5th Annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival Announces 2016 Line-up

For Immediate Release

“The Toronto Japanese Film Festival is quickly becoming the most important window of Japanese cinema toward the world. The selection is impeccable with the dynamic of the true international film festival. My salute to all Canadians and congratulations! This is some place we, the Japanese film-makers, can look for the future of Japanese cinema.”Masato Harada, Director: Kakekomi, The Emperor in August, Chronicle of My Mother

A machine gun wielding high school girl-yakuza boss? Time travelling samurai? Sexual awakening in the final devastating days of WWII Tokyo? The true story of “the Japanese Schindler?” That can mean only one thing: the Toronto Japanese Film Festival is back.

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 5th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival will be held from June 9 to 23 and features 24 films including many International, North American and Canadian premieres.

Now in its fifth year, the Toronto Japanese Film Festival showcases the finest Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japanese Film Academy. The festival’s program includes popular genres such as historical (samurai) jidaigeki, contemporary dramas, comedies and action, literary adaptations, children’s, art-house and anime films. All films shown are international North American, Canadian, or Toronto premieres.

“For our 2016 festival, we have worked hard to find a wide range of films that represent the broad spectrum of great cinema created in Japan.”, said James Heron, Executive Director of the Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre. “We have an exciting line-up this year; we invite you to be a part of this stunning festival, and enjoy some of the best that Japanese film has to offer”.

Some highlights of the 2016 Japanese Film Festival include:

The festival will open with the International Festival Premiere of Yoji Yamada’s NAGASAKI – MEMORIES OF MY SON: the story of a mother who is visited by her the ghost of her son, as young medical student killed in the atomic bombing. Nominated for 12 Japanese Academy Awards including Best Film and the top acting awards; one of the Top Ten films for the Year by Kinema Jumpo. Featuring a haunting score by Ryuichi Sakamoto and starring Sayuri Yoshinaga, Kazunari Ninomiya, Haru Kuroki, Tadanobu Asano.

The Canadian Premiere of PERSONA NON GRATA – the true story of the Japanese Consul in Lithuania who saved 6000 Jewish lives in WWII at extraordinary personal risk.

Director Cellin Gluck will attend the festival to introduce this major international co-production.

The Canadian Premiere of THE EMPEROR IN AUGUST. Voted best film of the year at the Association of Japanese Film Journalists AwardsMasato Harada’s (Kakekomi, Chronicle of My Mother) powerful political drama tells the little known story behind Japan’s surrender in the Pacific War. Starring Koji Yakusho, Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki

The Canadian Premiere of award-winning director Mipo O’s (The Sun Shine Only There) moving and unforgettable contemplation on child raising and compassion: BEING GOOD

The International Premiere of NOBUNAGA CONCERTO. Hiroaki Matsuyama’s adaptation of the mega-hit manga and television series beat Star Wars at the Japanese box-office and asks the question: “What if one of Japan’s most important historical figures was in fact a time traveling teen from the present?” Spectacular action, gorgeous visuals and an all-star cast enliven this wild mix of samurai drama, comedy and time travel. Starring Shun Oguri, Kou Shibasaki, Takayuki Yamada, Kiko Mizuhara.

The Canadian Premiere of PARASYTE (Parts 1 and 2), Takashi Yamazaki’s hit adaptation of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s popular manga in which a high school student and his alien-inhabited shape-shifting right hand battle to save humankind from extinction by an alien invasion of cannibalistic parasites. The new film from the director of The Eternal Zero is a big-budget sci-fi thriller with a healthy dose of humour, an all-star cast and some mind-blowing special effects. Starring Shota Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, Sadao Abe, Ai Hashimoto, Masahiro Higashide, Nao Omori, Kazuki Kitamura, Tadanobu Asano

The International Premiere of Nobuo Mizuta’s SING MY LIFE, a charming remake of the Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Korean box office smash comedy about a 73 year-old women who, mysteriously finding herself in the body of her 20 year-old, decides to pursue a childhood dream. Starring Mikako Tabe, Mitsuko Basho, Satomi Kobayashi.

North American Premiere of SAILOR SUIT AND MACHINE GUN – GRADUATION, a blood-soaked, tongue-in-cheek “spiritual sequel” to Hiroko Yakushimaru’s cult 1981 yakuza satire. High school student and yakuza mob boss Izumi Hoshi (J-pop star Kanna Hashimoto) attempts (unsuccessfully) to resume ordinary student life after wreaking bloody revenge on the people who murdered her yakuza boss father.

Other films include Yoshihiro Nakamura’s THE INERASABLE, Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s THREE STORIES OF LOVE, Keishi Otomo’s RUROUNI KENSHIN – KYOTO INFERNO and RUROUNI KENSHIN – THE LEGENDS ENDS, Nobuhiro Doi’s FLYING COLOURS, Haruhiko Arai’s WHEN I WAS MOST BEAUTIFUL, Tomoake Akune’s HANA’S MISO SOUP, Naomi Kawase’s SWEET BEAN and Yukihiro Tsutsumi’s THE BIG BEE.

Guests will include Director Cellin Gluck (Persona Non Grata). Additional guests to be determined.

All films at the Japanese Film Festival are screened at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto.

The Toronto Japanese Film Festival’s mandate has been carefully aligned with that of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. In the 53 years since the opening of the JCCC, film has been an important tool in creating friendship, understanding, and exchange between the Japanese and broader Canadian communities. Ticket sales from the festival also help to drive our heritage programming which shares the important lessons of cultural acceptance and human rights, implicit in the Japanese Canadian experience with all Canadians.

JCCC – Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre – Kobayashi Hall

6 Garamond Court, Toronto, ON, M3C 1Z5

Tickets:    Admission per film:   Non-member $12 / Member $10
150 5-film passes are available. Purchasers receive a SHISEIDO beauty package as a gift. Non-member $45 / Member $40
50 10-filmpasses are available. Purchasers receive a deluxe SHISEIDO beauty package as a gift. Non-member $90 / Member $80
*Pass holders can watch any 5 or 10 films at the Toronto Japanese Film Festival. One pass cannot be exchanged for more than one ticket for the same film.

*All films are presented in Japanese with English subtitles

*From May 2nd 2016, all tickets and passes can be purchased at JCCC reception or call (416) 441-2345 to purchase by Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Also available online through Ticketweb at www.ticketweb.ca.

For full program, ticket and box-office info go to:

Media Contact
Virginia Kelly, Meghan Parnell
V Kelly & Associates Inc.
info@vkpr.ca, 416-839-9239

For all other inquiries:
James Heron
Director, Japanese Film Festival
jamesh@jccc.on.ca, 416-441-2345 x 224

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