- Offering diverse genres of Japanese films, this year’s EIGASAI opens on July 4 at Greenbelt with the Philippine premiere of CHIHAYAFURU Part 3, graced by its esteemed director Nori Koizumi
- Featuring special screenings and talks in collaboration with the Japan Foundation projects: EYES for Embracing Diversity; Oriza Hirata’s Manila Notes; and the Spirit of Budo: the History of Japan’s Martial Arts
MANILA (June 11, 2018) – The Japan Foundation, Manila is pleased to announce the full lineup of films, guests and special talks for this year’s Japanese Film Festival, more popularly known as EIGASAI. In honor of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Month, EIGASAI’s 21st edition runs from July 4 to August 26, 2018 ﹣with fifteen full-feature films of diverse genres selected for more than 100 screenings across five major cities nationwide. This year’s film festival is set to be unique as it collaborates with other Japan Foundation arts, cultural and dialogue projects.
EIGASAI 2018 officially kicks off with the encore screenings of CHIHAYAFURU Part 1 (Japanese title: ちはやふる 上の句), CHIHAYAFURU Part 2 (ちはやふる 下の句) and the Philippine premiere screening of CHIHAYAFURU Part 3 (ちはやふる 結び), the live-action film adaptation of Yuki Suetsugu’s manga series Chihayafuru, at Greenbelt 1 Cinema 2 on July 4. The Opening Night Gala is held on the same day at the Greenbelt 5 Gallery, graced by this year’s opening film director Nori Koizumi, who is also scheduled to give Director’s Talks on July 6 at the Ateneo de Manila University and July 7 at Greenbelt 1 Cinema 2.
There will also be a karuta – Japanese card game as featured in the CIHAYAFURU film series – demonstration on July 4 and 5 one hour prior to the CHIHAYAFURU Part 1 and Part 2 screenings at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Japan Foundation’s continued support towards independent filmmakers brings another Japanese independent film to Manila: Of Love & Law (Of Love & Law).
This documentary film is about a couple who operates Japan’s first openly gay firm and won the Best Film Award at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival’s Independent Japanese Cinema category. Director Hikaru Toda will be present at its Philippine premier on August 4 at CCP during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, an allied festival of EIGASAI since 2016.
There will also be a special screening and panel discussion on issues surrounding LGBTQ, minorities, and the importance of inclusion on August 5 at Cinematheque Centre Manila. This is in collaboration with a project of the Japan Foundation Asia Center: EYES for Embracing Diversity, geared towards practitioners, researchers, and educators in the Southeast Asian regions and Japan who have been striving to create a diverse and inclusive society. This is co-organized by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce (PLCC), led by Brian Tenorio, 2017 EYES Fellow and the Founder and Chair of the PLCC, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
Another unique film screening and talk is organized in conjunction with Japanese playwright-director Oriza Hirata’s Manila Notes – the Philippine version of the award-winning play Tokyo Notes that premiered in 1994 in Japan’s capital city. The original play has since been translated into 15 different languages and presented across the world. This Philippine-Japan collaborative theater project will be Tanghalang Pilipino’s third play for its 32nd season, which opens on November 30, 2018.
EIGASAI invited Oriza Hirata to give a one-time special talk during the EIGASAI at CCP Dream Theater on August 17 along with the screening of When the Curtain Rises (幕が上がる), an adaptation of his novel about a high school drama club in a provincial town. He will talk about the film and the fascination of acting and theater performance, and will also introduce the Manila Notes project.
With strong interest in Japan’s martial arts and Samurai culture, the Japan Foundation, Manila also brings one of the greatest films ever made – Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI (七人の侍) to be screened at the UP Film Institute – Cine Adarna leg of EIGASAI in August, to coincide with The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan’s Martial Arts exhibition which will be held at the National Museum of the Philippines from July 20 to September 26.
Completing the line-up are nine more films with English subtitles that were carefully selected by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Japan Foundation, Manila, offering viewers the chance to experience their favorite genre while discovering something new:
- Let’s Go, JETS! From Small Town Girls to U.S.Champions?! (チア☆ダン ～女子高生がチアダンスで全米制覇しちゃったホントの話～)
- Rudolf the Black Cat (ルドルフとイッパイアッテナ)
- SURVIVAL FAMILY (サバイバルファミリー)
- HONNOUJI HOTEL (本能寺ホテル)
- Memoirs of a Murderer (22年目の告白－私が殺人犯です－)
- Tora-san of Goto (五島のトラさん)
- TORI GIRL (トリガール！)
- ReLIFE (ReLIFEリライフ)
- Daytime Shooting Star (ひるなかの流星)
“The EIGASAI has grown into one of the largest international film festivals in the Philippines, attracting more than 26,000 viewers last year. Film is a fascinating and powerful medium that journeys across borders and inspires all walks of life. Celebrating the Philippine-Japan Friendship Month, and as part of the Japan Foundation, Manila’s commitment to promote art and cultural exchange between the Philippines and Japan, we are pleased to showcase once again the best of contemporary and classic Japanese films. We hope Filipinos enjoy accessing and experiencing Japanese culture through films, and also expand understanding through several talks organized in collaboration with the Japan Foundation’s theater, exhibition and dialogue projects,” shared Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of the Japan Foundation, Manila.
Screening venues are scheduled in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Naga: Greenbelt 1 Cinema 2, Makati City (July 4-8), Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City (July 4-6), CCP Complex, Pasay City (August 4 and 17), Cinematheque Center Manila, Ermita, Manila (August 5), UP Film Institute – Cine Adarna, UP Diliman, Quezon City (August 15-18), SM City Davao Cinema, Davao City (July 12-15), SM City Naga Cinema, Naga City (July 27-29), SM City Bacolod Cinema, Bacolod City (August 9-12), and Ayala Center Cebu Cinema, Cebu City (August 23-26). Another EIGASAI SpinOff event in the regions may be organized later in the fiscal year.
Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis, except screenings at Greenbelt 1 Cinema 2 (PHP100 per screening). Tickets are available online https://www.sureseats.com or at the cinema ticket booth starting June 27.
The EIGASAI 2018 is generously supported by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Naga University, UP Film Institute, Arts Council of Cebu, Ayala Malls Greenbelt, Ayala Mall Cinemas, SM Supermalls, SM City Bacolod, SM City Naga, Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. and GEM.
Follow the official EIGASAI Facebook: @eigasaiPH for updates.
 For July 4 screenings at Greenbelt 1 Cinema 2, CHIHAYAFURU Part 3 is invitational while CHIHAYAFURU Part 1 and Part 2 are open to the public.