The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) returns to Sydney this July with JFF Encore, an encore screening program of the best titles from past JFFs, and the newest addition to the JFF calendar.
JFF Encore – Japan Academy Awards Edition is JFF Encore’s debut program, showcasing eight Japan Academy Award–winning titles from past JFFs. It takes place in Sydney on 9 – 13 July 2014, a prelude to the nationally held 18th JFF during October—December.
Demonstrating the finest in Japanese cinema, all titles featured in the JFF Encore – Japan Academy Awards Edition have received the highest honours from the Japan Academy Awards, along with a host of prestigious international awards.
JFF Encore gives film fans a second chance to catch some contemporary Japanese cinema classics back on the big screen.
Says Festival Director, Masafumi Konomi:
“Every year, the Japan Academy Awards are only announced after the JFF ends, so many great titles fly under the radar and many people miss out on some of the best films in the program. That’s why this year, in addition to our main festival, we’re holding special encore screenings of Japan Academy Award–winning films. These are all great films and our fans deserve another chance to see them.”
The program for JFF Encore – Japan Academy Awards Edition will showcase eight titles:
Yojiro Takita’s Oscar Award-winning Departures (2008), the closing film for the 12th JFF prior to its win for Best Foreign Film, charts a man’s discovery of life through an understanding of death in his profession in caring for the deceased. Also featured in the line-up is another of Takita’s work – When the Last Sword is Drawn (2003), a samurai epic full of drama, suspense and swordplay that opened the 8th JFF.
For darker titles, Tetsuya Nakashima’s disturbing classroom drama, Confessions (2010) tells of an ice-cold teacher obsessed with seeking revenge for the murder of her four-year-old daughter. Izuru Narushima’s Rebirth (2011) explores the sensitive issue of a woman on trial for abducting and raising a six-month-old baby.
At the JFF Encore, take the opportunity to see the film which launched the Always phenomenon. Takashi Yamazaki’s Always – Sunset on Third Street (2005) swept up more than half of the awards at the 29th Japan Academy Awards. Based on Japan’s best-loved comic book series, it is a nostalgic journey back to Tokyo circa 1958. In Tokyo Tower – Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2007), Joji Matsuoka adapts onto the big screen Lily Franky’s (Like Father, Like Son; The Devil’s Path) best- selling autobiography about his profound love for his mother.
Kenji Uchida’s comedy, Key of Life (2012), tells the story of a failed actor who unwittingly assumes the identity of a hitman. Finally, the multi-layered The Kirishima Thing (2012), directed by Daihachi Yoshida, navigates the delicate ecosystem of a high school, showing the butterfly effect of one student’s mysterious disappearance on the school’s precarious social fabric.
JFF Encore – Japan Academy Awards Edition takes place in Sydney on 9 – 13 July 2014