2014 Eiga Sai: Focusing on the importance of family

Michan Lorenzo

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2014 Eiga Sai: Focusing on the importance of family
The Japan Foundation Manila holds the annual Japanese Film Festival at Shangri-La Plaza
JAPANESE MOVIES. This year's theme for the Film Festival is all about 'Family.' Photo from The Japan Foundation Manila Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines –  How often do you get the chance to watch a Japanese movie on the big screen? Japanese films are rarely shown in movie houses here in the Philippines. You won’t see a Japanese film show up in the roster every month. Films like Rurouni Kenshin, are able to break into the box office because of their obvious commercial value.

Lucky for us The Japan Foundation, Manila is continuing their tradition of bringing Japanese films to the silver screen in hopes of deepening the friendship and understanding between the Japanese and Filipinos. Eiga Sai, the Japan Foundation’s annual Japanese Film Festival, has come once again to bring us 16 contemporary films that revolve around the theme of “family,” something that the Japanese and the Filipinos value highly.

This year’s theme reaches beyond blood ties, showing that it takes more to form that special bond. Some of the films also touch upon the subject of life after surviving a great calamity.

Eiga Sai will start on July 3, 2014 and will continue until July 13, 2014 in Shang Cineplex Cinema 2, Shangri-La Plaza, EDSA, Mandaluyong City. It will then be held in Abreeza Mall Cinema 2, Ayala, Davao City on July 25-27, 2014. Afterwards, it will be held in FDCP Cinematheque, Davao City on July 29, 2014 up until August 3, 2014. The tour will end in Ayala Center Cebu Cinema 4, Cebu City on August 6-10, 2014.

Here are just some of the films you can check out:

Homeland (Ieji)

Set in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Homeland tells the story of a young man who returns to his tiny farming village to resume his normal life despite his family’s evacuation and the area being contaminated. The film deals with how life will never be the same again after experiencing a tragic catastrophe.

Jiro Sawada, the main character, was played by Kenichi Matsuyama who is known for his portrayals of L from the Death Note movies as well as Negishi AKA Johannes Krauser II from Detroit Metal City. The film was directed by Nao Kubota.

Wolf Children (Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)

Wolf Children is an animated film that follows the life of Hana, a normal human mother, and her two werewolf children. Despite that description, this is actually a story about the joy of raising children and the challenges that come with it.

The film was directed by Mamoru Hosada (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) and the character designs were done by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion).

Reunion (Itai: Asu e no Tokakan)

Reunion is set during the events that followed the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. This is the story of Aiba, a volunteer at a senior citizen’s center that is currently being utilized as a morgue for the victims of the recent disaster. He sets it upon himself to ensure that the bodies of the dead are handled in a caring and respectful manner after seeing how poor the local rescue workers were treating them.

Veteran actor Toshiyuki Nishida plays the lead character Aiba. The film was directed by Ryoichi Kimizuka.

Until The Break Of Dawn (Tsunagu)

Tsunagu is the story of Ayumi, a high school student who also works as an apprentice spirit medium under the guidance of his grandmother, Aiko. The film follows Ayumi as he help people move on with their lives by letting them “connect” with their dearly departed.

Ayumi is played By Tori Matsuzaka of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger fame. The film was directed by Yuichiro Hirakawa.

For detailed screening schedules, please click here.  – Rappler.com

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