Eiga Sai 2016 teams up with Cinemalaya

by Sharline Bareng
Jul 31, 2016

On its 19th year, Eiga Sai, the annual Japanese film festival held at the Shangri-La Cineplex, is teaming up with Cinemalaya.

Insted of its usual two-week run, it has been extended to more than a month in eight venues all over the Philippines.

The festival will be extending to the Cinemalaya Film Festival from August 5-14 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

In addition, there will be screenings in Abreeza Mall Cinema and the FDCP Cinematheque in Davao, SM Cinema and FDCP Cinematheque in Baguio, Ayala Center Cebu, and UP Film Institute in UP Diliman.

Japan Foundation Manila director Hiroaki Uesugi and CCP artistic director and Cinemalaya festival director Chris Millado announced the collaboration between the two festivals during the press conference.

“We hope that by aligning ourselves with festivals with the same objectives, we will be able to broaden and expand our audiences as well as create a very vibrant about conversation among filmmakers and audiences from different cultures,” said Millado.

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Rookie independent director Hiroshi Shoji, who will also be speaking at the Cinemalaya Film Fest on August 6, will be showing his film Ken and Kazu, which won at the 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival. This will be followed by Nakagawa Ryutaro's August in Tokyo, which will also be shown at Shang Cineplex.

Veteran director Harada Masato is also gracing the Director's Talks at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Cultural Center of the Philippines – Little Theater) on July 8, following an invitational screening of his film The Emperor in August, and at Shang Cineplex on July 9, before the screening of his period film Kakekomi.

Kakekomi, which will also open the festival at the Shang Cineplex on July 7, is based on the novel Tokeiji Hanadayori by Inoue Yasushi, one of Japan's greatest literary talents. Set at an actual “divorce temple” in Kamakura, the film follows the story of a novice doctor and playwright as he tries to help two women get out of their respective marriages.

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Masato's other film, Chronicle of My Mother, is also a cinematic adaptation of another Inoue Yasushi work, an autobiographical novel about the author’s feeling of abandonment after being separated from his parents at a young age, and how this has resonated for most of his adult life.

The festival also puts the spotlight on the cooperation between Japan and the Philippines with the film Crossroads, which features cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao. Partly set in Baguio City, the film follows Tatsura Sawada and Kazunari Hamura, two members of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers who are dispatched to the Philippines, where they meet Angela, played by Gosiengfiao.

Japan's Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film The Great Passage will also be featured at the festival. Based on the novel by Miura Shion, the film shows editor Majime’s passion for pursuing the prodigious goal of creating a huge dictionary with over 240,000 entries over a fifteen-year period.

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Our Little Sister, which was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, shows how three sisters reunite with their teenage half-sister after the death of their estranged father.

Master filmmaker Yamada Yoji takes on Nakajima Kyoko’s prize-winning novel The Little House. Set against the backdrop of the “Show Modern” period, the story unravels the full and mysterious account of a scandalous romance.

Pale Moon, whose leading actress Rie Miyazawa bagged the Best Actress award at the 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival, depicts the ruination of a contract bank employee who falls madly in love, and into a life of crime, engaging in a secret rendezvous with another man, and embezzling money from her clients’ accounts. The film is the adaptation of Kakuta Mitsuyo’s novel, The Kirishimia Thing.

Revolving around the struggles of a bottom-ranked student of Nagoya High School, Flying Colors, a film adaptation of the non-fiction bestseller, follows Kudo Sayaka’s journey as she attempts to pass the extraordinarily competitive entrance exam for Keio University.

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This year's Eiga Sai also responded to more requests for anime with the feature length animated film, The Boy and the Beast, which presents the story of Kyuta, who enters into a strange arrangement with a beast named Kumatetsu. Along the way, the two gradually create a strong bond equal to that of a true father-son relationship.

(To check schedules of Cinemalaya 2016 films, CLICK HERE)

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