The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, the largest programme focusing on Japanese cinema in the UK, returns in 2016 offering an enlightening and expansive introduction to Japanese cinema, exploring issues surrounding the ways people live, and the views towards life and death in Japan.

Japanese titles are put together under a carefully chosen theme to highlight trends in Japanese cinema and the programme features films from a broad range of genres, including classics by Japanese legendary filmmakers, documentary, contemporary films and the latest anime blockbusters!

‘I’ll Give it My All…Tomorrow’

The programme also showcases directors and works which, while being worthwhile, may have slipped under the radar of other film festivals or programmes. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme launches in February (5th – 11th: ICA, London; 5th February – 26th March: Nationwide) touring 13 cities including;

  • Aberystwyth,
  • Birmingham,
  • Bristol,
  • Derby,
  • Dundee,
  • Edinburgh,
  • Exeter,
  • Kendal,
  • Leicester,
  • London,
  • Manchester,
  • Nottingham,
  • & Sheffield!

There’s a fantastic line up of content including: ‘A Farewell to Jinu‘, ‘The Letter‘ & ‘Miss Hokusai‘ to name a few! One title that has caught my eye and interest is: ‘The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky‘:

Faced with the growing pressure of bearing a child for her immature husband, lonely housewife Satomi (Tomoko Tabata) regularly retreats to the cosplay fantasy world of her favourite animated character ‘Anzu’. After a random encounter at an anime convention with high-school student and fellow cosplayer Takumi (Kento Nagayama), Satomi begins a full illicit affair with the young man, regularly meeting and making love at her marital home. Meanwhile, Takumi’s best friend Ryota struggles living with his senile grandmother in a rundown housing development after his mother abandoned the two of them for a new boyfriend.

Yuki Tanada, considered one of Japan’s most talented filmmakers, returns from a four year break with this emotionally-engaging and bold expression of the inner lives, hardships and cooped-up feelings of individuals in modern day Japan.

Yuki will also be a special guest at this years event and will be appearing at the following screenings:

ICA, London (6 and 9 February),
Watershed, Bristol (8 February),
Phoenix, Leicester (11 February)
QUAD, Derby (12 February)

I’m a huge fan of ‘World Cinema’ and the whole event sounds like a perfect opportunity to not only meet like minded film fans but also a rare chance to meet a modern filmmaker! Please visit The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme website for further details.

Which feature has taken your interest? Share your thoughts in the comments below.