Film Lineup 2019

DANCE WITH ME   (ダンスウィズミー) LOVE'S TWISTING PATH   (多十郎殉愛記) MASQUERADE HOTEL (マスカレード・ホテル) EVERY DAY A GOOD DAY (日日是好日) A BANANA? AT THIS TIME OF NIGHT? (こんな夜更けにバナナかよ 愛しき実話) A GAMBLER'S ODYSSEY 2020 (麻雀放浪記2020 ) A SAMURAI'S PROMISE (散り椿) ANOTHER WORLD (半世界) BORN BONE BORN (洗骨) CALL BOY (娼年) EATING WOMEN (食べる女) FLY ME TO SAITAMA (翔んで埼玉) FOR LOVE'S SAKE    (恋のしずく) IWANE: SWORD OF SERENITY (居眠り磐音) KILLING (斬、) MODEST HEROES (小さな英雄 -カニとタマゴと透明人間-) MORI, THE ARTIST’S HABITAT  (モリのいる場所) OF LOVE AND LAW (愛と法) ORGAN (あの日のオルガン) OUR DEPARTURES  (かぞくいろ ‐ RAILWAYS  わたしたちの出発 ‐ ) THE ANTIQUE  (ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖) THE BLOOD OF WOLVES  (孤狼の血) THE FABLE (ザ・ファブル) THE HOUSE WHERE THE MERMAID SLEEPS (人魚の眠る家) THE ISLAND OF CATS (ねことじいちゃん) USUKE BOYS   (ウスケボーイズ) WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! III MY WIFE, MY LIFE (妻よ薔薇のように  家族はつらいよIII)  WHEN I GET HOME, MY WIFE ALWAYS PRETENDS TO BE DEAD (家に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています。) WHEN MY MOM DIED, I WANTED TO EAT HER ASHES (母を亡くした時、僕は遺骨を食べたいと思った。) WHISTLEBLOWER (七つの会議 ) OKKO’S INN (若おかみは小学生!) PENGUIN HIGHWAY  (ペンギン・ハイウェイ)

DANCE WITH ME   (ダンスウィズミー)SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING with Shinobu Yaguchi & Ayaka Miyoshi
DANCE WITH ME (ダンスウィズミー)

In Attendance

Runtime: 103 min / 2019
Director: Shinobu Yaguchi
Starring:  Ayaka Miyoshi, Yuu Yashiro, chay, Takahiro Miura, Tsuyoshi Muro, Akira Takarada
World Premiere

Shizuka works at a big Tokyo trading company and harbours a secret crush on her dashing boss. One weekend she takes her niece to visit a carnival hypnotist to inspire her for an upcoming school musical. But it is Shizuka who falls under the spell and she is soon breaking uncontrollably into song and dance whenever she hears music: in the street, during board meetings, at posh restaurants, even a cell phone ringtone!

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In Attendance

LOVE'S TWISTING PATH   (多十郎殉愛記)SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING with MIKAKO TABE
LOVE’S TWISTING PATH   (多十郎殉愛記) 

Runtime: 93 min / 2019
Director: Sadao Nakajima
Starring: Kengo Kora, Mikako Tabe, Ryo Kimura
North American Premiere

After a 20-year hiatus, master jidaigeki director Sadao Nakajima returns with an action-packed throwback to the days of classic “chambara” films.
Kyoto in the final years of the Edo Period. Tajuro, a masterless samurai, can barely making ends meet. His neighbour, the beautiful izakaya owner Otoyo has fallen in love with him. When Tajuro’s brother Kazuma arrives in Kyoto, there is suspicion he is there to overthrow the Shogunate. The authorities pounce and Tajuro, with Otoyo’s help, must fight to protect his brother.

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OPENING NIGHT SCREENING & RECEPTION
MASQUERADE HOTEL   (マスカレード・ホテル)

Runtime: 132 min / 2019
Director:  Masayuki Suzuki
Starring:  Takuya Kimura, Masami Nagasawa, Fumiyo Kohinata, Atsuko Maeda, Takako Matsu, Zen Kajihara
North American Premiere

An all-star cast brings Shingo Higashino’s bestseller to life as an undercover detective and a hotel manager combine forces to stop a serial killer. The killer has struck three times with all clues suggesting the next will take place at Tokyo’s luxurious Hotel Koruteshia.

Detective Kosuke Nitta goes undercover at the front desk with hotel supervisor Naomi Yamagishi providing training. But Nitta is focused on catching the killer while Naomi prioritizes the safety of the guests. Can they overcome their differences and catch the killer?

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Director Omori in Attendance

EVERY DAY A GOOD DAY (日日是好日)CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING & RECEPTION
EVERY DAY A GOOD DAY (日日是好日)

Runtime: 100 min / 2018
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Starring: Kirin Kiki, Haru Kuroki, Mikako Tabe
North American Premiere

University student Noriko feels aimless and doesn’t know what she wants to do after university. Her mother suggests she and friend Michiko spend their summer learning tea ceremony from  local teacher Takeda-sensei (Kirin Kiki in her last appearance). They soon realize “the way of tea” a life-long and life- altering endeavor, setting off a transformative journey into the heart of tradition, connection, and family.
A beautiful and heartfelt journey into the most “Japanese” of the arts based on Noriko Morishita’s acclaimed essay.

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A BANANA? AT THIS TIME OF NIGHT? (こんな夜更けにバナナかよ 愛しき実話)A BANANA? AT THIS TIME OF NIGHT? (こんな夜更けにバナナかよ 愛しき実話)

Runtime: 120 min / 2018
Director: Tetsu Maeda
Starring:  Yo Oizumi, Mitsuki Takahata, Haruma Miura, Mieko Harada, Makiko Watanabe
North American Premiere

Yasuaki Shikano lives with muscular dystrophy and conducts his busy life from a wheelchair, recruiting volunteers from the medical hospital to cater to his every whim. He is self-centered and talkative yet his infectious energy and free-spirit affects all the people around him. He also falls in love easily and develops a crush on rookie volunteer Misaki. He asks his friend Hisashi to write a love letter for him, not realizing Misaki is Hisashi’s girlfriend.

Yo Oizumi’s central performance is affecting, funny and often emotionally raw. This hit film is based on a true story and Kazufumi Watanabe’s popular novel.

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In Attendance

A GAMBLER'S ODYSSEY 2020 (麻雀放浪記2020 )SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING with TAKUMI SAITOH
A GAMBLER’S ODYSSEY 2020 (麻雀放浪記2020 )

Runtime: 120 min / 2019
Director: Kazuya Shiraishi
Starring:  Saitoh Takumi, Momo, Becky, Pierre Taki, Naoto Takenaka
North American Premiere

Boyatetsu, a skilled mahong player, slips through time from the ruins of post-war Japan to Tokyo in the year 2020. He finds a ruined city plagued by a decreasing population, increasing unemployment and social unrest. The 2020 Olympics have been cancelled and an evil organization plans to restage the event as a massive human versus artificial intelligence mahjong competition. Boyatetsu must step forward to represent the human race.  A wildly imaginative and quite out-of-control roller-coaster ride of bizarre characters, surreal transgression and action based on Takehiro Irokawa’s novel and Yozo Shimizu’s manga.

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A SAMURAI'S PROMISE (散り椿)A SAMURAI’S PROMISE (散り椿)

Runtime: 112 min / 2018
Director: Daisaku Kimura
Starring:  Junichi Okada, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Haru Kuroki, Sousuke Ikematsu, Kumiko Aso, Naoto Ogata
Toronto Premiere

The year is 1730. Master swordsman Shimbei attempts to expose corruption in his fief and is banished by the authorities. Thereafter, he endlessly drifts from place to place with his wife Shino, who eventually passes away from illness. Her final request is for Shimbei to protect Uneme, a friend in her hometown. However dangerous, Shimbei decides he must fulfill that promise.A powerful evocation of the noble code of the samurai directed by Daisaku Kimura, one of Japan’s and Akira Kurosawa’s leading cinematographers, and based on Naoki Prize-winning author Hamuro Rin’s novel.

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ANOTHER WORLD (半世界)ANOTHER WORLD (半世界)

Runtime: 120 min / 2019
Director: Junji Sakamoto
Starring: Goro Inagaki, Chizuru Ikewaki, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
International Premiere

Koh makes high-grade charcoal in a business inherited from his father.  He resents his work, fails to pay enough attention to his wife, Hatsuno, and struggles to connect with his bullied son, Akira. When Eisuke, a boyhood friend and member of the self-defence forces returns home struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, their reunion forces Koh to re-evaluate his life and relationship with his family.

This intimate, probing and poignant drama that won the Audience Choice Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

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Director Teruya in Attendance

BONE BORN BONE (洗骨)SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING with TOSHIYUKI TERUYA
BORN BONE BORN (洗骨)

Runtime: 111 min / 2018
Director: Toshiyuki Teruya
Starring: Ayame Misaki, Eiji Okuda, Michitaka Tsutsui, Yoko Oshima
Canadian Premiere

Four years after their mother’s death, the estranged children of the Shinjo family return to their home on Aguni Island, near Okinawa, to perform the traditional ritual of ‘senkotsu’ or ‘bone-washing,’ a kind of final farewell to a loved one. To everyone’s surprise daughter Yuko arrives alone and heavily pregnant, and son Tsuyoshi minus his wife and children. They arrive to discover father Nobutsuna has been drowning his sorrows in alcohol. But just perhaps an ancient burial ritual is what the Shinjo family needs to heal their wounds and unite once again…

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CALL BOY (娼年)CALL BOY (娼年)

Runtime: 119 min / 2018
Director:  Daisuke Miura
Starring:  Tori Matsuzaka, Sei Matobu, Ami Tomite, Kenta Izuka
Canadian Premiere

University student Ryo spends his days skipping classes, bartending part-time and occasionally sleeping with his customers. His mundane life takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious and elegant customer named Shizuka offers him a job in her private high-end escort service and schools him in the art of giving pleasure to women.

Moody and atmospheric, often humorous and daringly explicit, Call Boy places female desire and sexuality front and centre.  Based on Ira Ishida’s Naoki Award-nominated erotic novel.

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EATING WOMEN (食べる女)EATING WOMEN (食べる女)

Runtime: 111 min / 2018
Director: Jiro Shono
Starring:  Kyoko Koizumi, Atsuko Maeda, Erika Sawajiri, Alice Hirose, Charlotte Kate Fox, Yu Yamada
North American Premiere

Tonko Mochizuki is the owner of a second-hand Tokyo bookstore “Mochi no Ie” and also an essayist. Her customers include eight women each troubled in her own way; each trying to manage life in the big city, careers, dating, expectations and materialism. Through sharing delicious meals together with Tonko, these women find the answers to their questions and move ahead with their lives.

Mixing drama and comedy Taberu Onna is a celebration of female friendship and fine food based on Tomomi Tsutsui’s best-selling novels.

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FLY ME TO SAITAMA (翔んで埼玉)FLY ME TO SAITAMA (翔んで埼玉)

Runtime: 107 min / 2019
Director: Hideki Takeuchi
Starring:  Fumi Nikaido, GACKT, Yusuke Iseya, Kumiko Aso, Ryo Narita, Naoto Takenaka
Canadian Premiere

From the director of Thermae Romae and Color Me True comes a wild comic fantasy based on Mineo May’s popular manga.

In a luxurious, kingdom-like Tokyo lives the Momomi, the son of the corrupt governor and the possessor of striking feminine beauty. He, like all Tokyoites, looks down on the unsophisticated neighboring prefectures, especially Saitama. When mysterious student Rei transfers into the private academy, the spark of attraction soon lights the fuse for a war between the prefectures.

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FOR LOVE'S SAKE    (恋のしずく)FOR LOVE’S SAKÉ   (恋のしずく)

Runtime: 117 min / 2018
Director: Naoki Segi
Starring:  Chizuru Azuma, Rina Kawaei, Hayato Onozuka, Mao Miyaji, Ren Ohsugi
Canadian Premiere

University student Shiori has a incredible palate for wine and dreams of studying winemaking in France. To her dismay she is assigned to a rural sake brewery for her internship. There she discovers the brewery’s owner is gravely ill and his son has little interest in the business. Can Shiori learn to appreciate sake and act as the spark to turn the brewery around?

Filmed entirely at one of Hiroshima’s most famous sake breweries, Kamoizumi Sake Brewery, the film is an uplifting romantic drama about falling in love with Japan’s most delectable fermented beverage.

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IWANE: SWORD OF SERENITY (居眠り磐音)IWANE: SWORD OF SERENITY (居眠り磐音)

Runtime: 120 min / 2019
Director: Katsuhide Motoki
Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Fumino Kimura, Kyoko Yoshine, Tasuku Emoto, Yosuke Sugino, Kuranosuke Sasaki
North American Premiere

Iwane Sakazaki has two childhood friends: Kinpei and Shinnosuke. The three are like brothers and train as swordsman in the same dojo. Kinpei has two sisters; Mao, who is married to Shinnosuke, and Nao who will marry Iwane. When a rumour reaches Shinnosuke that Mao is having an affair he flies into a jealous rage and kills her. Kinpei then kills Shinnosuke in retaliation for his sister. Iwane is ordered to kill his friend Kinpei and the two deadly swordsmen must meet in battle.

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KILLING (斬、)KILLING (斬、)

Runtime: 80 min / 2018
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Starring: Sosuke Ikematsu, Yu Aoi, Shinya Tsukamoto
TIFF Encore Presentation

A masterless Edo Period samurai Tsuzuki ekes out a living providing protection to a small farming village. He teaches a local boy the way of the sword and quietly years after the boy’s older sister Yu. With the arrival of a mysterious ronin looking to build a mercenary army, and band marauding bandits on the edge of town, Tsuzuki’s peaceful existence will soon descend into violent chaos.

This poetic, unsentimental questioning of the cruel code of the warrior delivers moments of blistering intensity and ultraviolence.

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MODEST HEROES (小さな英雄 -カニとタマゴと透明人間-)MODEST HEROES (小さな英雄 -カニとタマゴと透明人間-)

Runtime: 54 min / 2018
Director:  Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiyuki Momose, Akihiko Yamashita
Starring (voice):  Yoshino Kimura, Rio Suzuki, Machiko Ono, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Jo Odagiri

This three-part Japanese animated family anthology film features work by Studio Ponoc finest up-and-coming directors including founder Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Mary and the Witch’s Flower).

Kamini and Kanino is an adventure about two magical siblings in search of their lost father. Life Ain’t Going to Lose tells the tale of a boy who vows to cure a deadly allergy. In Invisible, a lonely invisible salaryman is given the chance to be a hero.

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MORI, THE ARTIST’S HABITAT  (モリのいる場所)MORI, THE ARTIST’S HABITAT  (モリのいる場所)

Runtime: 99 min / 2018
Director: Shuichi Okita
Starring: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kirin Kiki, Ryo Kase, Ken Mitsuishi
Toronto Premiere

In his last 30 years, reclusive artist Morikazu Kumagai (1880-1977), rarely ventured beyond his Tokyo home; instead spending hours in his luxuriant garden keenly observing the cats, fish, birds and insects and eventually rendering them into his distinct paintings.

Featuring a cast lead by screen legends Tsutomu Yamazaki and Kirin Kiki, this delightful, quirky and virtually plot-free comedy traces an imaginary day in the life of Mori and Hideko -his wife of over 50 years – as they entertain a throng of welcome and unwelcome visitors, including condo developers whose presence signals immanent and irreversible change.

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OF LOVE AND LAW (愛と法)OF LOVE AND LAW (愛と法)

Runtime: 94 min / 2017
Director: Hikaru Toda
Starring: Kazuyuki Minami, Masafumi Yoshida, Yae Minami, Kazuma, Hiroko Tsujitani
Canadian Premiere

Fumi and Kazu are partners in love and law; they run the first law firm in Japan set up by an openly gay couple. Together for 15 years, the lawyers want to raise a family of their own in a country where their partnership has no legal recognition or protection. Driven by their own experience of being ‘outsiders’, they attract a range of clients who reveal the hidden diversity of a country that prides itself on its obedience, politeness and conformity.

This insightful documentary won the Tokyo International Film Festival BEST FILM and Splash Competition awards.

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ORGAN (あの日のオルガン)ORGAN (あの日のオルガン)

Runtime: 119 min / 2019
Director: Emiko Hiramatsu
Starring: Erika Toda, Sakurako Ohara, Yui Sakuma, Isao Hashizume
North American Premiere

Inspired by true events and set at the end of World War II. The Allied military is bombing Japan and its cities at a frightening pace leading to many civilian and innocent casualties. Kindergarten teacher Kaede and music teacher Mitsue band together to take the children under their care to safety outside of Tokyo. They find shelter and a modicum of safety at an old abandoned temple in Saitama as Tokyo burns. Music, and an organ they bring with them, brings solace during a terrifying time.

A heart-warming story of courage, friendship and the power of music.

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OUR DEPARTURES  (かぞくいろ ‐ RAILWAYS  わたしたちの出発 ‐ )OUR DEPARTURES  (かぞくいろ ‐ RAILWAYS  わたしたちの出発 ‐ )

Runtime: 120 min / 2018
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshida
Starring:  Kasumi Arimura, Jun Kunimura, Nanami Sakuraba, Ryusei Kiyama
North American Premiere

Akira Okuzono loses her husband suddenly. She travels to her late husband’s hometown of Kagoshima with her 9-year-old step son Shunya where she meets her father-in-law Setsuo.  At a loss for what to do with her life, but determined to raise Shunya as her own son, she convinces Setsuo to let them move in. There she decides to become a railway driver: her father-in-law’s profession and the childhood dream of her late husband.

A heartwarming tale about the  Japanese love of railways, the meaning of family and “making a fresh start.”

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THE ANTIQUE  (ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖)THE ANTIQUE  (ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖)

Runtime: 121 min / 2018
Director: Yukiko Mishima
Starring:  Haru Kuroki, Shuhei Nomura, Ryo Narita, Kaho, Masahiro Higashide
North American Premiere

Shioriko is passionate about books and runs an antique book store in Kamakura. Her new clerk Daisuke is unable to read novels due to a traumatic incident with his grandmother as a child. When the store’s most valuable antique book is targeted by a mysterious collector, Shioriko and Daisuke work together to reveal the secret of the rare book and, inadvertently, uncover his grandmother’s own literary secret.

Based on the popular novels by En Mikami, a must-see for both mystery fans and book lovers.

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THE BLOOD OF WOLVES  (孤狼の血)THE BLOOD OF WOLVES  (孤狼の血)

Runtime: 126 min / 2018
Director: Kazuya Shiraishi
Starring: Koji Yakusho, Tori Matsuzaka, Yoko Maki, Yosuke Eguchi
Toronto Premiere

It is 1988 and Hiroshima detective Ogami is an old school cop notorious for cutting deals with yakuza to solve cases. His partner, rookie cop Hioka disagrees with his methods. Investigating a simple kidnapping, Ogami drags him along a trail of pachinko bars, yakuza lairs, and brothels, where they discover that a war is brewing amongst the yakuza. The Hiroshima underworld is about to explode and Ogami could be the only one skilled enough to diffuse it.

Stylish, fast-paced and hyper-violent, Wolves was nominated for 12 Japanese Academy Awards including Best Film, Actor and Director. Winner of the Hochi Film Award – Best Picture.

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THE FABLE (ザ・ファブル)THE FABLE (ザ・ファブル)

Runtime: 119 min / 2019
Director: Kan Eguchi
Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Koichi Sato, Mizuki Yamamoto, Yuya Yagira, Ken Yasuda, Sota Fukushi
North American Premiere

An elite contract assassin, nicknamed The Fable, is an unstoppable killing machine we first meet wiping out a Tokyo restaurant full of yakuza. His bosses decide he is too “hot” and order him to move to Osaka, lay low and live as a normal person with no killing allowed for one year! But he is soon sucked into the violent machinations of the Osaka underworld and is challenged to keep his promise, particularly when the woman he has fallen for is threatened by yakuza thugs.
Based on Katsuhisa Minami’s manga, The Fable is a dizzying blend of very violent action and quirky comedy featuring an all-star cast.

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THE HOUSE WHERE THE MERMAID SLEEPS (人魚の眠る家)THE HOUSE WHERE THE MERMAID SLEEPS (人魚の眠る家)

Runtime: 120 min / 2018
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Starring: Ryoko Shinohara, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Kentaro Sakiaguchi
North American Premiere

Kaoruko and Kazuaki have two children and a troubled marriage. One day, their daughter drowns in a local swimming pool and the doctor informs them she is brain dead with little chance to recover. The couple has two choices: to donate Mizuho’s organs to others in need, or to wait until Mizuho’s heart stops beating. Their agonizing choice is further complicated when a young doctor arrives with an unusual new technology that may save her.

Shinohara was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for her searing central performance. A powerful and though-provoking drama based on Shingo Higashino’s best-selling novel.

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THE ISLAND OF CATS (ねことじいちゃん)THE ISLAND OF CATS (ねことじいちゃん)

Runtime: 103 min / 2019
Director: Mitsuaki Iwago
Starring: Shinosuke Tatekawa, Ko Shibasaki, Kaoru Kobayashi, Tasuku Emoto (and hundreds of cats)
North American Premiere

Daikichi is a 70-year-old widower living on a small island with his 10-year-old cat Tama, many life-long friends and the countless feline inhabitants of the island. They gather together at a newly opened café, run by the beautiful Michiko, a newcomer on the island. When his carefree and laid-back lifestyle is interrupted by the death of a close friend and his own health scare his son comes to visit from Tokyo.

This warm, gentle comedy looks at Japanese social issues such as the aging population and life after retirement. Beautifully photographed and a cat-lovers’ dream!

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USUKE BOYS   (ウスケボーイズ)USUKE BOYS   (ウスケボーイズ)

Runtime: 102 min / 2018
Director: Yuji Kakizaki
Starring:  Dai Watanabe, Masayuki Deai, Yuka Takeshima, Kenta Uchino, Isao Hashizume, Satoshi Judai, Shogo Shimizu, Reiko Tajima, Yumi Adachi
North American Premiere

Okamura and four close friends regularly meet at a group for wine aficionados. They share the belief that Japanese grapes are less flavourful than French grapes and so bear an inferior wine. When they encounter Japanese-made Kikyogahara Merlot and its maker Usuke Asai, their lives are changed. Dropping their jobs and renting farmland they pledge to follow Usuke-san and his philosophy of wine-making, and life.

A warm, inspirational tale for wine-lovers and teetotallers alike.

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WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! III MY WIFE, MY LIFE (妻よ薔薇のように  家族はつらいよIII) WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! III  – MY WIFE, MY LIFE
(妻よ薔薇のように  家族はつらいよIII) 

Runtime:  123 min / 2018
Director:  Yoji Yamada
Starring: Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Masahiko Nishimura, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Yu Aoi, Tomoko Nakajima, Shozo Hayashiya
Canadian Premiere 

In this fast-paced and whimsical comedy from the great Yoji Yamada (Twilight Samurai, Tora-san series), marital strife again visits Tokyo’s loving but mildly dysfunctional Hirata family.
The home is burgled and daughter-in-law Fumie’s secret “rainy day fund” is stolen. Husband Konosuke accuses her of siphoning cash from the housekeeping budget and brands her a thief. Fumie storms out and it soon becomes clear that she was the orchestrator of the house and all its routines. The men are hopeless and the Hirata household is soon thrown into hilarious chaos once again.

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WHEN I GET HOME, MY WIFE ALWAYS PRETENDS TO BE DEAD (家に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています。)WHEN I GET HOME, MY WIFE ALWAYS PRETENDS TO BE DEAD
(家に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています。)

Runtime: 115 min / 2018
Director: Toshio Lee
Starring:  Nana Eikura, Ken Yasuda, Ryohei Otani, Sumika Nono
North American Premiere

Jun returns from work to find his wife Chie collapsed in the hall seemingly dead.  She then pops back to life giggling and so begins a strange daily ritual of increasingly elaborate and often hilarious death scenes upon Jun’s return home. When asked why, Chie simply answers; “the moon is beautiful”. Jun begins to worry about the future of their marriage, but there is a secret behind Chie’s mysterious behavior and wild screwball comedy soon gives way to moving celebration of married love.
Based on a true story. Funny, touching, insightful and featuring charming performances from its leads.

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Director Omori in Attendance

WHEN MY MOM DIED, I WANTED TO EAT HER ASHES (母を亡くした時、僕は遺骨を食べたいと思った。)SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING with TATSUSHI OMORI
WHEN MY MOM DIED, I WANTED TO EAT HER ASHES
(母を亡くした時、僕は遺骨を食べたいと思った。)

Runtime: 108 min / 2019
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Starring:  Ken Yasuda, Mitsuko Baisho, Nao Matsushita, Jun Murakami, Renji Ishibashi
North American Premiere

Based on Satoshi Miyagawa’s popular manga.  Morbid title aside, this film is a tender, quirky and heart-breaking ode to the love of a son for his mother.
Akiko was always a kind, supportive mother to Satoshi when he was growing up, helping him through tough times saying, “It’s okay, because I am with you. You will survive.” Satoshi is now in his thirties and remains devoted to his Mom. When she is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it is Satoshi’s turn to say, “It’s okay, because I am with you.”

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WHISTLEBLOWER (七つの会議 )WHISTLEBLOWER (七つの会議 )

Runtime: 119 min / 2019
Director: Katsuo Fukuzawa
Starring:  Mansai Nomura, Teruyuki Kagawa, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Ainosuke Kataoka, Kinya Kitaooji
North American Premiere

This tense and blackly comic shot of corporate kabuki exposes intra-company rivalries, subterfuge, betrayal and corruption, not to mention donut thievery!

It is the tale of two rival sales teams within Tokyo Kenden, led by the terrifying bully Kitagawa. The hapless Harashima’s team cannot make sales targets while Sakado has hit his targets 35 months in a row. Something is fishy and the lazy, sneering second-in-command Hakkaku may hold the key to unlocking the mystery. But will he bring down the entire company in the process?

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OKKO’S INN (若おかみは小学生!)
OKKO’S INN (若おかみは小学生!)

Runtime: 94 min / 2018
Director: Kitaro Kosaka
Starring (voices): Seiran Kobayashi, Nana Mizuki, Satsumi Matsuda, Hirohide Yakumaru, Anju

SuzukiOkko is orphaned and goes to live in the countryside with her grandmother, who runs a traditional inn built on top of an ancient spring said to have healing waters. While she goes about her chores she discovers there are spirits who live there that only she can see – not scary ones, but welcoming ghosts who keep her company, play games and help her navigate her new environment. The inn’s motto is that it welcomes all and will reject none, and this is soon put to the test as a string of new guests challenge Okko’s ability to be a gracious host.

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PENGUIN HIGHWAY  (ペンギン・ハイウェイ)
PENGUIN HIGHWAY (ペンギン・ハイウェイ)

Runtime: 118 min / 2018
Director: Hiroyasu Ishida
Starring (voices):  Kitakana, Yu Aoi, Rie Kugimiya, Megumi Han, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Naoto Takenaka

Budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure.

Based on Tomihiko Morimi, popular novel adaptation.Winner of  The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature. A visually amazing, heart-warming delight!

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