Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2021

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 10th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) will be presented in a hybrid format from June 5 to 27, 2021. During this period, TJFF screenings will be held online, with select onsite screenings at the JCCC’s Kobayashi Hall planned for October. The festival has now grown into one of the largest film events of its kind in the world and is recognized by the Japanese film industry as a vital conduit for bringing Japanese film to international audiences.


North American and Canadian premieres include Hiroki Kadokawa’s foodie-friendly historical drama, MIO’S COOKBOOK, Keisuke Yoshida’s all-star boxing epic, BLUE, Katsuhide Motoki’s period dramedy, ANGRY RICE WIVES, Shuichi Okita’s surreal examination of aging and loneliness, ORA, ORA BE GOIN’ ALONE, Yuichi Fukuda’s manic manga adaptation and ode to high-school delinquency, FROM TODAY IT’S MY TURN!!, and Masayuki Suo’s delightful love letter to Japan’s silent film era, TALKING THE PICTURES.


The work of leading women directors are well-represented in this year’s line-up including Akiko Ohku’s HOLD ME BACK, winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Miwa Nishikawa’s UNDER THE OPEN SKY, which features a searing career-best performance by Koji Yakusho, Naomi Kawase’s powerful story of motherhood TRUE MOTHERS, which was Japan’s representative candidate for the Academy Awards, and Hitomi Kuroki’s historical fantasy THE DEVIL WEARS JU-NI HITOE KIMONO.


Two of Japan’s top young stars Tadayoshi Okuda and Ryo Narita find one another in Isao Yukisada’s touching LGBTQ romance THE CORNERED MOUSE DREAMS OF CHEESE, while photographer Yoshihiko Ueda’s debut feature A GARDEN OF THE CAMELLIAS is a ravishingly beautiful examination of the exquisite transience of life, and Michihito Fuji’s THE BRIGHTEST ROOF IN THE UNIVERSE is a whimsical comedy-drama that tells the tale of a troubled 14-year-old girl visited by a magical stranger. This year’s anime premiere is LIP X LIP FILM X LIVE, a hybrid anime movie and “live concert performance” by the popular “vocaloid” virtual popstars Lip x Lip.


Documentaries include Eiji Sakata’s study of the world of sumo wrestling, SUMODO – SUCCESSORS TO THE SAMURAI, Kazuma Tabei’s exploration of one of Uruguay’s most famous presidents, HOSÉ! JOSE MUJICA!, and Kimio Watanabe’s depiction of the 1965 Paralympic Games, TOKYO PARALYMPICS: FESTIVAL OF LOVE AND GLORY.


Other screenings include Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s intense family drama, HOPE, Mitsuhito Fujii’s yakuza thriller, A FAMILY, Rikiya Imaizumi’s compelling indie romance, JUST ONLY LOVE, Anshul Chauhan's multiple award-winning drama of buried family secrets, KONTORA, Koichiro Miki’s adaptation of Wataru Watanabe’s popular cycling manga, YOWAMUSHI PEDAL: UP THE ROAD, and Shinya Ayabe’s high-energy tale of food-obsession, SCHOOL MEALS TIME: FINAL BATTLE.


This year TJFF will offer individual tickets as well as ALL ACCESS FESTIVAL PASS. Please enjoy the films at home with your family. Some films do address adult themes, so please check age recommendations.


Films are presented through our online platform partner CINESEND. Individual tickets and All Access Passes will go on sale on in May, with ticket sales continuing through to the end of the festival on June 27. Check our website, social media and upcoming newsletter for more details.

News Type