Free Japanese film festival includes anime

Free Japanese film festival includes anime
By Walter Ang
July 3, 2013

Scene from "Rinco's Restaurant"
This year's Eiga Sai (Japanese Film Festival) kicks off on July 4 and lasts a whole month. It begins in Metro Manila, will tour Davao and Cebu, then concludes in Quezon City.

All films are free admission on a first come, first served basis and will be shown with English subtitles. Screening venues are at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2, Mandaluyong City (July 4 to 14); Abreeza Mall and FDCP Cinematheque, Davao City (July 19 to 28); Ayala Center Cinema 4, Cebu City (August 7 to 11); and UP Film Institute, Quezon City (August 19 to 25).

Now on its 15th year, Eiga Sai (literally "film fest") is organized by the Japan Foundation-Manila Office. The film fest is part of the celebration of Philippines-Japan Friendship Month in July. It also celebrates the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, with the theme "ASEAN-Japan Partnership: Thoughts Connected-Future Connected."

In addition to a sundry selection from modern mysteries to ninja escapades?covering comedy, suspense, action and drama?this year's festival features three anime films instead of just the usual one.

"Japan, Our homeland" is set in the late 1950s, as Japan recovers from the ravages of World War II. Three boys decide to join a singing competition, inspired by their new female music teacher and a new girl classmate. Find out what happens when they're forced to withdraw from the competition.

"Mai Mai Miracle" is an adaptation of the autobiographical novel of the same title by Takagi Nobuko. In Hofu City, third grader Shinko befriends a new girl in town, Kiiko, who has moved from Tokyo.

In "Brave Story," with prodding from his new classmate Mitsuru, Wataru enters the world of Vision and becomes a "traveler," humans on a quest to find five gemstones so they may have their wish granted by the Goddess in the Tower of Destiny. Will he use his wish to save his sick mother or establish peace in Vision?

The movie is adapted from a novel and the story has been adapted into three video games for Sony's Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2.

A dog, food, neighbors
Dogs and food are usually crowd pleasing subject matter for movies, and this year's filmfest hast both.

In, "Wanko-The Story of Me, My Family and My Dog," Shin loses his pet dog Rock during a volcano eruption. When he finds Rock again, he has to figure out the circumstances that still keep them apart.

"Rinco's Restaurant" details how Rinco, in an attempt to heal her heartbreak, converts a guest house into a restaurant where she serves only one pair of guests a day with carefully cooked
meals. Soon word spreads that "dining there will bring you happiness."

This year's Eiga Sai will also feature the complete trilogy of "Always Sunset on Third Street." The trilogy showcases the interweaving stories of neighbors set in 1958 during the construction of Tokyo Tower, then four months later as the Tokyo Olympics are ongoing, and finally in 1964 when the bullet train had just been inaugurated.

The comedy-drama series has been lauded for its production design and visual effects recreations of the time periods it is set in.

From wistful nostalgia to hopeful reality, Eiga Sai will also feature two documentaries that follow the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan and how communities have been providing inspiration and overcoming the challenges of rebuilding.

Complete line-up of films and screening schedule at Contact 8116155 to 58.