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Japanese Film Festival 2021

Australia's annual celebration of Japanese films is celebrating its 25th year by bringing 21 new and classic movies to Melbourne.
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2021
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2021

in partnership with


If you've ever visited Japan, you've likely made your way to the top of one of Tokyo's tall towers — Tokyo Tower, even — and tried to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. You might've even made the trip to the active volcano yourself, and you probably saw its shape splashed across plenty of souvenirs. And you likely spotted variations of Katsushika Hokusai's art work featuring it, too. His Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, which includes The Great Wave off Kanagawa, is one of the things he's best known for.

Actually seeing Mount Fuji for yourself might be off the cards at the moment, but you can learn more about Hokusai and his work at Australia's annual Japanese Film Festival. It's back for its 25th year in 2021, screening at select cinemas across Melbourne from Thursday, November 18–Sunday, December 5, with biopic Hokusai kicking off the festival on opening night.

Also on the 21-movie program: Oscar submission True Mothers, which sees acclaimed filmmaker Naomi Kawase spin a story about adoption; Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, a Berlinale 2021 Silver Bear for director Ryūsuke Hamaguchi; and The Deer King, an animated film that steps into a world plagued by disease — and follows two survivors who might have the cure.

Or, you can check out Under the Open Sky, about an ex-yakuza starting again after 13 years in prison; hostage thriller Masked Ward, which comes to the screen from the pages of a medical mystery novel; and comedy Not Quite Dead Yet, about a singer who wishes for her dad's demise.

A number of movies by avant-garde directors Shūji Terayama also grace the lineup and, from Monday, November 15–Sunday, November 21, JFF is screening a range of titles free online — so you can keep watching even when you're not in a cinema.

Want to transport yourself to Japan? Let the Japanese Film Festival whisk you away from November 18–Sunday, December 5 at select cinemas throughout Melbourne. For more information and to book your tickets, visit the website.  

Images: © 2021 NEOPA / Fictive and Copyright © 2020 HOKUSAI MOVIE.



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