Bringing Japanese culture closer to Filipinos through cinema

Movies have become an important part of our lives. We often take time out of our busy schedules to indulge ourselves and spend a few hours watching a gripping story that leaves its mark on our hearts. As many of us already know, good quality cinema can stir emotions, educate people and transport viewers to a whole new dimension.

And since good movies come from all over the world, we jump at every opportunity to watch these films in length and understand the stories behind them.

‘Under the Open Sky’ tackles the struggles of a yakuza as he tries to fit into society

Starting today, Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) is bringing back the Japanese Film Festival (JFF) to give Filipino viewers a taste of Japanese culture through a series of films premiering virtually.

“JFF will return to celebrate and offer the beauty and diversity of Japanese cinema. JFF continued to push for online streaming to accommodate more viewers and reach more audience,” JFM Director Suzuki Ben said.

“At the heart of this year’s JFF are 20 outstanding films that will serve as a window into Japanese culture, one cinematic experience at a time,” he added.

These 20 impressive titles span various genres, from bittersweet coming-of-age stories to thrillers, sci-fi, comedy, documentaries, animation and drama that promise to leave viewers with something memorable thing. More importantly, these films shine a light on Japanese culture and history.

For example, one of the films, It’s a Summer Movie!, tells the story of a girl who loves samurai movies and convinces a mysterious boy to make a film together that transcends time and space. space. This coming-of-age masterpiece incorporates sci-fi elements while offering a fresh look at young people who take movies seriously.

An image from the docu-film ‘The God of Ramen’

Another movie is Under the Open Sky. This award-winning film tells the story of a former yakuza’s struggles to be accepted by society, even as he tries to live a serious life.

In the meantime, The God of Ramen is a moving documentary about a man who opened a legendary ramen shop in Tokyo. This unique and moving film is a recording of one man’s uncompromising attitude expressed in all its fullness.

Other films from the festival lineup Mio’s Cookbook, Masked Ward, Aristocrats, and more.

In addition to watching movies, JFM people also know that a person’s love for movies also translates into an interest in understanding them better. To satisfy viewers’ curiosity about the basics of Japanese movies, JFM has also prepared a two-part free online event titled “Let’s talk about Japanese movies!” available for interested participants, even outside the Philippines.

The first session, titled “Your Guide to Japanese Films”, is moderated by Tito Valiente and joined by panelists Professors Daisuke Miyao and Nick Deocampo, and director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.

A scene from “It’s a Summer Movie!”

Meanwhile, the second event titled “Inside the World of JFF 2022 Films” will have Richard Bolisay as moderator and will feature five young film critics, namely Skilty Labastilla, Princess Kinoc, Janus Nolasco and Stephanie Mayo.

So despite the distance and travel restrictions, JFM, through JFF 2022, brings Japanese culture closer to Filipinos using the power of cinema.

JFF runs until February 27. Watch featured movies at https://jff.jpf.go.jp/watch/jffonline2022/philippines/.

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