THE TORONTO JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL MOVES ONLINE FOR 2020
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 9th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival will be held online from October 3 to 22, 2020 and features 22 films using the SHIFT72 festival platform. Screenings will also take place live in Japan during the same period in Tokyo Hibiya Midtown Centre. The festival has now grown into one of the largest film events of its kind in the world and is recognized by the Japanese film industry as a vital conduit for bringing Japanese film to the world.
The festival’s highlight Centerpiece screening is the Canadian Premiere of FUKUSHIMA 50, Setsurō Wakamatsu’s harrowing drama of the employees tasked with handling the meltdown of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami disaster starring Ken Watanabe and Koichi Sato.
TJFF also presents major award winners for their Canadian premieres. Mitsuhito Fujii’s THE JOURNALIST which won the Japanese Academy Awards for Best Film, Best Actor (Tori Matsuzaka) and Best Actress (Eun-kyung Shim); Hirohiko Arai’s intense erotic odyssey IT FEELS SO GOOD (Kinema Junpo Awards for Film and Best Actress and Best Film Awards from Eiga Geijutsu Magazine and the Yokohama Film Festival); Nobuhiro Suwa’s haunting VOICES IN THE WIND (Special Mention, Berlin International Film Festival) about a young women hitchhiking across from Hiroshima to Tohoku to an actual pilgrimage spot called the “wind phone”: a disconnected telephone booth in where 3.11 mourners go to speak with people they’ve lost.
TJFF is programmed reflect the rich diversity of the world 4th largest film industry: North American and Canadian premieres include Kazuya Shiraishi’s latest masterpiece ONE NIGHT, Yukiko Mishima’s erotic drama THE SHAPE OF RED, Renpei Tsukamoto’s foodie-friendly mother-daughter dramedy BENTO HARRASSMENT; Takumi Saitoh’s hallucinogenic COMPLY+-ANCE, Isshin Inudo’s reimagining of the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman buddy comedy THE BUCKET LIST with two if Japan’s top female performers Sayuri Yoshinaga and Yuki Amami, and Takahisa Zeze’s devastating mystery and exploration of the limits of trust, THE PROMISED LAND based on Shuichi Yoshida’s crime stories.
Japan’s most beloved comedy film series celebrates its 50th anniversary with its 50th film in Yoji Yamada’s TORA-SAN, WISH YOU WERE HERE while Masaharu Fukuyama and Yuriko Ishida burn up the screen in Hiroshi Nishitani’s international story of romance and classical music AT THE END OF THE MATINEE. The samurai are also well-represented in lavish period comedies like Isshin Inudo’s SAMURAI SHIFTERS, and Yoshihiro Nakamura’s 47 RONIN IN DEBT.
Other screenings include Koki Mitani’s smash political farce HIT ME ANYONE ONE MORE TIME, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, Naofumi Higuchi’s THE MASTER OF FUNERALS, Tsutomu Hanabusa’s PROJECT DREAM – HOW TO BUILD MAZINGER Z’S HANGAR , Soichiro Komatsu’s documentary FUZJKO: THE PIANIST OF SILENCE AND SOLITUDE, Koichiro Miki’s THE TRAVELLING CAT CHRONICLES, and anime hits DETECTIVE CONAN: FIST OF THE BLUE SAPPHIRE and SUMIKKO GURASHI:THE MOVIE.
Tickets for all Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) screenings are priced at CDN$9.99. Please enjoy the films at home with your family. Some films do address adult themes so please check age recommendations.
Films are presented on a Video on Demand basis through our online platform partner SHIFT72. E-Tickets will go on sale on Monday, September 23 starting at 00:00AM (EDT) and continue through to the end of festival on October 22 at 11:59pm. The process is quite simple; just go to the Toronto Japanese Film Festival website at www.torontojff.com and follow the prompts