In celebration of EIGASAI Japanese Film Festival’s 20th anniversary, The Japan Foundation, Manila is set to screen 20 Japanese films starting July 1 to August 29 in different parts of the country, including two critically-acclaimed anime films.
The two anime films to be screened in the festival are The Anthem of the Heart and In This Corner of the World.
The Anthem of the Heart
Long ago, the young girl Jun Narase dreamed of one day attending a ball at the glamorous castle on the hill. After once seeing her father driving out of that castle, she returned home to excitedly tell her mother, not realizing she’d just described her father’s infidelity. And so her family falls apart, and after her father tells her it was all her fault, she falls into despair until a strange egg tells her she can save herself from further heartbreak, and maybe even find her prince on a hill. All it would take is to forever seal away her dangerous voice. (Synopsis from Anime News Network)
The Anthem of the Heart is a Japanese drama anime film produced by A-1 Pictures, which was directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, while the screenplay was written by Mari Okada, and Masayoshi Tanaka handled character designs. All three previously worked in the highly-popular drama anime anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.
The Japanese voice cast are lead by Inori Minase as “Jun Naruse”, Kouki Uchiyama as “Takumi Sakagami”, Sora Amamiya as “Natsuki Nito”, and Yoshimasa Hosoya as “Daiki Tasaki”.
Tatsuyaki Nagai’s The Anthem of the Heart has gained various recognition including the BeTV Award for Best Animated Feature in The Brussels Animation Film Festival and was nominated in the Japanese Academy Prize.
In This Corner of the World
It depicts a young girl who married into a family in Hiroshima during the war resolutely living amid the escalating intensity of wartime destruction. In 1944, 18-year-old Suzu goes to Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture, a major naval base for the Imperial Navy, to become the wife of naval officer, Hojo Shusaku. As the intensity of the war heightens day after day and food supplies dwindle, Suzu manages to somehow carry on with daily life through her ingenuity, that is, until the summer of 1945. (Synopsis from EIGASAI Facebook Page)
In This Corner of the World is a Japanese wartime drama film based on the manga by by Fumiyo Kono, which released three (3) volumes from 2007-2009 in Futabasha’s Weekly Manga Action magazine.
The anime film adaptation was written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi, who worked on the Black Lagoon anime series, while Ah! My Goddess animation director Hidenori Mutsubara handled character designs, which as produced by MAPPA.
Rena Nounen, also known by the name “Non”, portrayed the lead character “Suzu”.
In This Corner of the World won various awards including the Hiroshima Peace Film Award at the Hiroshima International Film Festival, Best Japanese Movie of 2016 named by Kinema Jump, and the Noburou Oofuji Award and Japanese Movie Award of Excellence at the 71st Mainichi Film Awards.
A “special talk” will also be held on July 1 for the screening of In This Corner of the World, which will have a regular run on Philippine theaters on Wednesday, June 28, distributed by Rafaella Films International.
Other titles screening during the festival include Her Love Boils Bathwater (2016), The Sting of Death (1990), Memories of You (1988), Departures (2008), Poolsideman (2016), Chihayafuru Part 1 (2016), Chihayafuru Part 2 (2016), Creepy (2016), The Magnificent Nine (2016), Sweet Bean An (2015), Tsukiji Wonderland (2016), The Long Excuse (2016), The Mohican Comes Home (2016), What A Wonderful Family! (2016), and Asian Three-fold Mirror 2016: Reflections (2016).
Her Love Boils Bathwater director Ryota Nakano and Poolsideman director Hirobumi Watanabe will talk about their respective films on July 8 and August 5 at Shang Cineplex Cinema and CCP Little Theater, respectively.
The EIGASAI Festival 2017 will screen in various film venues for the duration of the festival, such as:
- CCP Dream Theater (Tanghalang Manuel Conde) in Pasay City
- FDCP Cinematheques in Manila, Davao and Iloilo
- Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 in Mandaluyong City
- UP Film Institute (Cine Adarna) in Quezon City
- Ayala Malls Cinemas in Ayala Center Cebu and Abreeza Mall in Davao City, and
- SM Cinemas in Baguio and Bacolod.
Unlike in previous years, the Japanese Film Festival will have free screenings for all venues except for select films showing at Shang Cineplex Cinema 2. Admission is free on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The EIGASAI Festival is being held annually in celebration of Philippines-Japan Friendship Month in July.