What not to miss: Sydney
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It’s always a challenge trying to trim down your movie list at any film festival. We’ve compiled all the special events and one-night only films in every city to make sure you don’t miss out on films you want to see! Sydney tickets are on sale from 28 September.

Special Events

Special Guest Event: The Long Excuse

Special Guest Screening and Q&A book here
Sunday 27 Nov at 6:15pm
Event Cinemas George Street (Vmax)

Director Miwa Nishikawa and lead actor Masahiro Motoki will join us for a special guest Q&A after the screening of The Long Excuse in Sydney (closing film session on 27 November) and Melbourne (special guest session on 28 November). Nishikawa, mentored by Hirokazu Kore-eda, carefully balances gentle humour and harrowing sorrow in this touching drama. Starring Motoki in his first lead role since the 2008 Academy Award-winning film DeparturesBook your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Special Guest Event: Night’s Tightrope

Special Guest Screening and Q&A book here
Friday, 18 Nov at 6:15pm
Event Cinemas George Street (Vmax)

Director Yukiko Mishima will be joining us for a post-film screening Q&A session in the cinema for her new film Night’s Tightrope. Known for her heartwarming films Bread of HappinessA Stitch of Life, and A Drop of the Grapevine, Mishima works on a darker story with Night’s Tightrope.

The result is a visually poetic and hauntingly beautiful film which depicts human strength and frailty. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Image supplied

Sydney Opening Night

6pm – Opening Reception at Lower Town Hall (Entry via Druitt St)
7pm – Opening film screening at Events George Street (tickets book here)

To celebrate our 20th year anniversary, we are inviting the public to join us at the Sydney Opening Night in Lower Town Hall. Start the evening with some live music and view our mini exhibition, paying homage to classic Japanese films. The night will feature live instrumental music with beautiful renditions of songs from popular Japanese movies and animation by Nathan Tam. Opening reception entry is free and open to After the Storm ticket holders. Present your cinema ticket at the door.

The reception will be followed by the opening night screening of After the Storm, the latest film from Japan’s foremost auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda. Tickets to the opening film After the Storm are available online.

Image by Victor Caringal
Festival Fun
Aly,  Silhouettê d’Amour, and K at JFF 2015 in Melbourne. Photo by Mark Sombillo
Aly,  Silhouettê d’Amour, and K at JFF 2015 in Melbourne. Photo by Mark Sombillo

Cosplay Day

If you have a passion for dressing up as your favourite anime/manga characters then you are in for a treat! This year we are extending our love for cosplay through a Cosplay Day Event. Join us at Event Cinemas George street for a day of music and cosplay. All cosplays welcome!

Early in the day, the Online Cosplay Comp winners will be announced before the screening of Assassination Classroom -Graduation- at 11:30am. In the afternoon, catch Nathankct as he play songs from some of the most iconic Japanese movies and anime. Later during the day, Unikon will also be performing a laid-back acoustic set of our favourite j-pop tunes.

Image from documentary KAMPAI! FOR THE LOVE OF SAKE

Foodie Event

Sake tasting event tickets book here
Film screening tickets book here

Join us at the lovely Ginkgo Leaf store in Woollahra for a sake tasting event to be conducted by Sakenet Australia on 20 November, 2pm-3pm. Follow up the sake tasting with the documentary Kampai! For the Love of Sake.

Kohchosai Kosuga Shuki

Bamboo tray not included.

Lucky door prizes will be given away at both the sake tasting event and the film screening of Kampai! For the Love of Sake. Get the chance to chance to take home a lovely bamboo sake cup at the tasting event, while you can get the chance to win a sake set (pictured below) at the Kampai! documentary screening. These beautiful bamboo wares by Kohchosai Kosuga are courtesy of festival partner Ginkgo Leaf.


One Night Only

After the Storm is another excellent addition to director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s oeuvre of realistic dramas (Still Walking, Our Little Sister). Revolving around a divorced father and his estranged wife and son, After the Storm is a ray of sunlight that highlights the warmth and love that family ties can provide. View film info

© RVW Film Partners

Shunji Iwai’s films are well-loved by both fans of arthouse film and mainstream entertainment. A Bride for Rip Winkle plays out like a beautiful dream sequence, reflecting life in all its beauty and despair. Iwai’s masterful storytelling draw out the complexities of personas, social expectations, and relationships. View film info

© 2016 “Taiyo” Film Partners
© 2016 “Taiyo” Film Partners

The Sun is a quietly riveting, suspenseful drama about humanity on the brink of desperation. Challenging to watch at times, The Sun dramatically explores the tensions and inhibitions of a society at breaking point.. View film info

© 2015 Sakura Production/Fuji Television Network / Nippon Animation / Toho / Hakuhodo DY Media Partners / Yomiko / FNS27 All rights reserved.
© 2015 Sakura Production/Fuji Television Network / Nippon Animation / Toho / Hakuhodo DY Media Partners / Yomiko / FNS27 All rights reserved.

Take a trip down memory lane with the new CHIBI MARUKO CHAN movie! Chibi Maruko and her friends spend a summer with new friends from all over the world. And, to mix things up a bit, an exchange student from italy gets a crush on Maruko! View film info

© 2016 “Rudolf the Black Cat” Film Partners

Rudolf the Black Cat is a bundle of 3D animated fun–discover the secret life of cats in Tokyo, led by a fluffy cat named Gottalot who can read and write kanji. View film info

© 2016 “SETO & UTSUMI” Film Partners © Kazuya Konomoto (Akitashoten)

In the style of American mumblecore films, but with a Japanese twist, Seto & Utsumi is full of surprisingly poignant observations on life by two high school boys. While other teenagers are busy experiencing romance (Wolf Girl & Black Prince) or winning national tournaments (Chihayafuru) Seto and Utsumi just hang out by the river and talk. View film info

© 2016 “Something Like Something Like It” Film Partners

Something Like, Something Like It will definitely put a smile on your face. A quirky film with a slice of life pace, the story follows Shinden, an apprentice traditional rakugo comedian who’s just too serious for the job. Featuring on screen favourites such as Kenichi Matsuyama and Keiko Kitagawa. View film info

© 2016"The Actor" Film Partners

The Actor is somewhat of a wild card in the Brisbane and Perth program but we are delighted to be able to showcase this film in more cities. Directed by rising female director Satoko Yokohama, this ‘dramedy’ is a unique must-watch film about the sub-par life of forever movie extra Takuji Kameoka. View film info

© 2016 “Everest ¬The Summit of the Gods¬” Film Partners
© 2016 “Everest ¬The Summit of the Gods¬” Film Partners

It’s always a treat seeing Japanese movies filmed in other countries. Everest -The Summit of the Gods- was shot in the stunning Mt Everest and its surrounds. This adventure drama is a tale of nature vs humans, destiny vs desire. View film info

© 1954 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 1954 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Experience the menace of the original 1954 Japanese Godzilla on the big screen! Screening one night only, this is your chance to see one of the most iconic Japanese films in digitally restored format. Make sure you book your seats once early bird tickets are out. View film info

© 2016 “Pink and Gray” Film Partners
© 2016 “Pink and Gray” Film Partners

Pink and Gray starts where most films end—movie star Gotchi takes his own life and leaves the rest to his best friend Daiki, a struggling actor. A clever plot and intriguing story written by real life ‘idol’ Shigeaki Kato, starring Hey! Say! JUMP!’s Yuto Nakajima and versatile actor Masaki Suda. View film info


Erased is a great live action adaptation of the popular manga Boku dake ga inai machi. It’s an engrossing mystery film centred on Satoru, who must solve a series of child kidnappings whilst trapped in his 10-year old body. View film info


Hentai Kamen strikes again! HK2: The Abnormal Crisis may not be for those who prefer films by auteurs but it’s certainly a superhero parody worthy of praise from the comedy gods! It’s not as lewd as it looks although pervy superhero HK’s costume is so cringe-worthy, it’s great. View film info

© 2016 64 Film Production Committee
© 2016 64 Film Production Committee

A faithful film adaptation of Hideo Yokoyama’s award-winning novel by the same name, SIX FOUR is a suspense-thriller about the effect of crime on those left behind. Presented in two parts, the cast is comprised of every important name in Japanese cinema at the moment, such as Koichi Sayo, Go Ayano and Eita. View film info

© 2016 "Haunted Campus" Film Partners

Here’s one rom-com that everybody can enjoy. If you like spooky things, then even better! Haunted Campus is a rare combination of occult horror, comedy and romance. Featuring a youthful cast, here’s another movie that you can just sit back, watch and enjoy. Wait, we did mention it is a horror film right? View film info

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