The highly-anticipated Japanese Film Festival (JFF) will be shifting to an online platform this year in a bid to continue sharing Japanese culture to the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presented and run by the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM), JFF Plus: Online Festival will highlight 28 specially curated contemporary and classic Japanese films of different genres that audiences can enjoy in the comforts of their homes starting Nov. 20 to 29, 2020.
The quality Japanese films will be screened via the JFF Plus: Online Festival portal.
The films will be accessible to the public for free and accessed via the Internet on any smart TV or mobile device for 24 hours only, with scheduled starting times. Viewers will no longer be able to play back films when they reach the 24-hour expiration limit.
In an online press conference held via Zoom, the festival committee shared that this year’s film lineup includes a variety of anime titles, heart-warming drama and romance films, documentary films and several films covering different genres.
The full line-up and schedule for the Philiippines can be viewed here.
Program Director Kanami Namiki shared that the films were selected for their entertainment value, mainly to provide stress-relief to viewers living in lockdown, and chosen to appeal to a wide international audiences and various age groups. The festival committee also ensured that there would be no replication on existing digital platforms available in the country such as Netflix.
According to JFM Director Suzuki Ben, the online edition for the film festival was organized as a response to the current social climate brought by the global pandemic.
“In this time when we can’t go out and visit places, films allow us to take glimpses into new worlds, experience things, see places and gain new perspectives while staying safe in the confines of our homes,” said Mr. Suzuki. "Online movies have become the trend because of the pandemic and the internet as its venue for instant exchange of information and culture."
The festival organizers are optimistic that showing the featured films online can easily reach more Filipinos all over the country. Anyone with a smart TV, computer, mobile phone or similar gadget with access to the Internet can view the films at home.
JFM bid sayonara to the popular “EIGASAI” brand last March to embrace the “Japanese Film Festival" with a fresh selection of fun and exciting films this November.
In 2016, the Japan Foundation re-branded its most-anticipated film event as the Japanese Film Festival with the same mission to promote Japanese film around the world.
The festival remains an avenue to celebrate Japanese culture in the Philippines and increase people’s interest in Japanese films, as well as bridge the Asia-Pacific film market and the Japanese film industry for possible collaborations.
A special opening film screening for the film Project Dreams - How to Build Mazinger Z's Hangar (2020)" will also be held a the SM Cinema Drive-in at the SM Mall of Asia.
Check out the trailer below.
The Japanese Film Festival Plus: Online Festival will run from Nov. 20 to 29, 2020 onhttps://watch.jff.jpf.go.jp/.
(Images via Japan Foundation Manila)