Japanese Film Festival 2022 – celebrating Japan’s cultural contributions to the world

Japanese Film Festival 2022 – celebrating Japan’s cultural contributions to the world

This year’s 18th edition of the film festival coincides with the 40th anniversary of Malaysia’s Look East Policy

THE Japanese Film Festival returns for the second time this year – last year’s edition was delayed to earlier this year – from September 8 to October 9 at participating GSC cinemas, with screenings in the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Twelve titles were specifically selected to be showcased during the festival, a cinematic celebration of Japanese culture via a variety of genres and mediums including drama, documentary, romance, and animation.

Critically, this year’s event is held in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the ‘Look East Policy’ established in 1982 that sought to and has strengthened relations between Malaysia and Japan. Even outside of that, Japanese culture, through anime in particular, has had an indelible impact on generations of Malaysians.

(From L) Mitsubishi Corporation general manager Shiraishi Masashi, Golden Screen Cinemas CEO Koh Mei Lee, Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia Takahashi Katsuhiko, Motac secretary general Datuk Hajah Saraya binti Arbi, Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur director Shimada Seiya, Kinokinuya Book Stores (Malaysia) deputy group managing director Satomi Koichiro. The opening ceremony took place on the night of September 6 in Mid Valley Megamall. – Pic courtesy of the Japanese Film Festival 2022

GSC CEO Koh Mei Lee shared that GSC International Screens is turning 23 years old this year, an example of promoting cultural awareness via the international movies brought in by various foreign embassies in Malaysia.

“By watching films you can get a lot of information and insight about people, culture, places and can even learn a new language. By watching the Japanese films during this festival, I hope you will be motivated to know more about the Japanese values, culture and way of life, and be enticed to visit Japan,” said the Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Takahashi Katsuhiko.

“The 40th anniversary of the Look East Policy is a good opportunity to shed light on the past achievements and reflect on the bilateral relations for the future,” he added.

“Films have a very strong impact and potential to reach a big audience, which makes film an important and unique art form. Therefore, films have become a powerful tool for storytelling and a creative platform to express emotions, culture, history and futuristic ideas across people of diverse origins and social backgrounds,” said Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture (Motac) secretary-general Datuk Hajah Saraya Arbi.

She hopes the Japanese Film Festival will be a way for Malaysians to better understand Japanese customs, culture and social development.

The speeches were followed by a screening of Anime Ascendency!, a comedy-drama on the behind the scenes of the cutthroat anime industry, that touched on issues like art vs commerce, gender politics, and office culture.

It makes sense that this film was chosen for the opening night. Anime is a phenomenon that has found an audience over the years, all over the world, as outsized characters and emotions play out in stories that inspire. Or they just have really cool robots and epic fights.

Seeing how anime is created in a familiar yet thoroughly Japanese way, that was frequently funny and dramatic, as a newbie director tries to make her mark by creating an emotionally heartfelt work while competing against the director who inspired her. It relies on a few cliches here and there, but there is a real humanity in the performances in addition to the sometimes stylish filmmaking.

The highlight of the festival is the Malaysian release of Just Remembering directed by Matsui Daigo, which tells a story of a couple recalling their sweet memories together.

Anime fans who want to actually watch anime, and not how it’s made, will get to enjoy two titles, coming-of-age story Blue Thermal by Tachibana Masaki and period drama Inu-oh by Yuasa Masaaki.

Family-themed titles include And So The Baton Is Passed by Maeda Tetsu based on the novel that won the 16th Japan Booksellers’ Award in 2019, a documentary I Go Gaga: Welcome Home Mom by Nobutomo Naoko, and Intolerance by Yoshida Keisuke that focuses on intricate portrayals of the behaviour and psychology of people caught in extreme situations.

For those avid cinemagoers, rewards are there for the taking. By collecting stamps to be filled out in each program booklet for the Japanese Film Festival, they can redeem exclusive goodies and stand a chance to win Books Kinokuniya Malaysia vouchers.

Another positive announcement is that all tickets for Japanese Film Festival 2022 will be sold at an affordable price of RM 9.50 (except Just Remembering) via GSC. All films presented will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

A complete listing of film synopses, showtimes, and general information is available at jfkl.org.my/japanese-film-festival-2022/ and gsc.com.my.

source – The Vibes


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