norman the Snowman.” They are off to witness the beautiful wonders of nature that Norman had always talked about.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 板津匡覧 / (EN) ITAZU Yoshimi SYNOPSIS : The earth shook. The sea roared. And then... There is a small house solitary standing by the seaside. A pigtail-braided girl has been living there alone since that fateful day. Mail is no longer delivered, but even this morning, she’s hanging out the laundry as usual. A thought-provoking fable of hope and rebirth in a cruel and gentle world after an unnamed disaster.
Little Nights, Little Love
DIRECTOR : (JP) 今泉力哉 / (EN) IMAIZUMI Rikiya Sato is an employee conducting a survey in front of Sendai Station. Saki takes the survey and the two ultimately become a couple. 10 years later, Sato proposes to Saki on the occasion of their 10th anniversary.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 遠藤尚太郎 / (EN) NAOTARO Endo Through the lives of professionals working at Tsukĳi Fish Market in Tokyo, the film portrays how Tsukĳi has been the center of fish culinary culture and helped Japanese food culture to flourish as we know it today.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 錦織良成 / (EN) NISHIKORI Hajime is in line to be the next head of a prominent electronics company. He toils day and night over his work and has no time for his family. But one day, his mother in Shimane falls ill, and his best friend dies in an accident. Grief-stricken, Hajime returns home, where memories of his childhood dream come back to him. He had always wanted to be a train conductor and drive the local "bataden" Ichibata Electric Railway.
DIRECTOR: (JP)まんきゅう/ (EN) Mankyu Sumikko and friends discover a pop-out picture book in the basement of Cafe Sumikko, their favorite coffeeshop. As they look at the book, the pop-ups suddenly start moving and Sumikko and friends get sucked into the book.
Tora-san in Goto
DIRECTOR : (JP) 大浦勝 / (EN) OURA Masaru A documentary shot from 1993 and over 22 years chronicled a large family who make their living as udon noodle makers on the Goto Archipelago in Nagasaki Prefecture. Inuzuka Torao, known as "Tora of Goto" runs an udon noodle making business on the Goto Archipelago. Everyday, his seven children wake up at 5am, help with the business for an hour, then head for school. Over the 22 years the documentary follows them, the children all grow up.
The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice
DIRECTOR : (JP) 小津安二郎 / (EN) OZU Yasujiro The story is about a middle aged couple who are different in every way, from each other. However in a critical situation, they find a hope for a renewal of their marriage when they share a simple meal together. As with all of OZU’s films, the family unit, in crisis, is portrayed, with warmth, humor, and resignation to the limit of life.
Norman the Snowman: On a Night of Shootin
DIRECTOR : (JP) 八代健志 / (EN) YASHIRO Takeshi Tomorrow is the night of the shooting stars! A new chapter of “Norman the Snowman” begins as Norman and the Boy embark on another venture to see the star-filled sky.
A Story of Yonosuke
DIRECTOR : (JP) 沖田修一 / (EN) OKITA Shuichi It nostalgically depicts the interactions between a good-natured young man and his friends, while interweaving the past and present. In 1987, a youth named Yonosuke who is unable to decline the requests of others leaves his hometown of Nagasaki to start university life in Tokyo. One day as he is juggling classes and extracurricular activities, he goes to a driving school and meets Shoko, the daughter of a company president, who takes a liking to him.
Dance With Me
DIRECTOR : (JP) 矢口史靖 / (EN) YAGUCHI Shinobu Shizuka works at a big Tokyo trading company and harbors a secret crush on her dashing boss. One weekend she takes her niece to visit a carnival hypnotist to inspire her for an upcoming school musical. But it is Shizuka who falls under the spell and she is soon breaking uncontrollably into song and dance whenever she hears music. Shizuka must embark on a cross country hunt for the hypnotist to break the spell, singing and dancing all the way!
Key of Life
DIRECTOR : (JP) 内田けんじ / (EN) UCHIDA Kenji Sakurai is a struggling actor, and Kondo is a hit-man with amnesia. Sakurai, who became a hit-man on a whim, finds himself taking on dangerous jobs. Kondo, caught up in pretending to be Sakurai for a play, is being wooed by Kanae.
The Great Passage
DIRECTOR : (JP) 石井裕也 / (EN) ISHII Yuya Drama about the passion of an editor who struggles to create a dictionary, as depicted over a fifteen-year period. Publishing house salesman Majime has an earnestness about him that sets him apart from his peers. But he has a discerning sensibility when it comes to language, which lands him in the dictionary editorial department. He ends up editing "The Great Passage," a huge dictionary with 240,000 entries.
Moon of a Sleepless Night
DIRECTOR : (JP) 八代健志 / (EN) YASHIRO Takeshi A squirrel and a boy set out on a journey together to restore daylight. They must find and release the moon stuck high up on a tree somewhere far, far away.
The Girl from the Other Side
DIRECTOR : (JP) 久保雄太郎、米谷聡美 / (EN) KUBO Yutaro, MAIYA Satomi Touch not the Outsiders, lest ye become an Outsider.But when two creatures belonging to opposite kinds -a lost little girl from the Inside and a demonic beast-looking Outsider- initiate an impossible coexistence on the same side of the forest,their bond seems to transcend their incompatible natures and the unnamed curse that has divided the world. Based on Angouleme-nominated,eponymous best-selling graphic novel by manga artist Nagabe.
Café Funiculi Funicula
DIRECTOR : (JP) 塚原あゆ子 / (EN) TSUKAHARA Ayuko Urban legend has it that you can return to your chosen point in the past at Funiculi Funicula, the coffee shop where Tokita Kazu works. Kiyokawa Fumiko hears the rumor and shows up to talk again with her childhood friend, who left for the US after they had a fight. But, several rules must be obeyed in order to travel back to the past.
Tokyo Marble Chocolate
DIRECTOR:(JP) 塩谷直義 / (EN) SHIOTANI Naoyoshi Serious & generous,but a bit shy,Yudai has been unsuccessful with the opposite sex.Chizuru is an energetic & cheerful girl, but when it comes to boyfriends,she’s been unlucky, clumsy, and never had a steady relationship.This is the first Christmas the couple spends together.Chizuru loves animals & Yudai plans to give her a rabbit in a box,but it turns out to be a mini donkey?! The donkey escapes,Chizuru goes after it & Yudai loses sight of them both...
Director: ANDO Momoko Sawa works as a caretaker.She gets involved into unexpected events which have her lose her job & money.Not having a house to live & money to spend,she begins to hunt for her “clients” in the street, suggesting to take care of them as a sleep-in caretaker.She targets old men who seem having problems in their lives. At first they get confused by her aggressive attitude & lots of energy,but gradually let her into their lives, and their “almost dead” lives start to shine again.
Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday
DIRECTOR : (JP) 沖田修一 / (EN) OKITA Shuichi Comedy about the struggles of seven aging women on a tour to view fall foliage who get lost in the mountains. Seven aging women get together for a tour of fall foliage that includes hot springs and a spectacular waterfall. They enjoy themselves as they head up the mountain, but their tour guide vanishes. Left behind in the mountains, the seven women begin to discover themselves as they deal with survival.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 想田和弘 / (EN) SODA Kazuhiro In Okayama City in Okayama Prefecture, Soda's father-in-law Kashiwagi Toshio is a driver for the elderly and disabled, and his mother-in-law Hiroko runs an non-profit organization. The yard in front of their home has become a haven for stray cats. Their simple everyday life offers glimpses of the meaning of peace.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 中田秀夫 / (EN) NAKATA Hideo Surreal terror of the heroine is depicted throughout the film, after personal information from a smartphone is stolen, which later leads to a murder case. One day, Asami calls her boyfriend, but a stranger answers the phone. He explains he found her boyfriend's phone, and returns it a few days later. Since then, strange things keep happening to Asami. She is now a target of a serial killer who gradually exposes her secret.
Gon, The Little Fox
DIRECTOR : (JP) 八代健志 / (EN) YASHIRO Takeshi When Gon, a playful orphaned fox, finds that young Hyoju has lost his mother, he tries to comfort him and make amends for his own earlier mischiefs by secretly bringing small gifts to the boy every day.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 周防正行 / (EN) SUO Masayuki Haruko aspires to become a maiko, and makes her way to Shimohachiken, a geisha quarter in Kyoto. She is accepted for an apprenticeship through the auspices of Kyono, a linguistic scholar who is intrigued by her thick Kagoshima and Tsugaru dialect, and trains furiously to become a fully-fledged maiko.
DIRECTOR : (JP) 黄瀬和哉 / (EN) KISE Kazuchika Unfulfilled call-center employee Noeru lives alone in a cheap apartment in a big city. One day, her mother sends her an old, bulky chest of drawers which doesn't fit Noeru’s tiny place. But from that day on, breakfast is always ready in the morning even when Noeru didn’t cooked any, the kitchen is always clean... and who are those weird kids doing in her room?
Li'l Spider Girl
DIRECTOR : (JP) 海谷敏久 / (EN) KAIYA Toshihisa Everything started from an old book telling the story of an expert magician who defeated a giant spider monster in ancient times. Antique book dealer Amane Suzuri, who is trying to sell the book in order to pay the rent, would have never imagined that after reading this story to Mizuki, the building owner's nephew, he could find himself face-to-face with a 28-centimeter-tall, 8-legged baby arachnid girl.And she's the sweetest thing in the world or not?
DIRECTOR : (JP) 湯浅政明 / (EN) YUASA Masaaki Kick-Heart is a love story between Romeo, a successful pro-wrestler, and Juliet, a nun who lives a secret double-life as a female pro-wrestler. Romeo's secret is that he enjoys taking a beating in the ring, while Juliet feels invigorated when facing her opponents as a wrestler. When the two meet in the ring, the fireworks fly. Will Juliet reveal her true identity to the one she loves? Will Romeo be able to share his secret to the world?