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Konnichiwa Mumbai

Published : Jan 13, 2019, 12:27 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2019, 12:27 am IST

To give their patrons a compete Japanese experience, chef Yutaka Saito will be serving tasting portion of sushi.

The Japanese Film Festival is here and will treat city-dwellers to the best in Japanese cinema.
 The Japanese Film Festival is here and will treat city-dwellers to the best in Japanese cinema.

The Japanese Film Festival is here, giving city-dwellers the opportunity to witness the best in Japanese cinema. Organised by The Japan Foundation, Japan’s only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs throughout the world, the Film Festival will present films that have been handpicked for viewing. One can catch titles like Lu Over The Wall, Yuzai – My Friend ‘A’, Mixed Doubles, Color Me True, Inuyashiki, Laughing Under the Clouds and The Crimes That Bind. In addition to pleasing your visual senses, the festival will also tease and please your taste buds for you can sample some delicious sushi dishes.

The Japan Foundation decided to bring the Film Festival to Mumbai after their Delhi outing last year was immensely successful. Talking about her experience at the previous festival, Aoi Ishimaru, Director, Arts and Cultural Exchange at The Japan Foundation, says, “Earlier in 2018, we screened the same films in Delhi and we were pleasantly surprised at the number of audiences that turned up. Unfortunately, we had to turn away a lot of guests because the seats in the theatre were all occupied. We have yet to see if there will be a similar response in Mumbai this year.”

There was another reason for bringing the Film Festival to Mumbai, and that was Mumbai’s Bollywood connect. Aoi Ishimaru says, “We believe that since Mumbai is one of the major cities in India, and also where the film industry is based, it only made sense for us to have the Film Festival travel here to Mumbai.” The Director also believes that the multicultural city will embrace Japanese films with open arms and says, “We think that Japanese cinema is something Mumbaikars would definitely enjoy. This is the ‘film city’ of India and it is only fair to assume that the people here would be open to any kind of cinema regardless of language and nationality.”

Highlighting was the audience could expect at the festivals, Aoi Ishimaru says, “The films have been carefully put together, so it will appeal to the larger audience. One can see that the line-up lists romance, comedy, drama, thrillers, features, live-action, adaptations and animation. There is something for everybody to enjoy.” The films range from contemporary Japanese films, features, and of course, anime will be screened in Japanese with English subtitles.

While most of us are aware of iconic creations of the celebrated director Akira Kurosawa, and even enjoy watching Anime, Japanese cinema is vast and diverse and produces films that are similar yet different from the ones we see in Bollywood. Aoi feels, “In a sense, if melodramatic is what would describe Bollywood cinema, extremely animated screenplays which could be almost hyper-real (and/or sometimes the extreme lack thereof) is what would describe Japanese cinema. However, that is only a gross generalisation of cinemas of both countries.”

Movies are a way for people to learn about other countries, their culture, lifestyle and challenges, and Aoi feels this festival is going to bring two culturally diverse countries closer. She says, “The film festival has been one of our initiatives to introduce Japanese cinema to the Indian audience and to show them our culture and our way of living just as we have seen and loved Indian films and have known much more than before about India through its films. We at The Japan Foundation will continue launching projects that reinforce Indo-Japanese cultural ties from now on.”    

Japanese Film Festival is being held at PVR - ICON Infiniti till January 15, 2019.

Tags: japanese film festival