The national program for this year’s JFF has just been announced. As usual, it is looking sensational. I will soon be sharing my thoughts about the program, but you can first read the official media release below:
The 18th Japanese Film Festival (JFF) will debut its 2014 program in Adelaide from 10 October and continue to travel with a stellar line-up around Australia and Auckland until December in Melbourne. The JFF is the largest Japanese film festival outside of Japan and showcases the best in contemporary Japanese cinema including releases that are now showing in Japanese theatres. Tickets go on sale 4 weeks prior to JFF start date (Sydney and Melbourne will be available 6 weeks out) from www.japanesefilmfestival.net.
The JFF opens its 2014 program with Australian Premiere, Lady Maiko (pictured), a musical comedy directed by Masayuki Suo (Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t; Shall We Dance?) based loosely on the Audrey Hepburn classic, My Fair Lady. Country bumpkin Haruko longs to be a geisha but with no references, a rural dialect and an uncultivated demeanour, her chances are slim. That is until Professor Kyono, a linguistics specialist and teahouse regular, takes her on as his protégé…
CLOSING FILM '
Closing the JFF in all cities (except Sydney and Melbourne) is one for the foodies. A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story is based on the real-life story of the Funaki household, a renowned family of samurai chefs. This award-winning film features traditional Japanese cuisines from age-old surviving recipe books. Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef makes a cameo appearance.
Sydney and Melbourne’s closing film will be announced at a later date, along with additional titles to their extended line-up.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Families: 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.
Anime: One for the adults, anime aficionados must see Katsuhiro Otomo’s (Akira) Short Peace, an anthology of four shorts from Japan’s most talented creators, including the 86th Academy Award® nominated Best Animated Short Film, Possessions. Sci-fi anime Patema Inverted explores an upside-down world where a curious princess falls into the sky. Patema Inverted will be showing in all cities except Melbourne and Auckland.
Comedy: Wood Job! is a coming-of-age story starring rising actor, Shota Sometani (Himizu) who won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the 68th Venice Film Festival. 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. Thermae Romae opened the JFF two years ago with a sell-out success.
Drama: Follow the life of humble and famed Tea Master Rikyu and the sacrifices he makes for his art in Ask this of Rikyu (showing in all cities except Adelaide).
Action: Already announced is the live-action adaptation of popular manga series, Rurouni Kenshin returning to the Festival as a trilogy. Fans will be delighted to hear that the JFF will screen the original episode, alongside the Australian premiere of the long-awaited sequels, Rurouni Kenshin – Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin – The Legend Ends.
Documentary: The God of Ramen is an inspiring story of a celebrated chef and his passion for ramen, showing in all cities except Canberra.
All films are in Japanese with English subtitles.
Japanese Film Festival Dates and Venues The 18th JFF runs nationally between October – December 2014
Ticketing: Regular: Adult $18 | Concession $15 | 5-Film Pass $75 Early Bird: Adult $16 | Concession $14 Early bird tickets available for all cities in the first 2 weeks from ticket on sale date before regular pricing resumes.
Adelaide 10 – 12 & 17 – 19 October Mercury Cinema new!
Canberra 15 – 19 October Capitol Cinemas Manuka
Brisbane 22 – 26 October Event Cinemas, Brisbane City Myer Centre
Perth 29 October – 2 November Hoyts Carousel & Hoyts Millennium new!
Auckland 6 – 12 November Rialto Cinemas, Newmarket new!
Sydney 13 – 23 November Event Cinemas, George Street & Event Cinemas, Parramatta new! Art Gallery of New South Wales new! (JFF classics - Wed, Sat & Sun, 15 – 26 October)
Melbourne 27 November – 7 December Hoyts Melbourne Central & ACMI Cinemas, Australian Centre for the Moving Image