This July, Shangri-La Plaza joins in the celebration of the Philippine-Japanese Friendship month with the highly-anticipated Eiga Sai Japanese Film Festival, in partnership with the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) happening on July 8 to 17 at Cinema 2 of the Shang Cineplex.
Taking the spotlight this year are award winning film-adaptations of some of the best fiction and non-fiction novels written by the most prolific Japanese writers with Japanese director Masato Harada giving a talk on July 9 at the Shang Cineplex to introduce his film, Kakekomi.
Kakekomi is a warm-hearted period film based on the novel “Tokeiji Hanadayori” by one of Japan’s greatest literary talents, Inoue Yasushi. Set at an actual “divorce temple” in Kamakura, it follows the efforts of a novice doctor and playwright who falls into a whirlwind of events as he tries to help two women get out of their respective marriages.
Director Harada Masato helms the cinematic adaptation of another Inoue Yasushi work – this time an autobiographical novel. Chronicle of My Mother traces the roots of 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.
Young, upcoming filmmaker and established poet Nakagawa Ryutaro presents audiences with August in Tokyo, a big screen portrayal of the dynamics of people trying to co-exist in nature and in the city. The film presents a parallel story of polar opposites – the yakuza Natsuo, and part-time worker Natsuki – whose lives slowly coincide.
Provocative and dramatic, Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film The Great Passage, based on the novel by Miura Shion, follows editor Majime’s passion for pursuing the prodigious goal of creating a huge dictionary with over 240,000 entries over a fifteen-year period.
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 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.
When assistant cameraman Tatsura Sawada joins the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, he lands in trouble with fellow member Kazunari Hamura. Crossroads finds them both dispatched to the Philippines where Tatsura meets siblings Noel and Angela in Baguio. Eight years after, Tatsura meets Kazunari once more, at the Tohoku region where the great earthquake and tsunami occurred.
The feature length animated film, The Boy and the Beast, based on an original screenplay by Studio Chizu and Hosoda Mamoru, 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.
In Our Little Sister, the death of Sachi, Yoshino and Chika’s absentee father signals the beginning of a new life filled with joyful discoveries as they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their estranged teenage half-sister, Suzu.
With compelling plotlines and strong adaptations all set to fill the Shang’s screens, this year’s Eiga Sai promises to be another crowd pleaser that will further solidify its place as one of the country’s favorite film festivals, and a fitting part of the mall’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
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