The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) Is Back for 2021 So Here’s What’s Showing

japanese film festival

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is back in 2021 and is heading to Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney for its historic 25th year from 28 October to 5 December.

The 2021 Festival program will screen 15 films from the hottest newly-released feature titles spanning a diverse selection of genres from action to anime, drama, documentaries and much more.

To kick off the festivities, Hokusai  Hajime Hashimoto’s biopic about the wild life of legendary Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai — will be shown. The star-studded cast features Yūya Yagira (Nobody Knows), Hiroshi Abe (The Crimes That Bind, JFF 2018) and Min Tanaka (Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura, JFF 2018).

In the drama category, award-winning films such as Under the Open Sky, will take viewers on a journey about a hardened ex-yakuza who sets out to find his long-lost mother after thirteen years behind bars. 

Meanwhile, Japan’s submission for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, True Mothers an emotionally charged family drama directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Naomi Kawase — is not to be missed. 

The Deer King, an epic fantasy story about a world plagued by a deadly ‘Black Wolf’ disease and the two survivors believed to hold the cure for the pandemic; and Poupelle of Chimney Town, the tale of a young chimney sweep who embarks on an adventure in search of the stars beyond his grimy steampunk-esque town, are also showing. Both films were recent nominees for Best Animated Feature at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival.

Meanwhile, lovers of the thriller genre will enjoy Masked Ward, a spine-tinglingly tense hostage thriller based on a popular medical mystery novel; Al Amok, a tech nightmare in which a benevolent medical AI malfunctions with deadly consequences; and The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, an occult mystery following a crime-solving duo who investigate grisly murders both human and otherworldly.

In a press statement, Japanese Film Festival Director, Yurika Sugie said, “In celebration of JFF’s 25th year, we’re thrilled to return to cinemas and share the very best in Japanese cinema with Perth audiences. This year film connoisseurs can look forward to a stellar selection of contemporary works, international film festival favourites and award winners, alongside an incredible online program.”

The full program can be found at japanesefilmfestival.net.

2021 Japanese Film Festival screening dates: 

CANBERRA: 28 October – 2 November

Palace Electric Cinema & National Film and Sound Archives 

PERTH: 4 – 7 November

Palace Raine Square 

BRISBANE: 11 – 21 November  

Palace Barracks & Palace James Street

MELBOURNE: 18 November – 5 December

The Kino Cinema & Australian Center for Moving Images

SYDNEY: 25 November – 5 December

Palace Cinemas Norton Street, Chauvel, Central, Verona

ONLINE: 15-21 November                                                                         

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