Fans of Japanese Films are in for a treat as the Japanese Foundation brings back the Japanese Film Festival to
Philippine cinemas this February. Featuring a diverse lineup of 14 compelling films, this festival is free admission
which will be released on different dates across selected venues–Manila, Cebu, Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao. The Japanese Film Festival, formerly Eigasai, marked its come back to on-site screenings last 2023 after holding its
previous editions online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The formal opening of the annual film festival this year happened last February 1 in Shangri-La Plaza Atrium, Manila. Yojiro Tanaka, Festival Director and Deputy Director of Japanese Foundation Manila in his one interview said, “After the pandemic, we’re expecting more audiences is coming back to the movie theaters.” The film festival, first launched in 1997, attracts over 25,000 viewers every year spanning various genres from romance to coming-of-age drama and mystery films to comedy.

Japanese pop culture have stood in the history of cultural exchange between Japan and the Filipinos that is why
Japanese fil has become popular in the Philippines ever since years ago. Some of the Japanese pieces, especially
anime, have evidently been adapted by Filipinos just like the Voltes V. The 2024 film festival with the theme “Nostalgia”, wanted to bring back that nostalgic feeling when watching Japanese classic shows. This year, “The First Slam Dunk” headlined the 2024 JFF–a sequel of the Filipino-beloved anime show.

Tanaka, also, highlighted one of the films entitled “Angry son”, that touches on being a Filipino-Japanese immigrant in Japan. It shows real experiences of those Filipinos working in Japan and their struggles in life. The 2024 Japanese Film Festival will come on the scene in Baguio City on February 23 until March 3 at SM City Baguio Cinemas. Tickets for each day’s screenings can be claimed at the cinema booths on a first-comefirst-served basis.

Phoebe Allec Perez/UB-Intern

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