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Japanese Film Festival Singapore Returns With Hybrid Edition Featuring 7 Unique Programmes and Virtual Director Q&A3 min read

23 September 2021 2 min read


Japanese Film Festival Singapore Returns With Hybrid Edition Featuring 7 Unique Programmes and Virtual Director Q&A3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF), one of the oldest country-based film festivals in Singapore, will be making its return starting from 7 October with 33 titles across seven unique programmes, including selections from the Short Shorts Film Festival and a curated selection of works by acclaimed director Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

The festival is organised by the Japan Creative Centre, Embassy of Japan in Singapore and The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with the Singapore Film Society. This year also marks the 55th anniversary of Singapore-Japan relations.

JFF aims to showcase the best of Japanese contemporary and classic cinema. The festival hopes that film will bring about more awareness of and raise interest in Japanese culture in its many diverse manifestations. This year’s festival celebrates a re-introduction of the many expressions of Japanese cinema genres.

JFF 2021 consists of 33 titles curated in seven sections, with four films available for online viewing:

  1. SJ55 – 3 films curated in collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to highlight the interweaving of both Japanese and Singapore stories in film
  2. Panorama + Short Shorts Showcase – 9 of the latest contemporary and indie titles and 1 Short Shorts Showcase of 4 short films selected from Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, screening at Shaw Theatres Lido
  3. PIA Film Festival Retrospective – 6 indie films selected from Japan’s annual PIA Film Festival which celebrates and nurtures budding filmmakers, screening at Oldham Theatre
  4. Roman Porno – 2 films selected to highlight the risqué genre of ‘pornos’ that were a big part of a moviegoer’s journey in Japan in the 1970s, screening at Shaw Theatres Lido
  5. Director Focus: Ryusuke HAMAGUCHI – 5 films (including 1 double bill) from the famed director, curated by Asian Film Archive in collaboration with JFF, screening at Oldham Theatre
  6. Female Perspectives – 4 films by 4 of Japan’s most respected female filmmakers, curated by The Projector in collaboration with JFF, screening at The Projector
  7. A Conversation with Liao Jiekai – A virtual Q&A over Zoom with filmmaker Liao Jiekai

2020 was a trying year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and like many other festivals, JFF had to adapt. Unfortunately, 2021 did not bring a return to normalcy but JFF was armed with the previous year’s experience. They have worked with more partners and will be showcasing more programmes that will hopefully be enjoyed by both long-time followers and new audiences.

Before the festival opens, JFF has teamed up with Singapore Tourism Board and Japan National Tourism Organization to curate three ‘Community Screenings’ of films that highlight the interweaving of Japanese and Singaporean stories. These screenings are free and open to the public, though tickets must still be reserved. The three films are:

Ramen Teh (家族のレシピ)
(Eric Khoo, 2008)
1 Oct (Fri), 7pmGV Plaza
Jimami Tofu (ジーマーミ豆腐)
(Jason Chan, Christian Lee, 2018)
2 Oct (Sat) 4pmGV Plaza
Threads — Our Tapestry of Love (糸)
(Zeze Takahisa, 2020)
3 Oct (Sun) 2.15pmOur Tampines Hub: Festive Arts Theatre

JFF 2021 will open with a fun coming-of-age drama, It’s a Summer Film! (サマーフィルムにのって) on 7 October 2021. Director Matsumoto Soushi will be virtually attending the in-cinema post-screening Q&A session, marking the beginning of 7 Director Q&As.

Tickets are available from 23 September 2021 at

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