KOTATSU: Japanese Cinema at Innis Town Hall

We are back with our annual winter film showcase!
This year we are bringing contemporary Japanese cinema to Innis Town Hall
to warm your hearts and keep out of the cold with our soul-stirring lineup of films.

The kotatsu (炬燵 or こたつ) is a signature piece of furniture and the centre of Japanese homes during cold seasons. The modern kotatsu features a low table frame covered by a special quilt or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is an electric heater often built into the table itself. Before modern electricity, charcoal was used to heat a hearth set into the ground.

Saturday, January 27 & Sunday, January 28, 2024 • Innis Town Hall

Co-presented by the Japan Foundation, Toronto and the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto

All films presented in Japanese with English subtitles
Free Admission • In-Theatre Screenings • RSVP Required (register below!)

Close-Knit 彼らが本気で編むときは

Saturday, January 27, 1:30PM (ET)

Directed by OGIGAMI Naoko 2017 • Drama / Family 127 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Rinko is a transgender woman with a heart of gold. Her boyfriend Makio was captivated by her heart and accepts her for who she is. And a lonely girl named Tomo suddenly appeared in their life. This is the story of sixty heartwarming days in the life of these three individuals who each find their own happiness amid the blooming cherry blossoms of spring.

Blue Giant

Saturday, January 27, 6:00PM (ET)

Directed by TACHIKAWA Yuzuru 2023 • Anime / Drama / Music 120 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Dai Miyamoto’s life is turned upside down the day he discovers jazz. A former high school basketball player, Dai picks up a saxophone and begins practicing day and night, determined to become one of the greatest of all time. He leaves his hometown Sendai for the bustling nightclubs of Tokyo, but soon finds the life of a professional musician is not for the faint of heart. His passion eventually wins over the cocky but talented pianist Yukinori, and after Dai convinces his friend Shunji to learn the drums, they launch a new jazz trio whose rough sound contains a raw energy that quickly wins attention from local audiences. But what does it take to truly be great?

Princess Arete アリーテ姫

Sunday, January 28, 11:00AM (ET)

Directed by KATABUCHI Sunao 2021 • Anime / Fantasy 104 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Princesses Arete is shut away in a small room at the top of a castle tower, and she does not show herself in front of other people. Her lot in life is to stay there as a pure maiden until the man who be her bridegroom eventually appears. One day, she learns about an escape hatch from reading an old book, sneaks out of the castle, and heads for the town.

Office Royale 地獄の花園

Sunday, January 28, 1:30PM (ET)

Directed by SEKI Kazuaki 2021 • Action / Comedy 102 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Naoko has landed an office job in a gorgeous garden-like workplace. But below an idyllic surface, a hellish war unfolds between rival office factions. When the firm hires a midcareer woman sporting loads of charisma and so-called “yankee” spunk, “office ladies” across the nation suddenly set their sights on the company. Get ready for the craziest working girl “battle royal” you have ever seen!

It’s a Summer Film! サマーフィルムにのって

Sunday, January 28, 4:00PM (ET)

Directed by MATSUMOTO Soushi 2020 • Comedy / Sci-Fi / Romance 98 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Barefoot is a high-school girl who adores samurai movies and Japanese costume drama. But she doesn’t stand a chance of making a samurai movie at school, as all the film club members prefer romantic dramas. One day Barefoot meets Rintaro, who is an ideal actor for the lead samurai role in a movie she wrote. And so Barefoot and her two best friends persuade Rintaro to star in the movie that transcends space and time.

Co-presented by:

Community Partners: