The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) widely known as EIGASAI is celebrating its 20th year in the Philippines, and for the first time, expands its reach to Iloilo!
Officially opened in Manila last July 6, EIGASAI 2017 is the festival’s biggest and best celebration yet as it brought to the country 20 films of various genres selected for more than 100 screenings across six major cities nationwide. Aside from Manila and Iloilo, Japanese films will also be shown in Cebu, Davao, Baguio and Bacolod.
Of the 20 films, 17 of which are with English subtitles and three are dubbed in Tagalog, offering Japanese film lovers the chance to experience their favorite genre while discovering something new.
Of course, we Ilonggos are interested what’s in store for us. They have chosen to show the following films in FDCP CINEMATHEQUE-Iloilo at Solis Street, City Proper:
IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD
A postman dying from a brain tumor gets a visit from the devil who offerd him a deal. The postman will get to live another day everytime he lets the devil make something disappear from the world. The post agrees, but when things started disappearing, the memories he has attached to those things are also erased.
WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY!
A heartwarming comedy which portrays a different family in a story about elderly parents considering divorce which sends their whole family into panic.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan Now; 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival, Officially Recommended; 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival.
SWEET BEAN (AN)
Sweet Bean is about a dorayaki shop owner who meets an elderly woman, Tokue, with her own wonderful recipe for the pancake-like snack filled with red bean paste. Their newfound partnership and booming business, however, is threatened when an unkind rumor drives Tokue away.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard; 2015 Cork Film Festival, Audience Award; 2015 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Performance; 2015 Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Audience Award; 2015 Valladolid International Film Festival, Best Director; 2015 Valletta Film Festival, Best Film & Best Actress.
HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER
A family drama about the intense feeling of a dying mother with a bombshell ending that breaks heart. When a mother abruptly receives a diagnosis of terminal illness, she aims to use the brief amount of time she has left to bring back her husband, restart the family business and set her daughter on the path of independence.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan Now; 2016 Busan International Film Festival, A Window on Asian Cinema; 2016 Montreal Work Film Festival, Focus on World Cinema.
A documentary filmed over 16 months which closely chronicles this center of Japanese food culture as it prepares to be moved to a different location.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2016 Seattle International Film Festival, Culinary Cinema; 2016 Montreal World Film Festival; 2016 San Sebastian International Film Festival, Culinary Cinema.
CHIHAYAFURU Part 1 and 2
A wonderful story about friends brought together by their passion for the traditional Japanese card game of Karuta. Determined to be the best, Chihaya forms a competitive Karuta< club with Taichi to prove that the game is more than just about old customs and to hopefully reunite with their estranged friend Arata.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2016 – Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, World Fantastic Blue, Fantasia International Film Festival.
SADAKO VS. KAYAKO
Two of Japanese horror’s biggest characters square off in this crossover film. In the movie, university student gets hold of a video and plays it, unaware that it is cursed and brings death to whoever watchers it.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2016 MOTELX Lisbon International Horror Film Festival, Room Service; 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Midnight Madness; 2016 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Midnight X-Tream; 2016 San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival, Official Section.
THE MAGNIFICENT NINE
The movie comically depicts the efforts of an inn town in Sendai fief to save themselves from impoverishment by running a moneylending business against the fiefdom.
Film Festivals, Awards: 2016 – Toronto International Film Festival, Opening Film, Japan Cuts, Camera Japan Festival.
You may catch these movies for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Here’s the schedule of showtimes in FDCP CINEMATHEQUE-Iloilo:
2:30 – IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD 世界から猫が消えたなら(Tagalized)
5:30 WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! 家族はつらいよ
2:30 SWEET BEAN (AN) あん
5:30 HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER 湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛
2:30 SWEET BEAN (AN)あん
5:30 TSUKIJI WONDERLAND 築地ワンダーランド
2:30 CHIHAYAFURU Part.1 ちはやふる 上の句
5:30 SADAKO VS. KAYAKO 貞子vs伽椰子(Tagalized)
2:30 CHIHAYAFURU Part.2 ちはやふる 下の句
5:30 THE MAGNIFICENT NINE 殿、利息でござる！
The Japanese Film Festival is presented and run by the Japan Foundation, Manila and is now an established annual event which is held in July in celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month. Launched in 1997, EIGASAI has grown to one of the largest and popular film festivals attracting over 20,000 audiences every year across the Philippines, showcasing a vast variety of cinematic delights from drama, romance, anime to recently released films in Japan.
Japan is always synonymous with quality, so I’m pretty sure that the films in this JFF will not disappoint Ilonggo film critics and moviegoers. Tsukiji Wonderland piqued my interest, so I’ll definitely go watch that one. See you at FDCP CINEMATHEQUE on August 25-29!