The Japan Foundation, Manila is pleased to announce the full lineup of films, guests and special talks for this year’s Japanese Film Festival, more popularly known as EIGASAI. In honor of Philippines-Japan Friendship Month, EIGASAI’s 22nd edition runs from July 3 to August 25, 2019-with seventeen-full-feature films of diverse genres selected for more than 135 screenings across seven major cities nationwide. Expect a variety of film genres— romance, comedy, action/adventure, horror, mystery, feature, historical dramas and all-time favorite anime films to complete this year’s line-up.
This year’s opening film features Samurai Marathon directed by Bernard Rose, based on Akihiro Dobashi’s novel Bakumatsu Marathon Samurai about the Ansei Tooashi, known as Japan’s first marathon.
Annaka feudal lord Katsuakira Itakura (Hiroki Hasegawa) holds a run across mountain roads to get his samurai warriors into shape. However, the Bakufu central government views it as a rebellion and dispatches assassins to the castle. Meanwhile, Annaka domain accountant Jinnai Karasawa (Takeru Satoh) senses that something is amiss with the Bakufu. Japan’s renowned actor Takeru Satoh gives a subtle and stirring performance as the lead actor, providing action-filled, energetic experience for audiences.
Bringing additional excitement to the opening week of this year’s JFF | EIGASAI is a special performance by Shamisen Player Keisho Ohno.
Ohno is a master of Shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese traditional music instrument, accredited at only twelve years old, and two years later became the first “authorized successor of authentic Chikuzan-bushi” shamisen player. He has toured worldwide in US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil, including a performance at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference, as well as at the Japan Expo 2018 in Paris, France.
One of his original music compositions named “Samurai” are used as a theme song for the New Year Ekiden or marathon relay race held and broadcasted nationwide on the New Year in Japan.
Equally exciting films in the JFF | EIGASAI line-up includes:
- “The 8-Year Engagement” by Takahisa Zeze
- “KAKEGURUI” by Tsutomu Hanabusa
- “The Crimes that Bind” by Katsuo Fukuzawa
- “Laughing Under the Clouds” by Katsuyuki Motohiro
- “Mixed Doubles” by Junichi Ishikawa
- “One Cut of the Dead” by Shinichiro Ueda
- “Perfect World” by Kenji Shibayama
- “Yakiniku Dragon” by Chong Wishing
- “The Tears of Malumpati” by Keita Meguro
- “Lu Over the Wall,” an animated film by Masaaki Yuasa
- “Mirai,” an animated film by Mamoru Hosoda
- “The House Where the Mermaid Sleeps” by Yukihiko Tsutsumi
- special screenings of award-winning Japanese film director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s feature films, including “After the Storm,” “The Third Murder” and the winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and nominee for the 91st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, “Shoplifters.”
Together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Japan Foundation’s continued support towards independent filmmakers brings another Japanese independent film to Manila: “Lying to Mom,” winner of the Best Film Award at the 31st Tokyo International Film Festival’s Independent Japanese Cinema category. The film is a drama mixed with humor depicting a family attempting to recover from sorrow. Katsumi Nojiri, who worked as an assistant director on “The Great Passage” and “The Lies She Loved,” among others, makes his directorial debut with his own original script.
Director Katsumi Nojiri will be present at the Philippine premiere of Lying to Mom on August 3, 2019 at CCP during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, an allied festival of EIGASAI since 2016.
Screening venues are scheduled in:
- Metro Manila, Tacloban, Legazpi, Iloilo, Davao, Pangasinan and Cebu: Red Carpet Cinema, Shangri-La Plaza (July 3-14, 2019),
- Robinsons Place Tacloban (July 18-21, 2019)
- SM City Legazpi (July 18-21, 2019)
- SM City Iloilo (July 25-28, 2019)
- Abreeza Mall Davao (August 1-4, 2019)
- Cultural Center of the Philippines (August 2-11, 2019)
- SM City Rosales, Pangasinan (August 8-11, 2019)
- Cine Adarna, UPFI (August 14-17, 2019)
- Ayala Center Cebu (August 15-18, 2019)
- Gateway Cineplex, Cubao (August 22-25, 2019)
The JFF | EIGASAI is open to the public, and is free of charge, with the exception of films to be screened at Shangri-La Plaza Cinema (July 3-14) which will be Php100 per screening. For detailed screening schedules and inquiries, please access the Japan Foundation, Manila website: http://www.jfmo.org.ph or call at (+632) 811-6155 to 58.
The JFF | EIGASAI 2019 is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Ayala Mall Cinemas, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM City Iloilo, SM City Legazpi, SM City Rosales, Robinsons Movieworld Tacloban, UP Film Institute, Film Development Council of the Philippines, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. and Aruga by Rockwell.