The Japanese Film Festival will be held again in Indonesia in 2018. This year, the film festival will be held in four different cities in Indonesia. In Makassar, South Sulawesi the event will be held from 23 to 25 November 2018 at CGV Cinemas Daya Grand Square. In Yogyakarta, the event will be held from 27 November to 4 December 2018 in cooperation with Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival at Jogja National Museum, Empire XXI, and Cinemaxx. In Jakarta, the event will be held from 7 to 16 December 2018 at CGV Cinemas Grand Indonesia. While in Bandung, West Java, the event will be held from 23 to 25 November 2018 at CGV Cinemas 23 Paskal Shopping Center.
The line-up of films to be screened in the Japanese Film Festival Indonesia 2018 has also been revealed. There are a total of 14 feature films that will be screened in the event, including two animated features: Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Mary to Majo no Hana) and Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over the Wall (Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta).
Here is the synopsis for Mary and the Witch’s Flower from the Japanese Film Festival website:
“This summer, Mary finds… surprises and joy… mistakes and destiny… and a bit of courage. Mary has moved to Redmanor Village. In a nearby forest she finds a mysterious flower called the “Fly-by-Night” that only blooms once in seven years. It is also called the forbidden “Witch’s Flower”. Acquiring magical powers that last only for one night, Mary is permitted to entry into Endor College, the magical world’s finest educational institution, towering above a sea of clouds. However, one lie by Mary causes a serious incident to fall on somebody she cares about.“
Based on The Little Broomstick novel by British author Mary Steward, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first animated feature film by Studio Ponoc, a studio founded by ex-Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura. Nishimura is also credited as the producer of the film, with Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie was Here, The Secret World of Arrietty) as director and co-scriptwriter, while Riko Sakaguchi (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) is credited as scriptwriter.
Here is the synopsis for Lu Over the Wall from the Japanese Film Festival website:
“Kai Ashimoto is a middle school student who lives with his father and grandfather in Hinashi, a quiet fishing village. He used to live in Tokyo, but after his parents divorced he moved to his father’s hometown. Kai struggles to express his feelings to both of his parents. He felt lonely and depressed by his school life. He only finds comfort by uploading songs composed by himself to the internet. One day, his classmates Kunio and Yuho invited him to join their band, “SEIREN”. When they arrive at the practice site on Ningyojima Island (Merfolk), a mermaid named Lu appears in front of them. Since ancient times, the townspeople of Hinashi believed that mermaids would bring calamity. Hinashi City is in danger. Can Kai’s conscience save this city”
Lu Over the Wall is the second animated feature from the studio Science Saru. Masaaki Yuasa (Tatami Galaxy, Ping Pong: the Animation) the founder of the studio directed and write the script along with Reiko Yoshida (A Silent Voice, Tamako Love Story) as scriptwriter. This is Science Saru second animated film after The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, which is also directed by Yuasa.
Ini addition to the animated films, the film festival will also screen Chihayafuru Part 3: Musubi. This film is the third installment of the live action film adaptation of Yuki Suetsugu’s Chihayafuru manga, whose previous two films have also been screened in Japanese Film Festival Indonesia in 2016.
Here is the synopsis for Chihayafuru Part 3: Musubi from the Japanese Film Festival website:
“New members appear on the Mizusawa Karuta Club, and the senior year students are aiming to win the national competition in their last year. However, Taichi suddenly decides to quit Karuta Club before the competition begins. Chihaya couldn’t hide her sadness and disappointment. Could Chihaya, Taichi and Arata keep themselves commit to Karuta?”
Other films in the line-up are Hirokazu Kore-eda’s award-winning Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), Shinichirou Ueda’s surprise hit zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead (Kamera wo Tomeru na!), another manga adaptation in Laughing Under the Clouds (Donten ni Warau), migrant family drama Yakiniku Dragon, table tennis-themed Mixed Doubles, murder mystery The Crimes that Bind (Inori no Maku ga Oriru Toki), romance dramas Color Me True (Konya, Romance Gekijou de), Perfect World, and The 8-Year Engagement, fantasy drama The Man from the Sea (Umi wo Kakeru), and the multinational anthology Asian Three Fold Mirror: Journey. The schedule for the film screenings will be announced later.
Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is held to increase the interest of South East Asian viewers towards Japanese films. JFF in Indonesia was first held in 2015 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan partnering with the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, Japan Foundation, and Japan Image Council. Starting this year, JFF Indonesia will be joining JFF Asia Pacific Gateway, which was initiated by Japan Foundation and will be held in 10 countries in South East Asia and Australia. JFF is expected to connect Japanese film and its audience by holding various activities related to film in particular and to Japanese culture in general.
The Indonesian Anime Times