Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021 Announces Opening/Closing Films

The key visual of OAFF 2021 is an original art by Vancouver-based cartoonist Marc Bell.

The Organisers of the Osaka Asian Film Festival have announced details of the 2021 edition. The top headlines are:

It is going ahead in two forms, one physical and one digital

  • On screen (OAFF 2021 programs in cinemas): March 5 – March 14
  • Online (Selected films from previous OAFF programs): February 28 – March 20

The screen programs will consist of the Competition, Indie Forum, and other sections and special programs dedicated to emerging trends in Asian cinema.

The Online Programs will have a rich selection of works that have been screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in the past. These films will be available to rent for a limited time through VOD (video on demand) services via a streaming platform. The viewing period for these films is from February 28 to March 20 as “Osaka Asian Film Festival Online” and it will be available in Japan. The first title to bee announced for online screening is WHOLE, a drama about biracial people searching for their identity in Japan (here’s my review).

Due to the Coronavirus situation, there will be rules in place at cinemas to keep people safe and the festival’s program might change at short notice, so please keep an eye on the official site and also SNS: Twitter, Facebook etc.

Also announced were the OPENING and CLOSING films.

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Animation Runs! – Watch Japanese Indie Animation Online (Dec 25 – 28)

Animation Runs Header Image

Animation Runs! is an annual event hosted by Himeji Cinema Club where people can enjoy a variety of short films created by indie animators. Due to Covid-19, the event will be going online via a YouTube channel which will host 19 films across four programmes, all of which are listed on the official website.

The films announced are a mixture of narrative and non-narrative with music videos thrown in, all done in a variety of styles like 2D anime (闘え!!ハクマイダーフォー), beautiful illustrations (MELVAS), abstract images (LFL) and stop motion (City Has a Hill/Case of ONOMICHI) and even an animation using LINE stamps and the memo function of the iPhone (memo anime). Furthermore, there will be a short talk given by each of the directors following the screening of each film.

You can get a taste of the films with City Has a Hill/Case of ONOMICHI with the embedded video below.

At the time of writing, the YouTube videos have not been released but what has been confirmed is that the films are all available to view for free on the channel and people from around the world can watch them from December 25 – 28:

25(Fri) 18:00 in JP/9:00, 25th in UK
28(Mon) 6:00 in JP/21:00, 28th in UK

To find out more, please visit the site and follow the Twitter account to get more information such as info on the animators and the screening links.

I originally posted this news item on Anime UK News.

UPDATE: Here are the films!

Programme A:

Programme B:

Programme C:

Programme D:

Japanese Films at the London East Asian Film Festival 2020

The London East Asian Film Festival announced its programme last month and while it has a varied selection of films, there is only one Japanese film programmed. It is a physical event that will run at various cinemas and it will open with the Korean film Beasts Clawing at Straws which I reviewed earlier this year. Order tickets through Eventbrite.

Here are the details on the one Japanese film programmed:

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Japanese Animation at the London International Animation Festival 2020

Genki London International Animation Film Festival 2013 Banner

This year’s London International Animation Festival (LIAF 20) is online this year and there are a number of Japanese films on offer. Tickets break down like this:

A standard virtual tickets costs £6 while a festival pass (covering 24 screenings and talks) costs £45 waged/£35 student and unwaged.

Here are the films: Continue reading “Japanese Animation at the London International Animation Festival 2020”

A Preview of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2020


The 33rd Tokyo International Film Festival (TokyoIFF) runs from October 31st to November 09th and it is a physical event. Information on this page shows the various measures that will be taken by staff such as temperature checks, ensuring audiences wear masks, empty seats around viewers and other methods of ensuring physical distancing.

In terms of films, TokyoIFF has a pretty busy and diverse programme that pitches a lot of dramas alongside restored classics, animation and super sentai. On top of that, there are many interesting talks and other events scheduled with a range of guests.

Here is the festival’s trailer!

Like my last TokyoIFF post, I’ll keep this brief by writing in detail about films I haven’t covered before (or not that often) and I’ll also focus on titles from the indie end of the spectrum as well as utilising the main sections TokyoIFF has created to provide structure to this post.

Continue reading “A Preview of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2020”

Japanese Films at Tokyo FILMeX 2020 (October 30th to November 05th)

Tokyo FILMeX 2020 runs from October 30th to November 05th. It’s the placeTokyo Filmex Poster to see arthouse films but, due to Covid-19, organisers have decided to shorten the duration of the fest and have it run alongside the Tokyo International Film Festival, although it’s still a physical event. This move positions the festival in a way to make it akin to Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. You can read a statement here which explains more.

Anyway, the festival has quite a few titles from Japan or set in Japan that are worth checking out.

Click on a title to be taken to the festival page:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at Tokyo FILMeX 2020 (October 30th to November 05th)”

Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2020

BFI London Film Festival Logo

2020 has knocked everyone sideways, not least film fests across the globe, many of which went virtual to protect audiences from Covid-19. This year’s London Film Festival follows many others in being a virtual event as well as having physical screenings in Loondon. It runs from October 07th to the 18th and viewers across the UK will be able to access all of the films wherever they are. Reflecting the other tumultuous events of this year, specifically the long-ignored issue of racial justice, there is a substantial presence of black filmmakers, a traditionally under-served demographic, that is finally getting their chance to shine.

In terms of Japanese films there are none. We get the first episode of a TV show. This lack of films is rather ironic considering 2020 is the year that the BFI is going all in on its Japanese movie coverage to leverage any and all interest in the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics but I guess it’s another sign of a Covid-19 casualty.

Here’s what is programmed (click on the title to be taken to the corresponding festival page):

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2020”

Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2020

Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 Logo

The Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 (VIFF) runs from September 24th to October 07th and it is packed with over 100 feature films from around the world. This year’s fest is going to be available for people to view online so this means that viewers in British Columbia can watch from the comfort of their homes via VIFF Connect, VIFF’s new online streaming platform. There will be talks and conferences that are open the everyone around the world to tune into on top of that.

Here’s the round-up of Japanese films.

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Japanese Films at the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2020 (September 18th-26th)

san sebastian film festival 2020 Logo

This year’s San Sebastian International Film Festival runs from September 18th to the 26th and they have announced their selection of films. Due to the Covid-19, the festival has reduced what it will show and created a mixed programme of physical and online activities (details here). There are three Japanese films, as far as I am aware and they are detailed below. Take a look!

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2020 (September 18th-26th)”