Mark your calendars and free up some dates this July and August to watch the 20 award-winning films that will be screened during the popular Japanese Film Festival Eiga Sai, which marks its 20th anniversary this year. Eiga Sai highlights the celebration of Philippines-Japan Friendship Month during the month of July.
According to Japan Foundation Manila, which is at the helm of the yearly Eiga Sai, the 20th anniversary edition of the film festival is “the biggest and best yet”. They hope to beat last year’s record of 26,400 viewers of the 82 screening of its 12 film offerings. Take this–20 films of various genres with 100 screenings across six major cities nationwide. In fact, they are marking a lot of firsts at Eiga Sai 2017:
- There will be screenings in cinemas in Bacolod and Iloilo, too. These will be at SM City Bacolod Cinema on August 24 to 27 and FDCP Cinematheque-Iloilo on August 25 to 29
- Three retrospective films will be presented: The Sting of Death and Memories of You screened 20 years ago at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); and Departures, one of the most well received films in the history of Eiga Sai
- Three of the 20 featured films are dubbed in Filipino in cooperation with Tagalized Movie Channel (TMC). These are: Sadako vs Kayako (2016), If Cats Disappeared from the World (2016) and Bakuman (2015).
The family drama “Her Love Boils Bathwater” was chosen to open Eiga Sai 2017. It is a heartwarming story of a terminally ill mother who quietly tried to prepare her family for a life without her during the last remaining weeks of her life. It is the first full-length commercial movie of acclaimed director Ryota Nakano, who will grace the film’s premiere screening and will hold talks with filmmakers and the general public about his craft and career.
Japanese independent films: Poolsideman, winner of the Best Picture Award in the Japanese Cinema Splash at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2016, is also one of the highlights of Eiga Sai 2017. Hirobumi Watanabe, director of the film will also be present at the Philippine premiere during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in August, a partner festival Eiga Sai since last year.
Filipino viewers will be pleased to know that the film directed by Brillante Mendoza, Shiniuma Dead Horse, will be screened at Eiga Sai, as well. It is a film about an illegal Filipino immigrant in Japan who is deported back to the Philippines. Upon his return home, he discovers that his family has dispersed long ago and there’s no place for him to stay. It is part of a trilogy “Reflections”, which was produced by the Japan Foundation Asia Center.
It was part of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival last year under the theme “Living in Asia”. It also featured the films Pigeon by Isao Yukisada and Beyond the Bridge by Sotho Kulikar.
The 20 films featured during Eiga Sai 2017 are as follows: Her Love Boils Bathwater, The Sting of Death, Memories of You, Departures, In this Corner of the World, Poolsideman, Bakuman, Sadako Vs Kayako, If Cats Disappeared From The World, Creepy, The Magnificent Five, The Anthem Of The Heart, Sweet Bean, Tsukiji Wonderland, The Long Excuse, The Mohican Comes Home, What A Wonderful Family, Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections, Chihayafuru Part 1 and Part 2
As in previous years, Eiga Sai 2017 will also have its provincial run in Baguio, Cebu and Davao. Screening venues are: CCP Dream Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City (July 1 and August 5, 10 and 11), Shang Cineplex Cinema, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City (July 6-16), UP Film Institute, UP-Diliman, Quezon City (August 16-19), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Ayala, Davao City (July 21-23), FDCP Cinematheque-Davao, Davao City (July 26-30), Ayala Center Cebu Cinema, Cebu City (August 2-6), SM City Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 10-13), SM City Bacolod Cinema, Bacolod City (August 24-27), and FDCP Cinematheque-Iloilo, Iloilo City (August 25-29).
Eiga Sai 2017 is supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM City Baguio, SM City Bacolod, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Viva Communications Inc., Tagalized Movie Channel (TMC), Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Akira, SumoSam and Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.
Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis, except the screenings at Shang Cineplex Cinema which will be PhP 100 per screening. For the full schedule of screenings and list of venues, follow them on Facebook.