Sample the cinematic flavours of Japan!

JFF-Dreaming-of-the-Meridian-Arc-(Film-Partners) Enjoy a bite of culture at the 26th Japanese Film Festival (JFF) in Australia – the largest celebration of Japanese film in the country, bringing new and old films to local audiences. There’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s tastes in this year’s line-up!

Presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, the festival tours five major cities across Australia, launching in Canberra (5 – 20 November), before moving to Brisbane (11 – 27 November), Perth (21 – 27 November), Melbourne (30 November – 4 December) and finishing up in Sydney (7 – 14 December).

This year, adventures big and small await JFF cinephiles. The Latest Releases program explores a spectrum of emotions, with stories that challenge longstanding truths and portray the diversity of the human experience.

Opening the festival this year across all cities is the historical drama, Dreaming of the Meridian Arca witty rewriting of Japanese history by director Kenji Nakanishi. Set in both present-day Japan and the Edo period, this comedy uncovers the true story behind the man who completed the first ever map of Japan.

If you appreciate drama on the big-screen, then catch Intolerance with its intricate portrayals of the behaviour and psychology of people caught in extreme situations.

There’s also the moving exploration of the lies and secrets of a girl with a complex family upbringing in And So The Baton Is Passed; the human drama, Blue, which carefully examines the inner lives of boxers; and the poignant murder mystery/drama, In the Wake, about the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

If you’re after quirky cinema, meet an unusual pair of teenage assassins learning to cohabitate and adjust to the facade of ‘normal life’ in the action film Baby Assassins, or dive into a delightful tale of people pouring their passion into anime production in ANIME SUPREMACY!

The coming-of-age animation, Blue Thermal, is a refreshing story about college students unexpectedly becoming devoted to competitive gliding. The psychological thriller Lesson in Murder takes us on a darker path and tells the story of a young man upended by a serial killer’s claim.

And foodies will not want to miss the mouth-watering documentary, The Pursuit of Perfection, following four elite chefs in Tokyo who work tirelessly to perfect their craft.

Alongside the latest box office hits is this year’s JFF Special Series, which will show in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. This free series proudly presents rare 35mm film screenings of master filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s works.

Sydney audiences will also be treated to a special post-film talk event. The talk will be held at The Chauvel on Wednesday 14 December, where after a screening of Floating Clouds, Dr Mats Karlsson, Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, will discuss the film in the context of director Mikio Naruse’s filmography, which spanned 1930 to 1967.

Come and enjoy the communal experience of going to the movies and being surrounded by likeminded people – it’s a unique opportunity to come together and celebrate the finest in Japanese cinema.

The 26th Japanese Film Festival (JFF) takes place in Canberra (5 – 20 November), before moving to Brisbane (11 – 27 November), Perth (21 – 27 November), Melbourne (30 November – 4 December) and Sydney (7 – 14 December). For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Dreaming of the Meridian Arc (Film Partners)