Over the last few years. the Japan Foundation has set up opportunities for people around the world to watch Japanese films via streaming via Japanese Film Festival+. This year, they have teamed up with mini theatres (small independent cinemas) across Japan to programme 12 indie films for people to stream online for free.
From December 15th, people can go to the website JFF+ INDEPENDENT CINEMA to watch independent films selected by the managers of mini theatres from across Japan. This is a novel way to programme films and it offers an insight into the mini theatre ecosystem which supports Japanese filmmakers and the cultural life of local communities – the majority of films on my weekend trailer posts get played at these small venues.
The films are available to many countries outside of Japan and the films and the theatres that select them are reveal something of specific regional culture. There is ample background on each of the titles and the program is going to be complemented by interview videos with directors and actors, and interview articles with managers of the mini-theatres to give you more of an insight into the films. If you click on the links for the films below, you can read information already.
The films will be screened over two periods:
– First term: 6 films streamed from December 15, 2022, to March 15, 2023,
– Second term: 6 films streamed March 15, 2023, to June 15 2023,
Check the website for more
Some of these are bang up-to-date titles while others are nearly a decade old so you’re going to get some views on how films have fared over time. Some directors even give advice on how to watch the films! There are dramas, documentaries, and experimental works. I’ve only seen a couple of them but can highly recommend them (links to reviews and an interview included) while the others I have heard good things about.
How can one stream the films? When the streaming period is active, just go to the website and register online by clicking on the ‘Watch for Free’ button to jump to the streaming page and sign up to create an account via your email address.
There’s the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter and offer feedback and so you can drop a message to give your thoughts and thanks for the free films. Feedback always helps and it looks like the mini theatre managers want to hear from viewers!
What are the films on offer?
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