MANILA – The best of Japanese cinema is coming back to the Philippines. The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) makes its long-awaited return, rolling into theaters in Manila, Baguio, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao starting in February 2024.
Presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila, JFF was launched in 1997 and has grown to become one of the most anticipated film festivals in the country. Every year it attracts over 25,000 audiences, treating them to a variety of cinematic delights from drama, anime, romance, mystery, and everything in between.
“For this year’s selection, we decided on the theme, ‘Nostalgia,’” says festival director Yojiro Tanaka. “We chose films that will make our audience feel nostalgic and remember their own fond memories and feelings.
The festival will showcase a range of Japanese films from various genres that will cater to different tastes. This year’s JFF lineup has something for everyone and guarantees the satisfaction of cinephiles, drama devotees, and comedy connoisseurs alike.
This year’s opening film comes from the hit anime franchise, Slam Dunk, a 1990s favorite among Filipino fans of both anime and basketball. The First Slam Dunk (2022) is an animated sports film written and directed by Takehiko Inoue. On top of the amazing animation and heart-pounding basketball action, the film also resonates with heartfelt emotions.
The JFF lineup also includes the classic masterpiece, Tokyo Story (1953), by Japanese auteur, Yasujiro Ozu, as well as recently released movies such as And Yet, You Are So Sweet (2023) and Angry Son (2022).
Audiences can also look forward to nostalgic titles with movie versions of Voltes V (1999 and 2023) and Detective Conan (1997 and 2006) making their way into the lineup.
Tanaka san also added, “We hope that the wide range of films will entertain long-time festival goers and those who are already fans of Japanese films. We also welcome newcomers to enjoy Japanese films and the Japanese Film Festival.”
Admission is free for all screenings. Guests can simply visit their preferred participating theaters and queue before each screening of their chosen movie. Seats will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.
JFF kicks off in Manila at the Shangri-La Red Carpet Cinema from February 1 to 11 and continues into the regions of SM Cinemas in Cebu, Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao. JFF screens in SM Seaside City Cebu from February 16 to 25, and in SM City Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao from February 23 to March 3. The festival will also have a special run at the UPFI Film Center at the University of the Philippines Diliman from February 22 to March 2.
JFF is also supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, JT International (Philippines) Inc., and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.
For more information on the festival’s full film lineup, comprehensive movie synopses, and complete screening schedules, please visit www.JapaneseFilmFestPH.jfmo.org.ph or follow the Japan Foundation, Manila and JFF on social media.
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