The 5th Japanese Film Festival will launch in Dublin’s Light House Cinema on 11 April, bringing the best of new Japanese cinema to audiences. Highlights from the programme will then tour to screen in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. The Festival will this year feature 15 films, almost all of which are Irish premieres. The most acclaimed filmmakers from contemporary Japanese cinema are included in the packed programme, with a variety of themes, genres and topics to appeal to all audiences. “We’re aware of the appetite around the country for world cinema through our day-to-day work with film clubs,” commented Maeve Cooke, Director of access>CINEMA. “Given the nature of the highly acclaimed films that are being consistently produced in Japan, it’s great that we have the opportunity to organise a festival which can bring this quality international cinema to audiences who have always been massively supportive of the Japanese Film Festival. If you’re not familiar with Japanese cinema, we encourage you to experience some of the richly diverse films from this extraordinary country.” This year the ever-popular anime strand of the Japanese Film Festival has been expanded to meet the clear demand from audiences. Highlights include From Up On Poppy Hill, the latest from the son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. The film’s gorgeous, photo-realistic approach to architecture and nature is instantly recognisable as the work of Studio Ghibli. Wolf Children, the hugely anticipated, beautifully animated adventure from JFF favourite Mamoru Hosoda and 009 Re: Cyborg, the big screen adaptation of the much-loved, long running Japanese TV series, are presented in partnership with our friends at Scotland Loves Animation. The Festival includes some thought-provoking and challenging titles, aiming to foster a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and society amongst Irish citizens and to strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries. My Back Page tells the dramatic and compelling story of a young reporter caught up in the student protests in Tokyo University in the 60s. Just Pretended To Hear is the sensitive, moving story of an unlikely bond that forms between two young girls, one recently bereaved and the other a special needs student. The Festival also caters for viewers in search of pure escapism and entertainment. Box office sensation Thermae Romae is a mad-cap time-travel comedy with a twist, whilst Ace Attorney is the latest from the dazzlingly inventive director Takashi Miike. This comic mystery caper, an adaptation of the best-selling Nintendo DS game, finds hilarity in the most unlikely of places – the courtroom. The Dublin Film Critics Circle will deliberate on the films screening, and give awards for Best Anime and Best Film.
Tickets are available now at www.accesscinema.ie The Embassy of Japan, access>CINEMA and the Ireland Japan Association are the co-organisers of the festival, with the support of The Japan foundation.