2023 Japanese Film Festival: A Journey Through Time and Storytelling in Melbourne and Beyond

Melbourne, Play / 19 September 2023

A Cinematic Tour Through Japan

This year’s 27th Japanese Film Festival is all about connecting past and present through compelling stories. Kicked off by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, the festival will travel to five Aussie cities, wrapping up with a grand finale in Sydney.

What’s on in Melbourne

Mark your calendars, Melburnians! The festival will screen films at The Kino and Palace Balwyn from 23 October to 5 November. The opening reception will be on 23 October at The Kino, and a special series at ACMI will run from 2-5 November. Don’t miss out!

Unveiling the Themes

This year dives into how the past shapes the present. One moment you’re watching a fishmonger get a sudden promotion to nobility, and the next, you’re following scientists untangle ancient shamanic secrets.

Opening Film: An Unexpected Legacy

The festival opens with “We’re Broke, My Lord!” Directed by Tetsu Maeda, this film promises wit and character depth, setting the tone for what’s to come.

2023 Japanese Film Festival

A Nostalgic Glance Back

For a dose of tradition, “Yudo: The Way of the Bath” gives a humorous look at Showa-era bathhouses. Meanwhile, “Single8” takes us on a trip through pre-digital filmmaking.

For the Adventurers and Romantics

Family-friendly “Yokaipedia” offers a monster-filled quest. “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” tugs at the heartstrings, exploring love and societal norms.

Horror Goes Global

Hideo Nakata’s “The Forbidden Play” fuses Hollywood and Japanese horror, destined to become a talking point worldwide.

A Closer Look at LGBTQIA+ in Japan

“Natchan’s Little Secret” addresses Japan’s LGBTQIA+ struggles through the story of three drag queens attending a funeral to protect a friend’s secret life.

Special Retrospective Series

Besides new releases, the festival honours filmmaker Kō Nakahira. This free series will screen in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Dive Deeper with Special Talks

Selected screenings will include post-show talks from academics and even an ink painting performance in Sydney. For more details, check the JFF website.

So, clear some time in your busy schedule. Whether you’re a film buff or just looking for a unique night out, the 2023 Japanese Film Festival offers a movie for every taste.

Japanese Film Festival