Japan Cuts, North America’s Largest Japanese Cinema Film Fest, Sets Line-Up For 2021 Hybrid Edition

EXCLUSIVE: New York’s Japan Society has unveiled the full line-up for the 15th edition of Japan Cuts: Festival Of New Japanese Film, the largest celebration of Japanese cinema in North America.

Running August 20 – September, the hybrid online and in-theater event will welcome 27 features and 12 short films including 32 films available online throughout the U.S. and 14 screenings of eight films on the big screen in Japan Society’s auditorium.

The fest will kick off with the U.S. Premiere of Soushi Matsumoto’s sci-fi coming-of-age story It’s A Summer Film! The title will be presented online and in person.

Also in person will be the fest’s centrepiece presentation, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Venice Film Festival Silver Lion-winning Wife of a Spy, a thriller tale of suspicion, betrayal and love set during WWII. The film’s star, Yu Aoi, will be the recipient of this year’s Cut Above Award from the Japan Society, which recognizes achievement in Japanese cinema.

The festival’s Next Generation competition, which offers a selection of six independently produced features from emerging directors, will be online again this year. This year’s jurors, awarding the Obayashi Prize, are film scholar Kyoko Hirano; Brian Hu, Artistic Director of Pacific Arts Movement; and Japanese film subtitler and translator Don Brown.

Further highlights include the the in-theater U.S. premiere of The Great Yokai War: Guardians, a big budget fantasy/adventure spectacle by Takashi Miike, the in-theater international premiere of Kiba: The Fangs of Fiction, an all-star comedy about publishing directed by Daihachi Yoshida, and the U.S. online premiere of Ito, the latest film by Satoko Yokohama, which centers on a shamisen-loving high schooler in Aomori who attempts to overcome her shyness by working at a maid café.

Online films will be viewable through the Japan Cuts Japan Society website.

Here’s the full list of features:

Aristocrats, Dir. Yukiko Sode, 2020 – In-person only

B/B, Dir. Kosuke Nakahama, 2020 – Online only

The Blue Danube, Dir. Akira Ikeda, 2021 – Online only

Come and Go, Dir. Lim Kah Wai, 2020 – Online only

Company Retreat, Dir. Atsushi Funahashi, 2021 – Online only

Double Layered Town / Making a Song to Replace Our Positions, Dir. Haruka Komori & Natsumi Seo, 2021 – Online only

The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea, Dir. Sara Ogawa, 2021 – Online only

The Great Yokai War: Guardians, Dir. Takashi Miike, 2021 – In-person only

It’s a Summer Film!, Dir. Soushi Matsumoto, 2020 – In-person & online

Ito, Dir. Satoko Yokohama, 2021 – Online only

Kiba: The Fangs of Fiction, Dir. Daihachi Yoshida, 2021  – In-person only

Labyrinth of Cinema, Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 2019 – In-person only

Mari and Mari, Dir. Tatsuya Yamanishi, 2021 – Online only

My Sorry Life, Dir. Kozue Nomoto, 2021 – Online only

No Smoking, Dir. Taketoshi Sado, 2019 – Online only

The Pass: Last Days of the Samurai, Dir. Takashi Koizumi, 2020 – In-person only

Robinson’s Garden (Newly Remastered), Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 1988 – Online only

Sasaki in My Mind, Dir. Takuya Uchiyama, 2020 – Online only

Spaghetti Code Love, Dir. Takeshi Maruyama, 2021 – Online only

Talking the Pictures, Dir. Masayuki Suo, 2019 – In-person only

To Sleep So as to Dream (New 4K Restoration), Dir. Kaizo Hayashi, 1986 – Online only

Town Without Sea, Dir. Elaiza Ikeda, 2020 – Online only

Ushiku, Dir. Thomas Ash, 2021 – Online only

Why You Can’t Be Prime Minister, Dir. Arata Oshima, 2020 – Online only

Wife of a Spy, Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2020 – In-person & online

Wonderful Paradise, Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 2020 – Online only

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