Japanese Film Festival 2019

Japanese Film Festival 2019

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is a platform to raise interest in Japanese films and draw in a larger audience in the ASEAN countries.

JFF provides opportunities for people to gather offline and online, under the vision of building a system for an extensive bridge between the Asia-Pacific film market and the Japanese film industry.

To increase interest in Japanese films and create new market opportunities for Japanese films, the following three schemes are planned: strengthening the network by carrying out the Japanese film festivals in the ASEAN countries and Australia, organizing PR event that fans can participate in, and constructing an online platform.

JFF has been a mainstay in Singapore’s vibrant film festival landscape for decades. First started in 1983, the main objective of the festival is to promote the appreciation of Japanese cinema and culture in Singapore, and to deepen the bonds within community of Japanese film fans. In the past 3 years, the festival has averaged close to 4,000 annual attendees.

CONTEMPORARY CINEMA

Organizers
Singapore Film Society
Japan Creative Centre
Japan Foundation

Venue
Shaw Theatres Lido
350 Orchard Road, 5th/6th Floor, Shaw House, 238868 Singapore

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD - カメラを止めるな!

January 18 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

2017 / 96 min / Comedy horror / Japanese with English subtitles / NC16 (Some Coarse Language)
Dir. Shinichirou UEDA 上田 慎一郎

A film crew shoots a zombie movie in a shabby, abandoned warehouse, rumoured to be the site of military experiments. Out of the blue, actual zombies appear and terrorise the crew!

This might sound like a plot of a clichéd zombie film. But UEDA offers a fresh take. The film starts with a non-stop one-take 37 minute shot, then switches direction and completely disassembles the zombie genre. Fresh from winning the SGIFF Audience Choice Award, One Cut of the Dead is one of the biggest Japanese indie hits of 2018!

Official Selection
2018 Singapore International Film Festival (Premiere, Audience Choice Award)
Fantasia Film Festival 2018
Karlovy Vary International 2018
New York Asian Film Festival 2018
Udine Far East Film Festival 2018
Batsu Film Festival 2018
Melies EFFFF Award, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2018
Audience Award, Yubari Fantastic Festival 2018
Silver Mulberry Audience Award, Udine Far East Film Festival 2018

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YAKINIKU DRAGON - 焼肉ドラゴン

January 19 @ 6:10 pm - 9:00 pm

2018 / 128 min / Melodrama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Wishing CHONG 鄭 義信

Yong-Gil Ryukichi runs Yakiniku Dragon, a neighbourhood restaurant in the outskirts of Osaka with Yong-Sun his wife and his three daughters Shizuka, Rika, Mika and youngest son Tokio. We follow his family as his daughters fall into love, bicker out of love, argue, drink, sing and bond with the small Korean community in 70s era Japan.

Based on CHONG’s very successful theatre production, the film explores the challenges of being a zainichi, Koreans trying to integrate into Japanese society.

Official Selection

2018 Jeonju International Film Festival
2018 Toronto Korean Film Festival
2018 Toronto Japanese Film Festival
2018 Japanese Film Festival Australia

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AMIKO - あみこ

January 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:10 pm

2018 / 66 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Yoko YAMANAKA 山中 瑶子

In her junior year in high school, Amiko meets Aomi, a boy in the soccer club. After a conversation, Amiko believes that their relationship has become one that transcends all relationships, and they now share the same destiny. However one day, Aomi runs away from home…

Amiko’s sometimes cynical, sometimes self-deprecating inner monologue goes off like a vibrant stand-up comedy.

Official Selection
2017 PIA Film Festival: Hikari TV Award and Audience Award
Berlin International Film Festival 2018
Jeonju International Film Festival 2018
Fantasia Film Festival 2018: Special Mention: Best First Feature
Hong Kong International Film Festival 2018

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BEFORE WE VANISH - 散歩する侵略者

January 19 @ 9:30 pm - 11:40 pm

2017 / 129 min / Sci-fi, Fantasy / Japanese with English subtitles / PG13 (Some Violence 些许暴力画面)
Dir. Kiyoshi KUROSAWA 黒沢 清

In his 20th film, acclaimed horror director KUROSAWA reinvents the alien movie as a unique and profoundly human tale of love and mystery. Three aliens travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission for a mass invasion. Having taken possession of humans, the visitors rob the hosts of their essence – good, evil, property, family, belonging – leaving only hollow shells, which are all but unrecognizable to their loved ones. Equally hilarious, thrilling, and profound, Before We Vanish reminds audiences of the continued strength of one of Japanese cinema’s most unique auteurs – and the value of the human spirit.

Official Selection
2017 Cannes Film Festival: Official Selection for Un Certain Regard

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CHIHAYAFURU PART 3 ちはやふる-結び-

January 25 @ 6:55 pm - 9:10 pm

2018 / 128 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Norihiro KOIZUMI 小泉 徳宏

Chihayafuru Part 3 is the final installment of the film trilogy based on the manga series of the same title. The story revolves around a high school girl and her friends who are determined to win the National Karuta Championships amidst the stress of school work and relationship issues.

Organizers
Singapore Film Society
Japan Creative Centre
Japan Foundation
Venue
Shaw Theatres Lido
350 Orchard Road, 5th/6th Floor, Shaw House, 238868 238868 Singapore

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COLOR ME TRUE - 今夜、ロマンス劇場で

January 20 @ 12:15 pm - 2:10 pm

2018 / 109 min / Fantasy, Romance / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Hideki TAKEUCHI 武内 英樹

Aspiring director Kenji is smitten with the star of his favourite retro film, a beautiful but stubborn heroine called Princess Miyuki. He’s always wanted to meet the princess but she’s from a bygone era when films were still black and white. Through a strange twist of fate, Miyuki leaps out of the silver screen and joins Kenji in a world filled with colour—and she’s feistier off screen!

Set in a 60’s film studio, Color Me True is both a love story and a love letter to classic cinema. Sharing the same production team as the hugely successful Thermae Romae films, this charming tale of romance promises laughter and tears!

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DYNAMITE GRAFFITI - 素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル

January 23 @ 6:45 pm - 9:05 pm

2018 / 138 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / R21 (Sexual Content)
Dir. Masanori TOMINAGA 冨永 昌敬

At an early age, Suei’s mother and her lover committed suicide by blowing themselves up with dynamite. It leaves a lasting impression as Suei begins a career first in manufacturing, then graphic design and finally flourishing as a erotic magazine publisher. In between regular apologies to the police and coaxing potential nude models, Dynamite Graffiti is a fascinating look at the 80s Japanese porn industry.

Official Selection
New York Asian Film Festival 2018
2018 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

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JESUS - 僕はイエス様が嫌い

January 20 @ 2:45 pm - 4:05 pm

2018 / 76 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG13 (Some Mature Content)
Dir. Hiroshi OKUYAMA 奥山 大史

Yura is a young boy whose family left Tokyo to live with his grandmother in the snowy countryside, but faced difficulties integrating into his new, Christian school. At first, Yura was puzzled when he and his classmates were called to “worship”, but over time he adjusted to the new environment. One day, in the middle of a prayer, he saw Jesus appear before him. Each wish Yura made to Jesus came true, inspiring him to embark on his journey in faith.

Official Selection
Kutxabank-New Directors Award at 2018 San Sebastian Film Festival

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LAUGHING UNDER THE CLOUDS - 曇天に笑う

January 20 @ 4:45 pm - 6:25 pm

2018 / 95 min / Fantasy / Japanese with English subtitles / PG (Some Violence)
Dir. Katsuyuki MOTOHIRO 本広 克行

Based on the manga series, Laughing Under the Clouds revolves around three brothers from the Kumo family who have to prevent Orochi, a mythical serpent, from creating chaos in the country after it revives prior to laying inert for 300 years.

Surrounding the Orochi’s revival, a three-way battle takes place between the brothers, government special forces Yamainu and ninja group Anyaku from a rival Fuma clan.

Organizers
Singapore Film Society
Japan Creative Centre
Japan Foundation
Venue
Shaw Theatres Lido
350 Orchard Road, 5th/6th Floor, Shaw House, 238868 238868 Singapore

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LIVERLEAF  - ミスミソウ

January 26 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

2018 / 114 min / Teenage revenge / Japanese with English subtitles / M18 (Violence and Gore)
Dir. Eisuke NAITO 内藤 瑛亮

Haruka NOZAKI, a middle school student, is relentlessly bullied after she transfers to a small town. She forms a tentative friendship with Mitsuru AIBA, another transferred student. The bullying peaks in a tragedy, triggering a bloody sadistic response.

Official Selection
19th Jeonju International Film Festival
New York Asian Film Festival 2018

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LOST IN RAMEN -ラーメン食いてぇ!

January 26 @ 2:10 pm - 4:00 pm

2018 / 102 Min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Yuki KUMAGAI 熊谷 祐紀

A betrayed high school girl tries to commit suicide; a grieving ramen restaurant owner whose wife has passed away; and a food expert stranded in the wilderness of Western China: all connected in some ways to Seiran Restaurant’s ramen. A touching and heartwarming story on this life changing ramen, based on the Akiteru HAYASHI’s web comic.

Official Selection
Japan Film Festival Los Angeles
San Diego Asian Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival

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LOVE AT LEAST - 生きてるだけで、愛。

January 26 @ 4:30 pm - 6:25 pm

2018 / 109 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / NC16 (Some Nudity)
Dir. Kosai SEKINE 関根 光才

Yasuko, a shut-in who suffers from hypersomnia, lives with her boyfriend Tsunaki. With difficulties committing to jobs, Yasuko is unemployed. Unable to control her emotions while Tsunaki seems indifferent to her, Yasuko’s frustration grows. One day, Tsunaki’s ex-girlfriend Ando appears unannounced, and schemes to break up the couple.

Official Selection
26th Raindance Film Festival 2018
Japanese Film Festival Australia 201

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LU OVER THE WALL - 夜明け告げるルーのうた

January 27 @ 1:50 pm - 3:50 pm

2017 / 112 min / Animation / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Masaaki YUASA 湯浅 政明

Kai spends his days sulking in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. His only joy is uploading songs he writes to the internet. When his classmates invite him to play keyboard in their band, their practice sessions bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose singing causes humans to dance compulsively.

As a bond begins to form, an old wive’s tale causes a huge rift between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger. Will Kai’s cry for the heart be able to save the town?

Official Selection
2017 Annecy animation festival
New York International Children’s Film Festival
31st Tokyo International Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival 2018
Brussels International Animation Film Festival

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MIXED DOUBLES - ミックス。

January 27 @ 4:20 pm - 6:25 pm

2017 / 120 min / Sports / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Junichi ISHIKAWA 石川 淳一

Tamako, a table tennis prodigy, quits the sport due to family and relationship setbacks. Years later, returning to her hometown, she decides to take part in a mixed doubles table tennis tournament in order to help revive her late mother’s table tennis club and at the same time, destroy her ex.

Official Selection
Blue Ribbon Award 2017

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THE 8-YEAR ENGAGEMENT 8 - 年越しの花嫁

January 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:05 pm

2017 / 120 min / Romance / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Takahisa ZEZE 瀬々 敬久

Hisashi and Mai are engaged to be married and are completely happy. Three months before the wedding, Mai has a cardiac arrest and falls into a coma. Undeterred, Hisashi remains by her side and prays for her recovery. A genuine tear jerker based on a true story.

Official Selection
Japanese Film Festival Perth 2018

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 THE CRIMES THAT BIND - 祈りの幕が下りる時

January 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:05 pm

2018 / 119 min / Mystery / Japanese with English subtitles / PG (Some Disturbing Scenes)
Dir. Katsuo FUKUZAWA 福澤 克雄

A strangled female corpse is discovered in an apartment, and the apartment’s resident has vanished. The investigation hits rough waters, but Detective Matsumiya forges ahead while questioning whether a charred corpse discovered in the vicinity is related to the case. Meanwhile, Detective Kaga learns of a fact that leaves him deeply shaken.

Official Selection
Japanese Film Festival Australia 2018
2019 Hong Kong Arts Festival

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THE LOWLIFE - 最低。

January 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:05 pm
January 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:05 pm

2017 / 121 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / R21 (Sexual Scenes)
Dir. Takahisa ZEZE 瀬々 敬久

Adapted from a novel titled SaiteiThe Lowlife revolves around the lives of three women who are at different stages of their career as adult film actresses. As the shadow of adult videos is cast on all of their lives, they cross paths, ever so slightly.

Official Selection
2017 Tokyo Film Festival

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SHORT FILMS

Venue
*SCAPE Gallery @ Level 5
2 Orchard Link 237978 Singapore

Short Shorts Programme 1

January 26 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA) is one of the biggest short film festivals in the world today. Started in 1999 by actor Tetsuya Bessho, who was inspired after attending the Sundance Film Festival, the festival aims to introduce Japanese audiences to short films, a format that many Japanese people were unfamiliar with back then. Now, SSFF is a well-known qualifying festival for the Academy Awards.

Michi’s Suburban Commute - 美知の通勤電車


2018 / 17 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / G
Dir. Tsugihisa TANAKA 田中 嗣久

Michi is only 3 years old. Her mother is irritated at her husband who doesn’t help in caring for their child. She takes Michi’s hand and goes to the train station. Today is the first day at work.

Surrounded by a crowd of commuters, Michi is scared and can’t walk. She finds herself meeting generous people, even in an uncomfortably crowded train.

The Devil in the Afternoon - 午後の悪魔


2017 / 15 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG

Dir. Mayu NAKAMURA 中村 真夕

An actor is practicing his lines at a park. One day, he is accused of sexually abusing a young girl by a group of young moms. This film depicts the dark side of a peaceful middle class family.

The Fire Celebration at Kurama -くらまの火祭


2017 / 4:26 min / Animation / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Yosuke TANI 谷 耀介

Yuki Shrine in Kurama, Kyoto; a place where a fire celebration organized by the city is held. This is a fusion of a documentary and fantasy story where humans, the deity, and the ghosts come together to create the festival.

The Mayor’s New Clothes - 王様の選択


2018 / 21 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Hiroyuki SHINTANI 新谷 寛行

Ohno jokingly ran for mayor of the town and he actually won. He is invited to a conference organized by the city to announce an official coat by a famous designer. But nobody can see the coat… A tale that w shows how politeness can cover shame, vanity and stupidity.

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Short Shorts Programme 2

January 27 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA) is one of the biggest short film festivals in the world today. Started in 1999 by actor Tetsuya Bessho, who was inspired after attending the Sundance Film Festival, the festival aims to introduce Japanese audiences to short films, a format that many Japanese people were unfamiliar with back then. Now, SSFF is a well-known qualifying festival for the Academy Awards.

The Band’s New Stage


2017 / 25 min / Drama / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Takeshi TANAKA 田中 雄之Aoki is the frontman of an unknown indie band “WWW”. He lies about the popularity of his band and scores a live concert on Oki island.

10424


2017 / 5 min / Documentary / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. Tatsuki IMAJI 今治 建城The relationship between humans and “them” has been evolving over time. It isn’t easy to talk about it now that one of “them” is part of the family, and everyone tries to avoid the topic. What is the meaning behind “their” existence?

PHANTOM COLLECTOR


2017 / 13 min / Horror / Japanese with English subtitles / PG13 (Horror 惊悚画面)
Dir. Hiroya TAKA たか ひろやThe new viral smartphone app among young people is Fancole, using it to explore haunted places and capture ghosts by taking their photo. But there is an urban legend; if you take a photo of a real ghost, you will die.

COCKROACH


2018 / 4:28 min / Comedy / Japanese with English subtitles / PG13 (Some Mature Content)
Dir. KIM Hyeon Gyu 金 賢奎A call in the middle of the night. Mika summons her boyfriend over with the words, “Come right away!”A cockroach is on the loose.

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HIDEHO URATA: SHORT FILM RETROSPECTIVE AND MASTERCLASS

Hideho Urata Masterclass

January 19 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Hideho URATA will conduct a cinematography masterclass, using selected clips from Golden Leopard winner A Land Imagined. Director YEO Siew Hua will be present too.

TICKETS CLOSED


Hideho Urata Retrospective

January 19 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

This Retrospective will feature 4 Singapore short films shot by award-winning cinematographer Hideho URATA. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Hideho himself.

Originally from Japan, Hideho URATA is a Singapore-based Cinematographer and a Senior Cinematography Lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts. His recent collaboration with YEO Siew Hua on the film A Land Imagined won the Golden Leopard at the 2018 Locarno International Film Festival.

PERMANENT RESIDENT


Singapore / 2017 / 20 min / Drama / Mandarin, Teochew and English with English Subtitles / PG
Dir. Nicole Midori WOODFORDA woman, her son and her mother reside near a quarry named “Little Guilin” after a famous landmark in China. She pretends to be a buyer who views condominiums, stealing from each family that resides in them. Glimpsing the man-made quarry through different windows, her obsession culminates in an excursion to the heart of Little Guilin.

RACE COURSE ROAD


Singapore / 2016 / 12 min / Drama / English, Malay with English Subtitles / PG
Dir. K. RajagopalThe film titled Race Course Road which is based on a true event, traces the construction of Singapore’s Race Course and the contribution of Indian labourers towards this; the interactions between the European, Malay and Indians on the site, pointing to the presence of multicultural, multi-ethnic groups in what is now known as Little India.

NOCTURNE


Singapore / 2017 / 19 min / Drama / Various dialects, Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles / PG
Dir. LIAO JiekaiEver since Jianxiong disappeared a few years ago due to his involvement in underground communist activities, Meifeng had been trying to move on in life without her lover. A visit to his family on Chinese New Year’s Eve brought back familiarity and stirred up unexpected tensions.

PARTING


Singapore / 2015 / 13 min / Drama / Malay, English with English Subtitles / PG
Dir. BOO JunfengAn elderly man travels to Singapore via the KTM express to look for an old flame whom he has lost contact with. Parting is one of seven short films in 7 Letters, an anthology commissioned in 2015 to commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

TICKETS CLOSED


CLASSICS

Organizers
The Projector
Japan Creative Centre
Singapore Film Society
Japan Foundation
Venue
The Projector
6001 Beach Road Golden Mile Tower #05-00199589 Singapore

EARLY SPRING - 早春

January 27 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
February 9 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm

1956 / Japan / Drama, Romance / In Japanese with English subtitles / 145 min / PG
Dir. Yasujirō OZU 小津 安二郎

OZU’s exceptional follow-up to his critically acclaimed Tokyo Story is a spellbinding lamentation of fractured hopes and dreams in post-war Japan. Set in the quintessentially humdrum world of salarymen, a discontented young white-collar worker – bored with his wife and his job – has a brief affair with the office flirt, and imperils his marriage.

I wanted to show the life of a man with such a job — his happiness over graduation and finally becoming a member of society, his hopes for the future gradually dissolving, his realising that, even though he has worked for years, he has accomplished nothing … I wanted to bring out what you might call the pathos of such a life. – OZU

A sensitive tale woven in OZU’s signature formal beauty and timeless minimalism with a tinge of low-key sadness, Early Spring is touching, thoughtful, and filled with warmth and humour – making this your best, most unforgettable starting point to this great master’s illustrious oeuvre.

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EARLY SUMMER - 麦秋

February 2 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
February 10 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm

1951 / Japan / Drama / In Japanese with English subtitles / 136 min / PG
Dir. Yasujirō OZU 小津 安二郎

Arguably the earliest benchmark of subtle feminine power in 50s Japan, OZU’s quietly controversial Early Summer sees a young woman of the post-war era who is promised in an arranged marriage. But caught between her family’s archaic traditions and the rapidly westernising society, she is forced to choose between honourable duty and her own path in life.

Featuring the inimitable Setsuko HARA who brings to life a kind of modern young woman whose good manners don’t entirely mask a strong and somewhat unconventional will, Early Summer arguably altered the course of modern Japanese history through OZU’s empowering characterisations – HARA’s later roles in her career were then central, pivotal roles and never adjunct to a male lead.

HARA’s iconic charming-yet-polite-but-never-a-pushover performance, alongside OZU’s comic lightness in presenting complex every-day domestic and emotional tensions against the backdrop of a marvellously minimalist yet rich cinematography, makes Early Summer one of the most charming rites of passage in modern cinema.

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Location Map

Shaw Theatres Lido, Shaw House

Shaw Theatres Lido, Shaw House

The Projector, Golden Mile Tower

The Projector, Golden Mile Tower

SCAPE Gallery @ Level 5

SCAPE Gallery @ Level 5

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Posted in Annual Festival, Arts & Culture, Attraction | Posted on January 29, 2019