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Japanese Film Festival (JFF) returns to Irish cinemas this April

The Japanese Film Festival returns for its 14th outing this April, bringing the best of Japanese cinema to audiences across Ireland.
This year, Ireland’s only truly national film festival returns to its usual April slot. Screenings will take place in seven venues nationally, starting in Cork on Sunday April 3rd. April 7th will see the start of screenings in Dublin, Galway and Waterford. The festival continues in Tipperary on April 9th and concludes in Dundalk on April 23rd.
From festival favourites and hidden gems to the latest anime and blockbuster hits, every year JFF aims to bring the best of contemporary Japanese cinema to Irish audiences – and this year is no different.
This year’s line-up includes Tokyo Revengers, a live-action adaptation of the hit manga / anime series and one of the biggest Japanese box office successes of 2021. Time travel, romance, yakuza drama, action – Tokyo Revengers has it all.
Under The Open Sky, meanwhile, is among the most acclaimed Japanese dramas of recent years, boasting a career-best lead performance from veteran star Koji Yakusho (The Eel, Shall We Dance?, Cure, 13 Assassins).

Photo: Under the Open Sky (JFF 2022)

Other highlights at this year’s festival include Ito, a funny and poignant drama about a disaffected young woman who starts working in a maid café; Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle, a captivating take on one of the most unusual chapters of World War II and its aftermath; and Dawning on Us, a sharp social satire set in the immediate aftermath of lockdown. Foodies won’t want to miss the sumptuous The Pursuit of Perfection, a documentary that focuses on four of Japan’s most internationally celebrated chefs.

Photo: Ito (JFF 2022)

JFF 22 will also include the Irish premiere of the visionary stop-motion animation film Junk Head. Full of grotesque creatures, bizarre sights and unexpected comedy, Junk Head is an unforgettable trip into a subterranean sci-fi dystopia.

Photo: Junk Head (JFF 2022)

There’s something for everyone in this year’s anime selection. Looking for Magical Doremi is a lively and charming coming-of-age story and road trip across Japan. Sing a Bit of Harmony – the latest from Patema Inverted director Yasuhiro Yoshiura – is a joyous and energetic mix of high school drama, sci-fi and musical. Pompo the Cinephile brings a larger-than-life manga character to life while serving as a celebration of all things cinema. Last year’s JFF included the first Irish screenings of the Oscar-nominated Drive My Car.
JFF audiences in Cork, Galway and Waterford will this year have a chance to see director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s other 2021 masterpiece – the extraordinary anthology film Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy – on the big screen.
TICKETING
Ticket sales information for screenings are available from each participating venue.
Ticketing links and listings are also available at www.jff.ie
JFF 2022 FULL FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Gate Cinema, Cork
Sunday April 3rd to Wednesday April 6th
April 3 @ 18:00: Under The Open Sky
April 4 @ 18:00: Tokyo Revengers
April 5 @ 18:00: Pompo the Cinephile
April 6 @ 18:00: Ito
Triskel Arts Centre, Cork
Thursday April 7th
April 7 @ 18:00: The Pursuit of Perfection
April 7 @ 20:15: Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy
Light House Cinema, Dublin
Thursday April 7th to Thursday April 14th
April 7 @ 20:15: Under the Open Sky
April 8 @ 18:30: The Pursuit of Perfection
April 8 @ 20:15: Tokyo Revengers
April 9 @ 13:15: Looking for Magical Doremi
April 9 @ 15:00: Sing a Bit of Harmony
April 9 @ 18:30: Pompo the Cinephile
April 9 @ 20:15: Junk Head
April 10 @ 19:00: Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle
April 11 @ 18:00: Ito
April 12 @ 18:00: Dawning on Us
April 13 @ 18:00: The Murders of Oiso
April 14 @ 18:00: The Asadas!
Pálás Cinema, Galway
Thursday April 7th to Monday April 11th
April 7 @ 20:30: Under the Open Sky
April 8 @ 18:45: The Pursuit of Perfection
April 8 @ 20:30: Ito
April 9 @ 14:45: Looking for Magical Doremi
April 9 @ 16:30: Sing a Bit of Harmony
April 9 @ 18:45: Pompo the Cinephile
April 9 @ 20:30: Tokyo Revengers
April 10 @ 14:00: Dawning on Us
April 10 @ 16:30: Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle
April 10 @ 20:00: Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy
April 10 @ 18:30: Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy
Garter Lane Theatre, Waterford
Thursday April 7th to Saturday April 9th
April 7 @ 19:30: Sing of a Bit of Harmony
April 8 @ 19:30: Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy
April 9 @ 19:30: Pompo the Cinephile
Tipperary Excel Centre, Tipperary
Saturday April 9th
April 9th @ TBC: Sing a Bit of Harmony
An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk
Saturday April 23rd
April 23rd @ TBC: Looking for Magical Doremi
April 23rd @ TBC: Summer Ghost + Making Of
April 23rd @ TBC: Pompo the Cinephile
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Japanese Film Festival 2022 is co-organised by The Embassy of Japan and access>CINEMA.

Japanese Story: A New Season of Japanese Films Online | Volume I

If you have an interest in Japanese film history, you will be pleased to know that Irish Film Institute has announced their new season of Japanese films, online on IFI@Home: Japanese Story.

Films included in the first volume of the season will be available to rent from Friday, February 5th for just €5.99, taking you through a journey of Japanese cinema, from the Golden Age to the surrealist, to the best of J-Horror.

Films are available to browse and rent here: https://www.ifihome.ie/page/japanese-story/

The phenomenal depth and breadth of stylistic and narrative invention observed in Japanese cinema offers continued delights for even the most ardent of cinephiles. The films selected for this season are intended to offer the most basic of primers to one of film’s most historically significant national cinemas.

Alongside classics from titans such as Ozu and Kurosawa are included some more outré examples of work from contemporary directors, as well as samples of uniquely Japanese takes on genre, such as the kaijuanime, and pinku eiga films featured. While it is impossible to represent all the many facets of Japanese cinema in such a selection, it is hoped that what is on offer will provide a tantalising introduction for some, and a welcome opportunity to revisit for others.

JAPANESE STORY VOLUME I: FULL SCHEDULE
Films are available to browse and rent here.
The second volume of the season will be available to rent on IFI@Home in March 2021.