Japanese film enthusiasts in Malaysia are in for a treat as the Japanese Film Festival returns this September.
Having attracted over thousands of viewers since its first festival in 2004, the Japanese Film Festival celebrates its 14th anniversary with 14 extraordinary Japanese films to be screened at selected Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC). The festival will kick-start in the Klang Valley on the 7th of September before making a nationwide tour to Penang, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu till the 1st of October.
This year, Saitoh Takumi, a popular actor and rising director in Japan, will be making an appearance at the festival on the 5th of September for a meet-and-greet session at Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL. He stars in the opening film of the festival, The Projects, and directed blank13, another festival flick which won him the Asian New Talent Award for Best Director at the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival.
Clueless of which film to watch? Here is a list featuring our top three picks:
Her Love Boils Bathwater
Winner of the 26th Japanese Critics Award and 41st Hochi Film Award for Best Picture, this is a story about a single mother whose world is shaken when she discovers that she has terminal cancer. She decides to use the amount of time she has left to bring back her husband, reopen their shut-down bathhouse, and set her daughter on the path of independence. Long-repressed revelations arise as she attempts to reconcile her splintered family, as shown in the cover picture.
Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections
Filmmakers Brillante Ma Mendoza, Isao Yukisada, and Sotho Kulikar present three stories of interconnectedness in the Asian region across Japan, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In SHINIUMA Dead Horse, a deported Filipino illegal immigrant is forced to begin life anew in a homeland he has not visited in decades. Pigeon focuses on the kinship between a Malaysian caretaker and an elderly Japanese man with dementia. The film was shot in Penang with local casts and crews. Meanwhile, set against a backdrop of civil war and reconstruction, Beyond the Bridge follows a the narrative of Japanese-Cambodian couple.
Based on a true story, the film follows a father who returns to his family after 13 years of absence with only three months to live. A heavy gambler, he saddles his family with debt and after his death, his family confronts the void left by his abandonment as well as odd acquaintances who have come to pay their last respects. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to be among the first to watch this movie as it will only be released in Japan in February 2018.
Tickets can be purchased starting from 31st August onwards via GSC box office, GSC e-payment at gsc.com.my or the GSC mobile app. For more information, visit the official website of the Japanese Film Festival here.