2017 Toronto Japanese Film Festival Line Up

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre will host the 6th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival from June 8 to 22nd 2017. The Festival will showcase some of the best Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japan Film Academy. With over 20 films including International, North American and Canadian premieres, there will be many popular genres covered including historical (samurai), contemporary dramas, comedies and action, literary adaptations, children’s art-house and anime. Screenings will be accompanied by musical performances, sake tastings, martial arts demonstrations, art exhibition and lots of sushi (check site for details!)

All film screening will take place at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre at 6 Garamond Court in Toronto. Tickets can be purchased at the JCCC reception desk or by calling 416-441-2345 or online at www.ticketweb.ca

Here’s are just a few films that  will be screened…

FUELED — THE MAN CALLED PIRATE (2016) Directed by Takashi Yamasaki. Canadian Premiere. Opening Film. (Director in attendance). This is an epic tale of Japan’s post-war rebuilding from director Takashi Yamazaki, creator of some of Japan’s most popular films such as The Eternal Zero, Always: Sunset on Third Street and Parasyte. With a workforce decimated by the war, and foreign governments sealing oil transportation routes, maverick oil company president Tetsuzo Kunioka risks international incident by commandeering a large scale oil tanker and secretly sending it to Iran, earning himself the moniker “pirate.” A thrilling true story and study of the Japanese spirit of resiliency featuring an all-star cast including Junichi Okada, Haruka Ayase, Shota Sometani, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Kaoru Kobayashi.

SATOSHI — A MOVE FOR TOMORROW (2016) Directed by Yoshitaka Mori. Canadian Premiere. (Director in attendance). The true story of Satoshi Murayama, the shogi (Japanese chess) master who died of an intractable disease at age 29. Satoshi devoted his life to fighting not only the disease but also his rivals, feverishly pursuing the highest title, at risk to his life. Kenichi Matsuyama intense central performance was nominated for a Japanese Academy Award.

THE HONNOJI HOTEL — (2017) Directed by Masayuki Suzuki. North American Premiere. This film mixes history, comedy and samurai actionA young woman mysteriously time-slips from her Kyoto hotel to the 16th century court of Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan’s most important historical figures, on the night before his final battle and overthrow. Should she help and change history? With charismatic performances from some of Japan’s favourite stars including Haruka Ayase (Our Little Sister) and Shinichi Tsutsumi (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?)

ZA ONDEKOZA — (1979) Directed by Tai Kato. North American Premiere. hirty-five years after its heralded premiere and subsequent disappearance from public view, Tai Kato’s documentary masterpiece Za Ondekoza returned at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. The film tells the story of the co-founding members of Ondekoza, a group of young musician, living communally in Sado Island who created the Japanese traditional taiko drumming style that has since become internationally famous. Members went on to become the legendary Kodo Drummers of Japan. Film will be introduced by Sad-trained drummer Kiyoshi Nagata and followed by a performance by Canada’s premiere taiko ensemble, Nagata Shachu.

HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER (2016) Directed by Tai Kato. North American Premiere. Already has won the Japanese Academy Awards for Female Lead and Supporting Performances and the Kochi Film Awards for Best Film. A young mother discovers she is terminally ill and decides to make sure everyone she loves will be okay.  She must find her husband, who disappeared a year ago, so they can reopen the family bathhouse. She must also make sure her bullied daughter Azumi will stand up for herself.  Many tissues are recommended.

TRACES OF SIN (2016) Directed by Kei Ishikawa. North American Premiere. Kei Ishikawa’s intense psychological thriller TRACES OF SIN, is an adaptation of Tokuro Nukui’s Naoki Award-winning novel “Gukoroku.” Investigator Tanaka must support his institutionalized younger sister Mitsuko while immersing himself in a story about a shocking murder case gone cold. The “perfect” family – successful businessman, beautiful wife and adorable child – were brutally murdered a year ago and the case remains unsolved. His investigation reveals a disturbing portrait of cruelty and social elitism. With Satoshi Tsumabuki and Hikari Mitsushima.

SURVIVAL FAMILY (2016) Directed by Shinobu Yaguchi. Canadian Premiere. A hilarious tale of average salaryman Suzuki and his family’s cross country journey through a Japan ground to a halt by a complete and extended blackout. They must also face an array of challenges including furious rainstorms, rabid dogs and runaway poultry! This feel-good family-friendly, disaster comedy is the latest from the director of Wood Job!, Swing Girls and Water Boys.

SAMURAI HUSTLE RETURNS (2016) Directed by Katsuhide Motoki. Canadian Premiere. The  gang is back for another wild mix of action, heroism and laughter in the Canadian Premiere of SAMURAI HUSTLE RETURNSPenniless country bumpkins Lord Naito and his samurai have just managed to complete their ritual visit to the capital when they learn villages and families are under attack from arch-nemesis, Lord Nobutoki They must hike up their kimonos and sprint across Japan in two days to take up the fight. Screening proceeded by a demonstration by ninja stuntwoman Chihiro Suzuki and a screening of her action short TRIGGER. 

Other films include Mitsuhito Shiraha’s WHAT’S FOR DINNER MOM?, Sang-il Lee’s RAGE, Junji Sakamoto’s DANCHI, Yasuhiro Yoshida’s BIRTHDAY WISHES, Keisuke Yoshida’s HIMEANOLE, Norihiro Koizumi’s CHIHAYAFURU PARTS I and II, Nobuhiro Yamashita’s OVER THE FENCE, Yoji Yamada’s WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY, Joji Matsuoka’s MIDNIGHT DINER PARTS I and II and a special August screening of Kenji Kamiyama’s ANCIEN AND THE MAGIC TABLET.

For more details visit www.jccc.on.ca



Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of AZNmodern.com. She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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