This year, Australia's Japanese Film Festival is not only massive in terms of number of screening locations (which include Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Broome, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Townsville and Wellington), but also the quantity and quality of the films being showcased.
The festival will open with the Australian Premiere of Lady Maiko, a musical comedy by Suo Masayuki (Sumo Do, Sumo Don't, Shall We Dance?), which is loosely based on the Audrey Hepburn classic My Fair Lady.
The Closing Film in Sydney and Melbourne will be The Vancouver Asahi from director Ishii Yuya (The Great Passage), based on the true story of a Japanese-Canadian baseball team in Vancouver. In all other cities, the Closing Film will be A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story, based on the real-life story of the Funaki household, a renowned family of samurai chefs.
Other highlights in the program include the previously announced Rurouni Kenshin trilogy that is a guaranteed sell-out, double features from Sono Sion (Love Exposure) - yakuza comedy Why Don't You Play In Hell? and yakuza musical Tokyo Tribe, as well as the latest from directors Yaguchi Shinobu (Waterboys, Swing Girls) - Wood Job! and Nakamura Yoshihiro (Fish Story, Golden Slumber) - The Snow White Murder Case.
Anime fans will be pleased with the chance to see Short Peace, Patema Inverted, Buddha 2 and the live-action Lupin The Third and Kiki's Delivery Service films; while drama lovers will enjoy Tokyo Refugees, The Light Shines Only There, My Man and Ask This Of Rikyu.
There is also the opportunity to see a number of Japanese classics by acclaimed directors including Naruse Mikio, Ichikawa Kon, Mizoguchi Kenji and Teshigahara Hiroshi, all from the Japan Foundation's own 35mm collection. And the best thing is that entry to the screening of the JFF Classics is FREE!
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