Experience Japan through cinema - at a venue near you!

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Sarah Rutterford

Categories: General

Wood Job
Wood Job, dir. Shinobu Yaguchi

Since 2004, the Japan Foundation in London has organised the fantastic Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme in close partnership with distinguished film venues and programme advisors throughout the UK. It’s one of only a few contemporary programmes that tours beyond London to present new Japanese cinema to regional audiences.

Each year, a list of Japanese titles is put together under a carefully chosen theme designed to highlight new trends in Japanese cinema and showcase the versatility and unique qualities displayed by Japanese filmmakers.The programme also showcases directors and works which may have slipped under the radar of other film festivals or tours.

This years programme, soon to screen at cinemas nationwide, is a vastly exciting array of films themed under the narrative framework of encounters. Showcasing a wide variety of styles and tones, via popular contemporary films and acclaimed classics through to animation, the programme includes titles in which characters experience seemingly unusual meetings, plunge into unexpected circumstances and new environments, as well as collide with different generations, ideals and ideas asking the question: does it really only happen in the movies?

Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds dir. Mikio Naruse (c)1967 Toho Co., Ltd.

The film list includes titles as diverse as Mikio Naruse’s glorious classic Scattered Clouds, Mipo O’s stunningly beautiful drama The Light Shines Only There (Japan’s entry for Best Foreign Film for this year’s Oscars), innovative dystopian animations from directors including Akira‘s Katsuhiro Otomo in Short Peace, and Shinobu Yaguchi’s (Waterboys, Swing Girls) superb new coming-of-age story Wood Job, based on the Shion Miura novel. Yaguchi is a special guest of the tour and will be appearing at screenings at the ICA, QUAD, Showroom and Watershed.

The programme opens at the ICA in London this Friday 30th January, and titles from the season are booked to screen at venues nationwide including Watershed in Bristol, Showroom In Sheffield, QUAD in Derby, mac in Birmingham, QFT in Belfast, Broadway in Nottingham and Filmhouse in Edinburgh. For the complete list of venues, click here.

And if you programme an independent cinema and are interested in hosting the programme, it’s available for further bookings: visit the Japan Foundation website for contact details to enquire.

Jinx!!! dir. Naoto Kumazawa

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