Japanese Film Festival releases jam-packed program for 2019

Japanese Film Festival 2019 Dance With Me

Japanese Film Festival releases jam-packed program for 2019

Featured image: Still from Dance With Me, for Japanese Film Festival 2019

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is once again returning to Australia, touring 15 cities across the country with around 45 extraordinary films from October 16 – December 1, 2019.

Presented by the Japan Foundation Australia, the film festival has seen resounding success since its inaugural event in 1997, and is now one of the biggest celebrations of Japanese cinema in the world, with around 30,000 people attending the festival in 2018.

This year, the festival returns with a brand new program packed with everything from classics to new releases, for Japanese film lovers both young and old.

“We’re excited to bring you the best Japanese cinema of 2019,” Japanese Film Festival Programmer Simonne Goran said.

This year’s program brings new perspectives in Japanese film, reviving the old and giving lesser-known stories a chance in the spotlight.

“From sensitive portrayals of modern everyday life to wild and vibrant alternate worlds, JFF 2019 celebrates the multifaceted landscape of Japanese cinema.”

Still from Blue Hour

The Festival has announced Sydney guest appearances and post-screening audience Q&As from two talented up-and-coming directors: Yuko Hakota, in support of her award-winning directorial debut Blue Hour; and Shinzo Katayama for his solo directorial debut Siblings of the Cape. 

Also announced is La Trobe University pop culture expert Dr Emerald L King who will attend the Melbourne screening of Fly Me to the Saitama for a post-screening discussion about 80s manga and forgotten classics.

Check out some of the featured films in 2019 below!

  • MASQUERADE HOTEL – Adapted from Keigo Higashino’s bestselling novel, the film follows a detective who must go undercover at a high-end Tokyo hotel to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders, featuring iconic actor Takuya Kimura and Japanese Academy Award-winner Masami Nagasawa
  • A GIRL IS MISSING – A gripping psychological crime-drama about the mysterious disappearance of a family’s youngest granddaughter, reuniting director Koji Fukada and actress Mariko Tsutsui after their Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize-winning collaboration Harmonium
  • DANCE WITH ME – Starring former Japanese idol Ayaka Miyoshi, this film is a light-hearted musical-comedy about a successful businesswoman who must rid herself of a mysterious curse that forces her to dance whenever she hears music.

Japanese Film Festival 2019 - A Girl is MissingStill from A Girl is Missing

  • RIDE YOUR WAVE – A vibrant anime-romance from critically-acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa (Night is Short, Walk on Girl – JFF 2018)
  • BLUE HOUR – A poignant drama that won Best Film at the Shanghai International Film Festival
  • MELANCHOLIC – A visceral thriller about a university graduate who unknowingly takes a job at a yakuza kill-house, winner of Best Director at the 2018 Tokyo International Film Festival
  • FLY ME TO THE SAITAMA – A queer steampunk romantic comedy manga, featuring pop rock legend GACKT and Fumi Nikaido (winner of the Venice Film Festival Marcello Mastroianni Award for Himizu), and based off Mineo Maya’s 1982 shojo manga

Japanese Film Festival 2019 - My Father, The BrideStill from My Father, The Bride

  • SAINTYOUNG MEN 2nd CENTURY– A manga posing the question: what if Jesus Christ and Buddha were housemates in the suburbs of Tokyo?
  • MOONLESS DAWN – A directorial debut by Harika Abe, featuring three existential youths who connect through music
  • MY FATHER, THE BRIDE – A woman returns home and is shocked to find her father in a dress, an offbeat dramedy by rising star Momoko Fukuda

For the full program, click HERE

Stay up-to-date with the Japanese Film Festival today – like their Facebook page, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter

CANBERRA: October 16 – 20 at Dendy, Canberra Centre
BRISBANE: October 23 – 27 at Event Cinemas Brisbane City Myer Centre
PERTH: October 30 – November 3 at Event Cinemas Innaloo
ADELAIDE: November 8 – 10 at GU Film House Adelaide
SYDNEY: November 14 – 24 at Event Cinemas George Street
MELBOURNE : November 21 – December 1 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Treasury Theatre & The Capitol Theatre

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]