Japanese Movies at Hot Docs Cinema 2019

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January 13th, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on January 19th, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Cost: Free
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Presented by The Japan Foundation, Toronto and the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto


Japanese Movies at Hot Docs Cinema


No RSVP required

All films in Japanese with English subtitles

Doors open 30 minutes before showtime

Our annual event returns to the Hot Docs Cinema (formerly Bloor Cinema) in January 2019 with three films about getting through difficulties with the help of friends and family. Films will be PRECEDED by SHOJI directed by Jon Chiang, winner of the We Heart Canada+Japan 90 short film contest. More info here >

Sunday January 13, 1:00 PM


Directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro, 2015, 119 min.

Based on the story by Japanese playwright Oriza Hirata, the story follows Saori and her high school class mates who are members of a performance group. The actresses are all members of the J-idol group Momoiro Clover Z.

Show More story details here

CAST: Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, Momoka Ariyasu, Reni Takagi together with Haru Kuroki and Tsuyoshi Muro.

Original Story: Oriza Hirata
Screenplay: Kohei Kiyasu
Theme Song: Momoiro Clover Z

The members of the hugely popular J-idol group Momoiro Clover Z star as high school students who grow through their involvement in an unpopular drama club. Among their co-stars is Haru Kuroki, who won a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014 for her performance in The Little House.

Fujigaoka High School’s drama club has never made it past the preliminaries in regional competitions. Under the tutelage of Ms. Yoshioka (Kuroki), known as “the queen of school theater,” the determined Saori (Kanako Momota) and her fellow clubmates band together in the hope of making the national drama championship.

The film is an adaptation of a story with the same name by award winning Japanese playwright Oriza Hirata.  Veteran director Katsuyuki Motohiro has directed a number films, including the Bayside Shakedown series, Space Travelers, the feature anime Psycho Pass and the live-action manga adaptation of AJIN, and Laughing Under the Clouds.

Momoiro Clover Z, also known as MCZ and Momoclo are now made up of four members who are known for energetic performances, incorporating elements of ballet, gymnastics, and action movies. During the making of the film, there was fifth member, Momoka Ariyasu who graduated in January 2018.  MCZ has a huge following and in 2016, over 636,000 people attended their concert, the most ever for a Japanese female group. With four albums under their belt, they have opened for Lady Gaga, collaborated with Kiss, Marty Freidman and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Sunday January 13, 3:30 PM


Directed by Shinobu Yaguchi, 2017, 117 min.

After a sudden worldwide power outtage, a Tokyo family is caught up in the chaos as millions traverse the country in search of electricity.

Show More story details here

Original Story, Written and Directed by Shinobu Yaguchi

Cast: Fumiyo Kohinata, Eri Fukatsu, Yuki izumisawa, Wakana Aoi

Shinobu Yaguchi, director of countless hits such as “Waterboys,” who stands at the pinnacle of Japanese entertainment movies, begins work on his highly anticipated latest film!

One day, electricity suddenly disappears?! TVs, refrigerators, smartphones and computers… Everything requiring electricity comes to a total halt!

With the incomprehensible disappearance of electricity rendering even simple batteries useless, Tokyo is on the verge of falling into ruin, but one family makes their escape! What could possibly await them?!

The father and head of household, Yoshiyuki Suzuki, is played by Fumiyo Kohinata, a veteran of Historical Dramas who played Hideyoshi in “Sanada Maru.” The mother, Mitsue, is played by Eri Fukatsu, who is known for her ability to expertly depict both serious and comedic roles. These iconic Japanese actors team up as husband and wife.

What’s more, Yuki Izumisawa and Wakana Aoi, two of the most recognized young actors, play brother and sister! It’s an irresistible star-studded cast!

The script is also an original creation by Yaguchi. Although depicting a world the likes of which have never been seen before, it’s sure to be full of Yaguchi’s trademark humor! But this work by the famed director doesn’t just go for laughs! In a story full of sudden twists, the intense journey of a family that has lost everything is sure to emotionally move viewers.

Everyone who sees the film will remember the importance of family. It’s the highly relevant latest work by Shinobu Yaguchi,

that conveys the epitome of the 21st century!

When all is switched off, people are switched on. One day, a sudden battle for survival begins?!

The Suzukis are an average household living in Tokyo.

Even when the mother tries to make conversation, the father is focused on the TV, the son on listening to music, and the daughter on her smartphone’s SNS. They’re a typical family, together but divided. But one day, the Suzuki household encounters a crisis! When they wake up in the morning, all the electrical appliances have stopped! They assume it’s just their house, but soon find out the outage has occurred everywhere, not just in appliances, but also in trains, cars, gas, and water systems. There are no phones with which to make contact, or trains to ride to work. They think they can get by putting up with it for just one day, until another day passes, and yet another.

What seemed to be a normal power outage is in fact, something much more… People are stripped of all convenience by the onset of this crisis.

It’s then that the father, Yoshiyuki (Fumiyo Kohinata), makes the decision of a lifetime:

“We’re going to escape from Tokyo!”

Is there a future for the family in this world denied all electricity?! Can a failure of a father protect his family?! The curtain rises on the survival life of the Suzuki household!

©Fuji Television Network, Toho, Dentsu, Altamira Pictures


Saturday January 19, 2:00 PM

CLOSE – KNIT  彼らが本気で編むときは、

Directed by Naoko Ogigami, 2017, 127 min.

The film centers on the story of one young girl, Tomo, who moves in with her uncle Makio and his partner Rinko, who identifies as a trans woman. At first, things are a bit rough, but eventually they settle-in together to build stronger bonds with each other. The film is a touching portrayal of life as a trans woman, one of the first ever mainstream LGBQT films coming out of Japan.

Show More story details here

Directed and written by Naoko Ogigami

CAST: Toma Ikuta (Rinko), Kenta Kiritani (Makio), Rinka Kakihara (Tomo)

The first film in five years from director Naoko Ogigami, whose many fans adore her uniquely soothing atmospheric films like Kamome Diner, Megane and Toilet, (which was partially filmed in Toronto CANADA).

The protagonist Rinko has undergone a sex change to become a trans woman and lives with her partner Makio. 11-year old Tomo, who is Makio’s niece, moves in with her uncle after her mother takes-off. The young girl feels confused by Rinko’s presence, but gets her first taste of a warm and loving household. Toma Ikuta who plays Rinko, takes on his first transgender role.

Film Festivals, Awards 

2017 Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Special, Teddy Award (Special Jury Award), Panorama Audience Award (Fiction Film – 2nd place)
2017 Beijing International Film Festival
2017 New York Asian Film Festival, Audience Award

(c) 2015 O.H.K/F.T.R.D.K.P, 2017 Fuji TV, Toho, Dentsu, Altamira Pictures, 2017 “Close-Knit” Film Partners


VENUE For All Three Films:

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (formerly Bloor Cinema)
506 Bloor St. W. (Bloor and Bathurst)

Directions and About the Cinema here >

Presented by:


Media Partners: 


Community Partners:


aThe sian Community AIDS Service
Asian Community AIDS Service
JETAA Toronto
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Nagata Shachu 
Ontario Positive Asians
Toronto Japanese Language School
Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival



January 13th, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
January 13th, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:
Doors Open:
30 minutes before
Not required, First Come First Served
Japanese with English subtitles


The Japan Foundation, Toronto and the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
506 Bloor St. W. ON
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