Toronto JFF FILMS 2014

A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story - 武士の献立


TitleA Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story 武士の献立

Director: Yuzo Asahara
Writer: Michio Kashiwada, Yukiko Yamamuro, Yuzo Asahara
Stars: Aya Ueto, Kengo Kora,Toshiyuki Nishida, Kimiko Yo
Genre: Historical Comedy/Drama
Release Type: Canadian Premiere
Year of Release: 2013
Film Length: 121 min 
Summary:  Yasunobu is next-in-line to his father as chef of the Kaga clan. There is one problem: he is hopeless in the kitchen. When his father, the clan’s famous “Kitchen Samurai” meets Haru, a strong-willed young women blessed with great sense of taste and excellent skills of cooking, he see a solution to his woes and begs her to marry his son.  READ MORE

Snow White Murder Case 


Title: The Snow White Murder Case 白ゆき姫殺人事件
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Writer: Kanae Minato
Stars: Mao Inoue, Go Ayano, Nanao, Nobuaki Kaneko, Erena Ono, Mitsuki Tanimura and Shota Kometani
Genre: Mystery
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 126 min


Summary: A fast-paced thriller based on the best-selling novel by Kanae Minato (Confessions). When Noriko, a beautiful cosmetic company employee, is murdered, suspicion immediately falls on misfit co-worker, Miki Shirono. TV director Yuji Akahoshi launches an investigative journalism piece on the murder.  READ MORE

The Eternal Zero 永遠の0

Title: The Eternal Zero 永遠の0

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Writer: Takashi Yamazaki, Tamio Hayashi
Stars: Junichi Okada , Mao Inoue, Haruma Miura and Kazue Fukiishi
Genre: Drama
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 144 min
Summary: Director Takashi Yamazaki’s (Always: Sunset on Third Street series) adaptation of Naoki Hyakuta’s bestselling novel sets a story of the human heart among the spectacular and terrifying battles of the final days of the Pacific War. READ MORE


Title: The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji 土竜の唄 潜入捜査官 REIJI
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Kankuro Kudo, based on the manga “The Mole Song” by Noboru Takahashi.
Stars: Toma Ikuta, Riisa Naka, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Kamiji, Takashi Okamura, Shinichi Tsutsumi,Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Kenichi Endo, Sarutoki Minagawa, Ren Osugi, Koichi Iwaki.
Genre: Comedy
Release Type: Canadian Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 130 min
Summary: Rookie Reiji Kikukawa, an impossibly incompetent young police constable, is fired for being the most inept cop on the force, then immediately rehired as an undercover agent or “mole”. His mission: to infiltrate the Sukiyakai, Japan’s most nefarious yakuza clan. Reiji uncovers a drug smuggling scheme and becomes entangled in all-out war with a rival mob. At the same time be pleads with beautiful policewomen Junna to help him lose his virginity. READ MORE

Shonen H少年H

Title: A Boy Called ”H”  少年H
Director: Yasuo Furuhata
Writer: Ryota Kosawa
Stars: Tatsuki Yoshioka, Yutaka Mizutani, Ran Ito, Yurine Hanada, Shun Oguri, Taichi Saotome, Jun Kunimura, Kuranosuke Sasaki, Taizo Harada, Ittoku Koshibe
Genre: Drama
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 122 min
Summary: A lavish adaptation of the beloved autobiographical novel by Kappa Senoh was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Film of the Year. In the years around WWII young Hajime witnesses fascist and nationalist forces rise in his country, endures

a military education, and is forced to witness the firebombing of his beloved city. Although Hajime suffers through many hardships, he still manages to experience growth during his journey into adulthood thanks to his loving family. READ MORE


Title: Oshin  おしん
Director: Shin Togashi
Writer: Sugako Hashida (original story), Kota Yamada (screenplay)
Stars: Kokone Hamada, Aya Ueto, Goro Inagaki, Pinko Izumi, Kayoko Kishimoto
Genre: Drama
Release Type: Canadian Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 107min
Summary: In 1907 in a small village in a mountain of Yamagata, seven-year-old peasant girl Oshin is sold by her parents to become a live-in maid and babysitter for a wealthy family. Her new life of servitude presents a series of hardships that test her fortitude and set her on the road to becoming strong and selfless like her mother. READ MORE

Girl in the Sunny Place陽だまりの彼女

Title: Girl in the Sunny Place 陽だまりの彼女
Director: Miki Takahiro
Writer: Osamu Koshigaya (novel), Kosuke Mukai
Stars: Jun Matsumoto, Juri Ueno, Mitsuki Tanimura and Tetsuji Tamayama
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 128 min
Summary: Based on Osami Koshigaya’s popular romance novel, this live-action adaptation tells the story of Kosuke and Mao, two young business people who were once high school friends. A victim of bullying as a student, Mao has transformed into a professional and attractive woman

in the 10 years since graduation. By coincidence the two meet again in a client meeting and rekindle their friendship and romance soon blossoms. However, Mao is keeping a vital secret from Kosuke; one that may doom their relationship. This commercial and critical hit stars some of Japan’s most popular young actors. READ MORE


 Title: The Little House 小さいおうち
Director: Yoji Yamada
Writer: Kyoko Nakajima (novel), Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu
Stars: Takako Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Chieko Baisho, Satoshi Tsumabuki
Genre: Drama
Release Type: Canadian Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 136 min
Summary: In the years preceding the Second World War, Taki comes to Tokyo from Northern Japan to work as a maid for a comfortable middle-class family: the young and beautiful Tokiko, her husband Masaki and their son, Kyoichi. Theirs is a happy and peaceful life until the day they are visited by Masaki’s colleague Itakura. Tokiko is overcome by an overwhelming attraction as Taki looks on helplessly, tormented by her own conflicting feelings. Meanwhile the war intensifies, throwing all their lives into a precarious balance…  READ MORE


Title: Magical Sisters Yoyo and Nene  魔女っこ姉妹のヨヨとネネDirector: Takayuki Hirao
Stars: Sumire Morohoshi, Ai Kakuma, Miyuki Sawashiro, Takahiro Sakurai, Takako Honda, Rio Sasaki
Genre: Family/Children’s Anime
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 100 min
Summary: In this charming and visually rich family anime, Yoyo and Nene are the magical Cursery Sisters, witches with a freelance curse-breaking business in the magical realm of Sorceria. When odd buildings begin falling from the sky, Yoyo takes it upon herself to investigate, bringing her to modern day  Yokohama.  READ MORE


Title: Judge! ジャッジ!
Director: Akira Nagai
Writer: Yoshimitsu Sawanoto
Stars: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Keiko Kitagawa, Lily Franky, Kyoka Suzuki, Etsushi Toyokawa and Yoshiyoshi Arakawa
Genre: Comedy
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 105 min
Summary: In this hit screwball comedy, Kiichiro Ota, a hapless employee of a top advertising agency in Japan, is ordered by his slimy boss to participate at the Santa Monica International Advertising Festival. There he must act as both a member of the jury and win the Grand Prix award for his own (terrible) TV ad. He is paired highly effective co-worker Hikari, and together they attend endless parties lobbying for their firm’s commercial. Hilarity and romance ensue as they are immediately mistaken for a married couple, Kiichiro finds out that he will be fired if he doesn’t win the Grand Prix and Hikari and uses multiple tactics in order to win the votes needed save Kiichiro’s job. READ MORE

Mourning Recipe 四十九日のレシピ

Title: Mourning Recipe 四十九日のレシピ
Director: Yuki Tanada
Writer: Yuki Ibuki (novel), Hisako Kurosawa (screenplay)
Stars: Hiromi Nagasaku, Renji Ishibashi, Masaki Okada, Fumi Nikaido, Taizo, Harada, Keiko Awaji
Genre: Drama
Release Type: Toronto Premiere
Year of Release: 2013
Film Length: 129 min
Summary: Based on Yuki Ibuki’s novel, Mourning Recipe depicts the life of the Atsuta family following the sudden death of its beloved matriarch, Otomi. READ MORE

Kiyosu Kaigi

Title: The Kiyosu Conference 清須会議
Director: Koki Mitani
Writer: Koki Mitani
Stars: Koji Yakusho, Yo Oizumi, Fumiyo Kohinata, Koichi Sato, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tadanobu Asano, Kyoka Suzuki, Miki Nakatani, Ayane Goriki
Genre: Historical/Comedy
Release Type: Toronto Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 138 min
Summary: A who’s-who of Japan’s biggest actors star in Koki Mitani’s satirical, loosely based historic epic that takes place at Kiyosu Castle in 1582. Nobunaga Oda, a major warlord, along with his oldest son and heir apparent, has been killed and a successor must be found. Powerful clan members gather for a mental – as opposed to physical – struggle involving wildly varied, hilarious strategies, shifting alliances, bargaining, cunning and deceit. READ MORE


Title:  Pecoross’ Mother and her Days ペコロスの母に会いに行く
Director: Azuma Morisaki
Writer: Tomoaki Akune, based on a manga by Yuichi Okano
Stars: Ryo Iwamatsu, Harue Akagi, Kiwako Harada, Ryo Kase , Naoto Takenaka
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Release Type: Canadian Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 113 min
Summary: 85-year old director Azuma Morisaki’s heart-warming film was selected as the best Japanese film of 2013 by both Kinema Jumpo and Eiga Geijustu, Japan’s two major film magazines. Yuuichi, nicknamed Pecoross (his bald-head looks like a pecoross, a small onion), is a divorcee with a son and struggling manga artist living in Nagasaki.  His mother, Mitsue, developed dementia after her husband, Satoru, passed away 10 years earlier… The film depicts their daily life with warmth, humor and sweet sorrow as it examines the serious social issue elder care in Japan.  READ MORE

Love Whirlpool

Title: Love’s Whirlpool 愛の渦
Director: Daisuke Miura
Writer: Daisuke Miura
Stars: Sosuke Ikematsu, Mugi Kadowaki, Hirofumi Arai, Kenichi Takito, Ryusuke Komakine and Tokio Emoto.
Genre: Drama/Erotic
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 123 min
Summary: Based on his novel, and later internationally-acclaimed stage production, Daisuke Miura’s controversial film looks at a diverse group of 4 men and4 women – all strangers – who meet at a high-end Roppongi apartment to engage in an evening of promiscuous sexual activity. The film studies the group dynamics, conflicts, rivalries and even romance as the night proceeds.  READ MORE

 Play in Hell

 Title: Why Don’t You Play Hell  地獄でなぜ悪い
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono
Stars: Jun Kunimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Gen Hoshino and Fumi Nikaido
Genre: Action Comedy
Release Type: TIFF Encore Presentation
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 126 min
Summary: Director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish, Land of Hope) is back with the kind of film that made him a cult phenomenon. As two rival yakuza gangs go to war, one of the bosses orders a rag-tag film crew – the F**k Bombers – to make a movie of the bloody conflict with his lethal daughter in the starring role!  All  this in order to appease his murderous but beloved wife who is only days away from release from prison. A surreal, deliriously hyper-violent comedy, a heart-felt tribute to Sono’s own on the-fly renegade filmmaking past and the deserving recipient of TIFF’s People’s Choice Award at Midnight Madness section.  READ MORE

The Apology King 

Title: The Apology King 謝罪の王様
Director: Nobuo Mizuta 
Writer: Kankuro Kudo
Stars: Sadao Abe, Mao Inoue, Masaki Okada and Machiko Ono
Genre:  Comedy
Release Type: Toronto Premiere
Year of Release: 2013
Film Length: 128 min
Summary:  Nobuo Mizuta‘s manic and hilarious comedy looks at the Japanese obsession with good manners, particularly the perfect apology. Kurojima, director of a Tokyo Apology Centre, applies his apology techniques to save clients from simple arbitration, through human resources disasters, to averting an international crisis.  READ MORE

Ravine of Goodbye 

Title:  The Ravine of Goodbye さよなら渓谷
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Writer: Shuichi Yoshida (novel), Ryo Takada, Tatsushi Omori
Stars: Yoko Maki, Shima Onishi, Nao Omori, Anne Suzuki, Arata Iura, Mayu Tsuruta and Hirofumi Arai
Genre: Drama
Release Type: Toronto Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 117 min
Summary: Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 35th Moscow International Film Festival, Tatsushi Omori’s adaptation of Shuichi Yoshida’s novel is a superbly acted drama (Yoko Maki received the Japanese Academy Award for her performance) dealing with the themes of male violence and guilt,  female victimization and power.  READ MORE

Black Butler Movie Poster

Title: Black Butler 黒執事
Director: Kentaro Ohtani, Kei-ichi Sato
Writer: Tsutomu Kuroiwa, Yana Toboso (manga)
Stars: Hiro Mizushima, Ayane Goriki, Masatô Ibu, Ken Yasuda, Yuka, Gorô Kishitani
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Release Type: North American Premiere
Production Year: 2013
Film Length: 122 min
Summary:  Based on Yana Toboso‘s internationally popular manga and anime Kuroshitsuji. The year is 2020. Only males heirs can lead the Phantomhive dynasty so orphaned aristocrat Shiori must don male clothes to run its massive Phantom Corporation. Her butler and aid is the mysterious and indestructible Sebastian: a devilishly handsome and demonic being with a contract to consume Shiori’s soul. READ MORE