Keep Dancin’, Okinawa! (film series)

Usher in the spring & summer with our Keep Dancin’, Okinawa! series!

Keep Dancin’, Okinawa! is a celebration of Okinawan stories, culture, and history, highlighted through themes of dance, music, and perseverance. Featuring screenings of documentaries, a classic family comedy, short films, and special guests.

AprilJuly, 2024 • The Japan Foundation, Toronto

All films presented in Japanese and/or Okinawan with English subtitles
Free Admission • In-Person Screenings • RSVP Required (register below!)

DownTown Dance 歌えマチグヮー

Tuesday, April 9, 6:00PM (ET)

Directed by NITTA Yoshitaka • 2012  Documentary • 89 minutes • Presented in Japanese with English subtitles • Trailer

DownTown Dance follows the passionate residents of a shopping district in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. Once a lively market thriving for over 60 years, the district has lost its energy over time. The documentary sheds light on the volunteers who strive to revitalize the market, using “music” as their main approach. In a time when the hollowing out of cities is being decried, the locals are fighting to restore urban vitality and to keep their district open. The market gradually comes to life with the Sakae-machi Market Night Stall Festival. At the centre of it all are the “Oba Rappers”, a trio of ladies who are leading the way in bringing music and dance to their town.

Hotel Hibiscus

Saturday, May 25, 6:30PM (ET)

Directed by NAKAE Yuji 2022 • Comedy / Family 90 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

The unusual and international Nakasone family owns the small and cozy, if somewhat run-down, Hotel Hibiscus with only one room for rent. One summer, after her older sister and brother have left to begin new lives, little Mieko embarks on a magical journey to her cultural roots.

Katabui, in the Heart of Okinawa カタブイ 沖縄に生きる

Virtual Screening: Friday, June 21, 5:59PM (ET) – Sunday, June 23, 11:59PM (ET)

Directed by Daniel López 2016 • Documentary 80 min. Presented in French & Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Daniel López didn’t know anything about Okinawa. Seduced by these southern Japanese islands, once an independent kingdom, he left Switzerland to settle there. Ten years later, he shares his fondness for Okinawa but also his questioning on the archipelago’s identity threatened by the U.S. military presence and an excessive urban development. To understand the locals’ peaceful resistance, he takes us inside Okinawa on the path to discovering a local belief with inspirational scope.

To Be Announced

Tuesday, July 9, 6:00PM (ET)

To Be Announced

Tuesday, July 30, 6:00PM (ET)