It’s back! The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is returning for 2015 (30 January-26 March) with a brilliant line-up of Japanese films. Whether it’s anime, drama, comedy or romance, there’ll undoubtedly be at least one film you want to see. There’s plenty of places to catch the films: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cumbria, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham and Sheffield (shame Manchester isn’t on that list, mind)! If you’re really ambitious, you can catch every single film in any one of these cities.
This year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will provide an exciting programme of films under the narrative framework of ‘encounters’. Showcasing a vast variety of styles and tones, from popular contemporary films, classics through to animation, the programme will include titles in which characters experience seemingly unusual meetings, plunge into unexpected circumstances and new environments, as well as collide with different generations, ideals and ideas – asking the question, does it really only happen in the movies?
You can buy your tickets from the website here, or try your luck by entering a competition to win tickets to a film and venue of your choice here. To whet your film appetite, here are the films below:
Jobless high school graduate Yuki leaves the city behind to become a lumberjack, swayed only by the attractive girl on the training programme’s brochure and knowing little of what lies ahead. A laugh-out-loud comedy by Waterboys director Shinobu Yaguchi. Find out more
11-year-old Momo moves from the city to a small island, and finds herself unable to make friends and still clinging to the memory of her late father who left her an unfinished letter. Then one day, she is visited by three bizarre creatures… Find out more
An animation omnibus comprised of four parts, representing a crossover between anime and traditional artistic traditions, and featuring some of the most masterful animation filmmakers including Akira’s Katsuhiro Otomo and Oscar-nominated Shuhei Morita. Find out more
Out-of-luck Haruo is transported back 40 years into the past by a bolt from the blue. Coming across a young magician and assistant who turn out to be his father and mother, Haruo begins to learn the secrets of his birth in this heart-warming time-travelling drama. Find out more
When her estranged mother passes away, anime-obsessed aspiring voice actress Mugiko begrudgingly travels to her mother’s hometown, and discovers her parent’s surprise local celebrity status in this light-hearted drama. Find out more
Korean exchange student Ji-ho plays matchmaker for her two lukewarm Japanese friends, teaching them the Korean formula for a successful romance. Starring popular K-pop group T-ARA member Hyomin. Find out more
Japan’s entry for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film, 2015, is a powerful depiction of love between an emotionally wounded man and woman. Despite their troubles, a light begins to shine in their lives – are they free from their despair? Find out more
A Korean emigrant to 1920s Japan, Kim Shun-Pei arrives in Osaka to work his way up to head a small criminal empire in director Yoichi Sai’s enthralling and violent exploration of Japan’s social history, starring legendary Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano. Find out more
Married couple Naosuke and Tamiko decide to build a new house from scratch, recruiting a young interior designer to plan, and Tamiko’s carpenter father to build, only to find themselves playing piggy in the middle. Find out more
Diner chef Takuro is kind-hearted but has never been popular with the opposite sex. After discovering a magical suit which transforms him into a good-looking male model, Takuro must decide whether or not to keep the suit on forever. Find out more
The Funamura family becomes the target of mass media attention after their juvenile son commits murder. Detective Katsuura’s job is to protect the offender’s younger sister from the paparazzi in a fast paced information-orientated society. Find out more
An experimental and kaleidoscopic film by iconoclastic director Seijun Suzuki about Tsuyuko (aka Carmen), a young woman who escapes her miserable life at home to travel to Osaka and becomes a hugely popular nightclub singer with men falling at her feet. Find out more
Classic director Mikio Naruse’s final film presented in beautiful colour Tohoscope, tells the tale of impossible love between a widow and the driver who accidently killed her husband. Find out more