The Japanese Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th year in April 2018, has unveiled its full programme.

The first Japanese Film Festival in 2008 screened just 4 films in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. For its 10th edition the 2018 Festival will return to those 3 original locations, but also visit Galway, Tipperary, Sligo, Waterford and Dundalk, presenting 50 screenings of 17 films nationally.

Ireland’s only truly national film festival begins this year in Cork and Galway on April 8 and screens all over Ireland right the way through to its final screenings in Dundalk on April 21.

This year’s Festival is the biggest to date and presents an exciting line-up that showcases the best of contemporary Japanese cinema, with a mix of new work from established directors and first features from inspiring new talent.

The packed programme includes the Irish premieres of the crowd-pleasing family drama Close Knit, the latest from Naoko Ogigami, whose Rent-a-Catwas a particular favourite with JFF audiences in 2013; the wickedly humorous At the Terrace, which sees the aftermath of a dinner party implode as social politeness gives way to revelations and scandal; the probing family drama Dear Etranger; and the mysterious, haunting Snow Woman the latest adaptation of the iconic story written by the Irish-Greek author Lafcadio Hearn. Following its recent win at the Japan Academy 2018 for Best Film and Best Director, Irish audiences will also have the opportunity to catch The Third Murder, which sees the great Hirokazu Kore-eda taking a break from his usual family dramas to deliver a dark legal thriller.

For this 10th event the anime selection is particularly strong. As previously announced the Festival is presenting, for one night only, exclusive fan preview screenings of Studio Ponoc’s highly anticipated first feature Mary and the Witch’s Flower, with some screenings already sold-out. The Festival will also host the Irish premiere of acclaimed screenwriter Mari Okada’s directorial debut Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, just weeks after its international premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival. 10 years after Masaaki Yuasa debut Mind Game featured in the first Japanese Film Festival in 2008, it is also fitting that this year’s event will share his latest creations with Irish audiences – Annecy award-winner Lu Over the Wall and The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, which recently won the Best Animated Feature Prize at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Ticket sales information will be available from each participating venue. Ticketing links and listings will also be available at www.jff.ie

Previous editions of the Festival have boasted sell-out screenings in all locations, and the organisers expect this year to be no different, with a carefully selected programme designed to intrigue, educate and entertain.

I’m delighted that our ongoing collaboration with access>CINEMA is continuing to allow Irish audiences to enjoy Japanese film in Ireland. This tenth edition of the festival is an excellent start to the next 60-year cycle of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. I hope that everyone will enjoy as many films as possible and that they open a window on traditional and contemporary life in Japan.
Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland

It is hard to believe that it is a decade since we first partnered on the Japanese Film Festival with the Embassy of Japan, but it has been such a rewarding experience to be involved with, and to help to grow a festival that uniquely gives Irish audiences the opportunity to experience the quality international cinema produced by Japan.

It is fitting that in this, our 10th year, we are able to showcase the progression of filmmakers such as Masaaki Yuasa, Shinobu Yaguchi and Naoko Ogigami, all of whom had their earlier work featured in previous Festival editions. We have always felt that it is paramount for the Festival to provide a platform for new emerging Japanese talent as well as for the established filmmakers, and I am sure that in years to come we will be seeing more from new voices such as Akio Fujimoto (Passage of Life) and Yosuke Takeuchi (The Sower), who both feature with their directorial debuts this year.

If you’re not familiar with Japanese cinema, we encourage you to experience some of the unique and diverse films from this extraordinary country. Maeve Cooke, Director of access>CINEMA

The Festival also caters for viewers in search of pure escapism and entertainment. Survival Family is a witty and delightful story of how one family deals with the apocalypse; Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High is an over-the-top story of high school politics gone mad that is just brimming with comic book excess; whilst Tokyo Ghoul is a tense, action-packed adaptation of the dark and gory manga!

JFF 2018 Screening Schedule:

Cork – Triskel Christchurch : April 8-12
Galway – EYE Cinema: April 8-12
Limerick – ODEON Limerick: April 9 -10
Tipperary – LIT Clonmel Campus: April 9
Dublin Light House Cinema: April 10-15
Dublin – Movies@Dundrum: April 10
Limerick – University of Limerick: April 11
Cork – Gate Multiplex: April 13-15
GalwayPálás: April 13-16
Tipperary – Tipperary Excel: April 14-15
Dublin – Chester Beatty Library: April 15
Sligo – Institute of Technology: April 16
Waterford – Garter Lane Arts Centre: April 17-19
Dundalk – An Táin Arts Centre: April 21

The Embassy of Japan and access>CINEMA are the co-organisers of the Festival. The 2018 event is supported by the Japanese Business Society in Ireland, Yakult and official restaurant partner Wagamama.

Stay tuned for more announcements to come and join the conversation on social media with #JFF18 on Facebook and Twitter.

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