Japanese Film Festival returns to cinemas after 2 years of hybrid festivals

A total of 24 Japanese films will be shown this year at three cinemas.

Sherlyn Sim

Considers knowing how to use a rice cooker an achievement.

Published: 5 October 2022, 6:35 PM

The Japanese Film Festival 2022 will take place from Oct 6 to Nov 5, showing 24 films ranging from anime to the horror genre. 

After two years of mainly online screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is returning to full physical screenings across three cinemas.

The festival first started in 1983, and aims to showcase the best of Japanese contemporary and classic cinema. This year, it is co-organised by the Japan Foundation, Japan Creative Centre and Singapore Film Society.

The films will be screened at Shaw Theatres Lido, Oldham Theatre and Projector X: Picturehouse, with most films being exclusive to one cinema.

Here are some films to look out for:

Anime Supremacy! (ハケンアニメ!)

The opening film of the festival, Anime Supremacy!, will be screened at 7.30pm in Shaw Theatres Lido on Oct 6. 

The film follows the story of Hitomi, who gives up her job as a public servant to pursue her dream of working in the anime industry. As she works on a new anime series, another series directed by her role model is revealed, and she now has to compete with her role model.


The director of Anime Supremacy! previously worked on titles such as Gone Wednesday and Your Name. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


The film is part of the Panorama section of the festival and will include a virtual Q&A session with the director. 

A Hen in the Wind (風の中の牝鶏) – 4K Restoration

A Hen in the Wind was originally completed in 1947, shortly after World War II. The film is part of the Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka section and is a commentary on the reality of living during Japan’s reconstruction period.


A Hen in the Wind was director Ozu Yasujiro’s second post-WWII film. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


It tells the story of Tokiko, a young woman struggling to make ends meet while waiting for her husband to return from the war. 

She ends up doing sex work for one night to pay for her child’s medical treatment, but her relationship with her husband is threatened when he discovers what she did. 

It will be shown at 8pm on Oct 7 at the Oldham Theatre. 

Dozens of Norths (幾多の北)

Dozens of Norths is an animated film about the fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. 

It is part of the Contemporary Animation section and will be screened at 4.30pm in Shaw Theatres Lido on Oct 8. 

The film centres around the experiences of the people in Fukushima, and what they went through. It begins to question the narrator’s objectivity as well as the participation of the viewer as time goes on.


Dozens of Norths draws inspiration from Salvador Dali’s surrealist paintings. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


The screening will close with two short films, Bird In The Peninsula and Anxious Body.

Tsukamoto Horror Showcase

The Tsukamoto Horror Showcase consists of two films, Haze and The Adventure of Denchu-kozo. It will take place on Oct 14 at 7pm in Shaw Theatres Lido and is the only item under the Tsukamoto Horror Showcase section.

Haze is a film about a man who wakes up in a small cramped room with a severe stomach wound. He attempts to escape by crawling around the room, eventually meeting a woman, and they try to piece together why they are there.


The version of the film shown will be the longer 49-minute version. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


The Adventure of Denchu-kozo is about a boy, Hikari, who is bullied because he has an electrical pole growing out of his back. He is saved by a girl, Momoko, and to thank her, he shares his secret time machine with her.


This film was made before Tsukamoto’s breakthrough hit, Tetsuo: The Iron Man. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


He activates the time machine, gets transported into the future, and runs into cyborg vampires in the process of hunting a woman who is revealed to be Momoko’s future self. He decides to help her, and eventually ends up battling the vampires for the future of humanity.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell is a classic animated movie with several adaptations and spin-offs. 

Set in 2029, technology has advanced so much that cyborgs are an everyday sight. 

The film follows Motoko Kasunagi, an officer trailing a cyber criminal known as the Puppet Master, who hacks into cyborgs to obtain information and commit crimes.


The 1995 film was said to be the inspiration for numerous films including The Matrix and James Cameron’s Avatar. PHOTO CREDIT: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL SINGAPORE


It will be screened at Projector X: Picturehouse on Oct 16 at 5.40pm, Oct 22 at 4pm and Oct 30 at 5pm. It is part of the Art of Anime section of the festival.

The full list of films can be found on the Japanese Film Festival Singapore website

Tickets for films showing at Shaw Theatres Lido and Projector X: Picturehouse can be bought via their respective websites. For films showing at Oldham Theatre, tickets can be bought through the Asian Film Archive website.

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