KOTATSU: Japanese Films at the Hot Docs Cinema

Welcome back to our annual January film screenings!
After a 2+ year absence, we have returned to the Hot Docs Cinema
with four distinct Japanese films to warm your heart and keep you out of the cold!

Our mini-film festival dons the name KOTATSU as a way to start the new year with a sense of coziness.
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.

Friday, January 20 & Saturday, January 21

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!)

Friday, January 20, 7:00 PM


Directed by TANADA Yuki
Drama, Romance, Hakone | Trailer

Read more…

Saturday, January 21, 2:00 PM


Directed by TAKE Masaharu
Comedy, Crime, Osaka | Trailer

Read more…

Saturday, January 21, 11:00 AM


Directed by YAMADA Atsuhiro
Drama, Sport, Shogi | Trailer

Read more…

Saturday, January 21, 4:50PM


Directed by IGARASHI Kohei, Damien Manivel
Drama, Aomori | Trailer

Read more…

Round Trip Heart ロマンス

Directed by TANADA Yuki • 2015 • Drama, Romance, Hakone • 97 minutes • Trailer

26-year-old HOJO Hachiko (OSHIMA Yuko) works as a train attendant on a Romance Car, but doesn’t have the self-confidence for a romance of her own. An encounter with a thief (SAKURABA Yoichi) sends Hachiko on a journey to find her estranged mother and herself among the tourist attractions of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Director Biography:
Born in 1975 in Fukuoka, Japan. Tanada made her directorial debut in 2001 with MORU, which won the Grand Prix and Nikkatsu Brilliant Award at the Pia Film Festival. In 2007, Tanada wrote the screenplay for the hit film Sakuran, helmed by NINAGAWA Mika, which had its international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2008, Tanada’s One Million Yen Girl was screened at the Montreal World Film Festival and she was awarded the New Directors Award by the Directors Guild of Japan. The film also won the audience award at the Udine Far East Film Festival. Round Trip Heart marks Tanada’s return to directing her own original screenplay for the first time in seven years.


Directed by YAMADA Atsuhiro • 2020 • Drama, Sport, Shogi • 119 minutes • Trailer

Eiichi (YOSHIZAWA Ryo) and Riku (WAKABA Ryu) grew up devoted to shogi. In their 20s, Riku came out the better player. To redeem himself, Eiichi devotes himself to create an AI shogi program that can defeat Riku. A coming of age story inspired by true events.

Director Biography:
Born in 1980 in Tokyo. Yamada has been active as a videographer, directing not only films but also music videos. His works include short films such as 3 thieves, Unchained, My First Kiss, where he earned awards at Indies Move Festival. Made his feature directorial debut in 2010 with Happy End. which won audience award at Austin Film Festival. AWAKE is his directorial debut for a commercial film.

We Make Antiques! 嘘八百

Directed by TAKE Masaharu • 2018 • Comedy, Crime, Osaka • 105 minutes • Trailer

A dowdy antique dealer Norio finds a valuable tea cup of the most famous Japanese tea master “Sen no Rikyu” from the 16th century when searching inside a storehouse of a rich family. Norio deceives the homeowner Sasuke to get it for almost nothing, but it turns out that Sasuke is a mere house-sitter and the teacup is made by Sasuke himself. When Norio learns that Sasuke used to be a hopeful potter derailed by an antique authenticator, the two decide to make the gamble of a lifetime against the authenticator they both have a score to settle with. Involving their wives and children, this act of fraud goes quite unexpectedly.

Director Biography:
Directed by TAKE Masaharu, helmer of award-winning film 100 Yen Love, We Make Antiques! is about a battle between the cons and an antique authenticator. The key figures of the cons are played by two distinguished actors, NAKAI Kiichi (The Burmese Harp) and SASAKI Kuranosuke (Samurai Hustle). Screenwriter ADACHI Shin of 100 Yen Love teamed up again with the the director for this slapstick comedy.

The Night I Swam 泳ぎすぎた夜

Directed by IGARASHI Kohei, Damien Manivel • 2017 • Drama, Aomori • 79 minutes • Trailer

Snow covered mountains in Japan. Every night, a fisherman makes his way to the market in town. His 6 year-old son is awoken by his departure and finds it impossible to fall back to sleep. In the sleeping household, the young boy draws a picture that he then slips into his satchel. On his way to school, still drowsy, he strays off the path and wanders into the snow…

Director Biography:
Born in 1983 in Shizuoka. Igarashi debuted with the feature, Voice of Rain That Comes at Night (2008), which won the Green Chameleon Award at Cinema Digital Seoul in 2008. His second feature and graduation work from the Tokyo University of Arts, Hold Your Breath Like a Lover (2014), was selected for competition at Locarno Film Festival 2014. The Night I Swam, co-directed with Damien MANIVEL, was invited to and screened at the Venice Film Festival and Jeonju International Film Festival, among many others.

Born in 1981. After directing shorts such as The Lady with the Dog (2011) and A Sunday Morning (2012), Damien Manivel received the Special Mention at Locarno Film Festival for A Young Poet (2014), his first feature film. His second feature, The Park (2016), was presented at Cannes. He won the Best Director at the Locarno International Film Festival for Isadora’s Children (2019).

Co-presented by: