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Free Admission to Japanese Film Festival

Eiga Sai, the Japanese film festival held annually in Manila and other regions across the country, is set to serve a palatable combo of offerings this year: cinema and gastronomy.

Promoting Japanese arts and culture as well as Japanese language education in the Philippines, the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) will showcase a mix of contemporary films and movies about food at the Eiga Sai, which happens from July 10 to 19.

According to JMF’s program officer Rolando Samson, with this year’s theme “Tasteful Japan,” the audience could get a lot more ideas on how the Japanese food industry became really successful throughout the world.

“We envision that film is one of the most powerful means to promote culture,” Samson told “The film about food is really showing the culture of Japan, why they (Japanese) are very popular in food preparations, why there is sushi or ramen, which (are) widely known.” Of the 11 films to be featured, six contemporary films were taken from Tokyo International Film Festival last year, Samson said. The other five, of which two are documentaries, tackle Japan’s flavorful culinary world.

“The lineup this year is very powerful, although some are not award-winning, most of the films have been shown in film festivals and some gathered major awards,” he said.

A scene from the movie “Parasyte”

Samson said they target to show contemporary films recently shown in Japan and those which have not been premiered in the Philippines, except for Tazaki Yamazaki’s sci-fi thriller “Parasyte,” adapted from the manga series of the same title, which hit the local theaters early this year.The other films included in the contemporary category are “Our Family,” “Wood Job,” “Thermae Romae II,” “Princess Jellyfish” and “Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto.”

Meanwhile, the audience will be treated to food movies such as documentaries “Wa-shoku: Beyond Shuhi” and “The God Ramen,” “Patisserie Coin de rue,” “A Tale of Samurai Cooking” and “It’s a Beautiful Life-Irodori.”

“Our Family” director Yuya Ishii will attend the opening night at the Shang Cineplex in Mandaluyong City on July 9, one of the major highlights of the Eiga Sai, Samson said.“He is a very brilliant director, being awarded as the youngest filmmaker in Japan whose film (“The Great Passage”) became an entry to the Oscar’s,” he said.

Eiga Sai, which draws around 25,000 film enthusiasts every year, is open to the public for free.

See the schedule of the screenings below

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