The Japanese Film Festival Online Is Returning for 2024 with a Packed Lineup of Free Movies and TV Shows

Spend a month this winter getting your Japanese fix on-screen at home, with 23 films and two TV dramas on the program.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 13, 2024

A film festival that brings the best and brightest new Japanese movies to Australian cinemas each year is a film festival to cherish. Also ace: a film fest that features a solely digital lineup of flicks and TV shows from Japan that you can check out from your couch. So, while it isn't time for the IRL Japanese Film Festival for 2024 yet — it last hit locations around the country across September–November 2023 — the Japanese Film Festival Online will keep you entertained come winter.

Both fests serve up a handy way to view the latest and greatest Japanese fare without hopping on a plane, but only the online version lets you do so from home. Running from Wednesday, June 5–Wednesday, July 3, 2024's version will feature 23 films and two TV dramas, the latter serving up 20 episodes. And, you'll be able to check out for four Japanese horror shorts, too, all of which initially debuted in 2023 at the first-ever Horror Film Competition in Japan.

The other big drawcard: Japanese Film Festival Online screens its program for free. Accordingly, this lineup won't test your budget, whether you're keen on I Am What I Am, which stars Drive My Car's Toko Miura; Anime Supremacy!, about a new director and a hotshot facing off while making their own competing anime; Single8, a Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)-influenced picture about Star Wars-loving teens making their own movie; or classic anime Kimba the White Lion from 1966.

Film lovers will be catching the movies on the program between Wednesday, June 5–Wednesday, June 19. Fellow feature options include Father of the Milky Way Railroad, a biopic about poet and novelist Kenji Miyazawa; magazine drama Kiba: The Fangs of Fiction; Baby Assassins, where teen assassins are forced to give up the murderous life; and The Handsome Suit, about a magical outfit.

TV fans will be tuning in from Wednesday, June 19–Wednesday, July 3, with 2017's Rikuoh starring Kôji Yakusho (Perfect Days), and stepping inside a traditional Japanese sock company — and 2015's Downtown Rocket based on Shitamachi Rocket novels about an ex-aerospace researcher who leads a factor that he inherited.

While you won't pay a thing to watch, you do still need to register via the fest's website. Won't be in Australia at the time? The fest is available in 27 countries.

"JFF Online 2024 is not just a film festival; it's a cultural bridge connecting fans of Japanese cinema across the globe," said The Japan Foundation in Sydney's Manisay Oudomvilay.

"From the comforts of your home, you can traverse a wide array of genres — from heartfelt dramas and engaging documentaries to captivating anime stories. This festival celebrates the breadth and diversity of Japanese storytelling."

"Our lineup includes films that challenge the norms, explore deep human connections, and celebrate the artistry of both seasoned and emerging Japanese filmmakers. We invite cinema lovers and Japanophiles alike from around the world to join us in this unique virtual celebration of Japanese cinematic artistry," continued Manisay.

The 2024 Japanese Film Festival Online runs from Wednesday, June 5–Wednesday, July 3. For more information and to register to watch, visit the festival website.

Top images: Single8 Film Partners / Jun Ikeido, TBS / Kenji Yamamoto / Anime Supremacy! The Movie Production Committee.

Published on May 13, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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