It seems Japan is no stranger to Perth residents as many have visited the country or have Japanese friends. Thanks to the first Perth Japan Festival this year, the public is increasing acquainted with modern and traditional Japanese culture, live music, food and even cos-play. Existing and new fans of the Japanese culture in Perth and Fremantle will be thrilled this October as the Japanese Film Film Festival (JFF) returns for another year.
JFF is the largest Japanese film festival outside of Japan. This highly anticipated annual film event which brings the best of Japanese movies, from classic to new releases, to some 25,000 fans and movie goers in Australia. It also brings out special guests from Japan for events during the festival. JFF was launched in 1997 by Japan Foundation Sydney, which is established by the Japanese government to promote cultural and intellectual exchange between Japan and Australia.
The 18th edition's line up curated by Festival Director Masafumi Konomi include 12 of the best in contemporary Japanese cinema, from anime to internationally acclaimed drama, and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights.
1) Based on a smash-hit manga series, THERMAE ROMAE and its sequel THERMAE ROMAE II follows the adventures of a time-travelling Roman architect specialising in bath culture to modern day Japan.
2) Anime fans should check out SHORT PEACE consisting of 4 shorts including the 86th Academy Award nominated Best Animated Short Film, Possessions.
3) Australian premiere of LADY MAIKO, a musical comedy revolving around a country bumpkin who wants to become a geisha and finds help from a linguistics specialist.
4) Based on the novel Kamusari naa naa Nichijō, WOOD JOB! is a coming-of-age comedy starring rising actor, Shota Sometani (Himizu) who won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the 68th Venice Film Festival. It is written and directed by Shinobu Yaguchi.
JFF will screen in Perth and Fremantle from 29 October to 2 November, 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 JFF, check out the website.