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.
‘Kontora’ Wins Inaugural Obayashi Prize At North America’s Largest Japanese Cinema Event Japan Cuts
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