Japanese Film Festival Expands to Myanmar’s Capital for 8th Edition

By Lwin Mar Htun 9 January 2020

Since 2013, the Japanese Film Festival Myanmar has been held annually with the aim of enhancing cultural ties between the countries. The festival has been expanded to Naypyitaw and is screening in more cinemas for its eighth edition.

The festival is organized by the Japan Foundation Yangon in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar and will be held from Jan. 10-19 in Yangon. In Yangon, it will be held in three venues: the Nay Pyi Taw cinema, the JCGV cinema in Junction City, and the Mingalar Cinema in Tarmway. 

“Films are a medium of entertainment, and at the same time reflect society and people’s lives, thoughts and emotions. I [hope] many of our friends in Myanmar will enjoy watching them and feel closer to Japan and its people,” said Koji Sato, director of the Japan Foundation Yangon. 

He added that, “This year, we extend the JFF to Naypyitaw, as well as Yangon and Mandalay, and also increase the [number of] venues in Yangon, so that more people from different communities will be able to get access to our festival.”

In Naypyitaw, the film festival was held on Dec. 20-21 at the Aung Tha Pyae cinema. 

Audiences queue for film tickets at last year’s Japanese Film Festival at the Nay Pyi Taw cinema in Yangon. / Japan Foundation Yangon. 

“It’s the first year in Naypyitaw, but it [was] a full house,” said a person in charge of arts and culture programs at the Japan Foundation Yangon. 

The film festival will also travel to Mandalay, where it will be held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Win Lite Cinema.

In Yangon, the 10-day film festival will feature a total of 11 Japanese films in different genres ranging from action, drama and comedy to animation. 

The opening ceremony of the Yangon festival will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10 at the Nay Pyi Taw cinema. “Masquerade Hotel” directed by Suzuki Masayuki will be screened. The film, which adapts the first volume of the mystery series penned by Higashino Keigo, is about a detective who disguises himself as a hotel employee to solve a serial murder case.

The films to be screened include several released in 2019 including “The Fable”, which is one of the hottest action-comedy films from Japan recently, and “The Samurai Shifter”, which portrays a different side of samurai warriors than many will be used to. 

All films will be shown with Burmese and English subtitles. Admission to all films is free, but box offices close one hour before screening times.

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