Contact Us Sitemap
JFTFP18: Sixteen films; Eighteen venues; 131 screenings – done!

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018: (Un)true Colours: Secrets and Lies in Japanese Cinema #JFTFP18

2 February – 28 March 2018

"Consisting mainly of contemporary works, with the odd anniversary screening and classic to enrichen the mix, this annual Touring Programme offers the best opportunity for UK audiences to experience the latest movements in Japanese cinema." Chris O’Keeffe (Screen Anarchy)

Following 131 screenings nationwide over a two month period, the largest Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme to date drew to a close in late March. Featuring 16 titles, ranging from crime thrillers, classics, period pieces to anime, the programme toured to 18 venues around the country, including new venues in Colchester (Firstsite), Chester (Storyhouse) and Lewes (Depot).

This year we also welcomed three very special guests, Kosuke Mukai (screenwriter of Gukoroku – Traces of Sin), Masahiro Motoki (cast of The Long Excuse) and Yu Irie (director of Memoirs of a Murderer), all of whom took part in post-screening discussions of their films in London and around the UK.

Below are some of this year’s highlights:

Screenwriter Kosuke Mukai visited the UK to attend screenings of the most recent film he worked on, Gukoroku – Traces of Sin, adding to his already impressive canon of work (which includes The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky). Appearing at two London screenings of the film at ICA (one of which officially opened this year’s programme), Mukai then travelled to Watershed in Bristol, and Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling.

Another high-profile appearance as part of the season was that of popular Japanese actor Masahiro Motoki at the screening of his film The Long Excuse at ICA, London. Perhaps best known for starring in the Academy Award winning Departures, Motoki’s presence attracted one of the biggest audience numbers at this year’s festival, leading to another sold out screening!

And then in March, we were joined by Yu Irie, director of crime thriller Memoirs of a Murderer. Following the film’s widely popular screening at ICA, London in February, Irie joined us for an exclusive ‘Filmmaker Talk’ at the Soho Hotel in London.

In addition to this standalone talk, Yu Irie embarked on a tour around the UK, attending special Q&A screenings in Sheffield (Showroom), Nottingham (Broadway), and as far as Belfast (Queen’s Film Theatre).

Among the titles, Yoshihiro Nakamura’s twist on the ninja legend, MUMON: The Land of Stealth, proved to be an audience favourite, with the highest turn out rate up and down the country. We have a sneaky suspicion this popularity had something to do with the cast – the film starring none other than Arashi’s Satoshi Ono in the role of the protagonist. The film's screening at ICA was the fastest selling film of the season! Furthermore, certain screenings of the film nationwide were accompanied by the presence of a mysterious ninja handing out goody bags to the lucky few members of the audience, see below.

The programme was also well received among critics and independent reviewers. Here's a few snippets of some reviews:

"The Japan Foundation programme has really triumphed recently in providing a window for UK audiences to experience the kind of films that we don’t usually associate with Japan, films overlooked by the festival circuit and by more traditional channels of distribution, of which contemporary mystery and crime dramas are a prime example." Jasper Sharp, All the Anime

"It is the most vital festival in the UK for audiences who want to see Japanese cinema and this year’s selection promises to be its biggest and best." Jason Maher (V Cinema Show)

Since 2004, the Japan Foundation has organised a touring Japanese film programme in close partnership with distinguished film venues across the UK. Each year, a handpicked selection of films are carefully chosen to highlight trends in Japanese cinema and showcase the versatility and uniqueness displayed by Japanese filmmakers. … [A] beautifully curated programme …” Rob Aldam (Backseat Mafia)

And here are some lovely comments from our audiences!

Compliments on making this a truly nationwide event programme!

This is an excellent festival. I have come for a couple of years previously and intend to keep coming. Keep up the good work!

Thank you for always introducing me to various works discussing different themes. Please carry on.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme this February and March! We look forward to seeing you again at the 16th edition in 2019!