November brings the sights and sounds of Japan to New Zealand as the 18th Japanese Film Festival arrives in Auckland. The Japanese Film Festival was launched in 1997 by Japan Foundation Sydney, which was established by the Japanese government to promote cultural and intellectual exchange between Japan and Australia.
Over the years, the festival has attracted some 25,000 fans and movie goers in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Fremantle. It also brings out special guests including film directors and artistes from Japan for events during the festival. Today, the Japanese Film Festival is the largest of its kind outside of Japan. This highly anticipated film event brings the best of Japanese movies, from classic to new releases. This year, Festival Director Masafumi Konomi has curated 12 of the best in contemporary Japanese cinema, from anime to internationally acclaimed drama, and everything in between, as part of the line up.
Some highlights include 'A Tale of Samurai Cooking' is an award-winning film about traditional Japanese cuisine from recipes books dating back to the samurai age; 'Lady Maiko', a musical comedy revolving around a country bumpkin who wants to become a geisha and finds help from a linguistics specialist; Children will enjoy the live-action adaptation of Kiki's Delivery Service, a children's novel that inspired Hayao Miyazaki's enchanting anime of the same name; and Thermae Romae' and its sequel 'Thermae Romae II' based on a smash-hit manga series, follows the adventures of a time-travelling Roman architect specialising in bath culture to modern day Japan;
KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE / Photo courtesy of Japanese Film Festival
The Japanese Film Festival will screen in Rialto Cinemas Newmarket and all films are in Japanese with English subtitles. For more details on the movie schedule and to grab tickets to your favourite Japanese movie at this year's Japanese Film Festival in Auckland, check out the website.