Japanese Film Festival is back with ‘Born Bone Born’ leading the way

Horikawa (third from right), Ichikawa (left), Lee (third from left) and others giving the thumbs-up for the Japanese Film Festival 2018 at GSC CityONE Megamall.

KUCHING, Oct 4: Internationally acclaimed Born Bone Born, a heart-warming drama depicting the ancient Okinawan ritual of washing bones of the deceased, leads the film line-up for the 2018 Japanese Film Festival here.

Thirteen award-winning and critically acclaimed films will be shown at GSC CityONE Megamall from Oct 4-7, as the ever-popular film festival continues to serve up an exciting cross-section of Japan’s diverse movie cultures.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the festival this year will feature films across a variety of genres, including suspense, documentary and comedy. These provide the audience with an exciting opportunity to deepen their familiarity with Japanese culture and society.

“We are delighted to present 13 exciting titles to you, films that capture the arts, history and cultures of Japan.

“Our line-up represents the wide spectrum of themes, genres and perspectives in Japan’s cinematic heritage. We promise lots of fun to cinema-goers,” Japan Foundation (Kuala Lumpur) director Koichi Horikawa said at the festival launching here on Wednesday (Oct 3) evening.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin was also present.

Genichi Ichikawa, the chief executive of Mitsubishi Corporation Malaysia, which sponsors the event, described Born Bone Born as an interesting film depicting the ancient ritual in Japan that is still practised today.

The ritual, known as ‘Senkotsu’ (washing bones of the deceased), is carried out on the 4th anniversary of their death to send the departed off to the next world. The film touches on Takashi, who returned to his hometown in Aguni Island, Okinawa, for his mother’s Senkotsu. It deals with the grief of the father as well as issues between the main character and his family that is filled in an awkward mood as the day of the mother’s Senkotsu approaches.

“I am sure you will find this film heartwarming,” said Ichikawa, who is also Mitsubishi Kuala Lumpur branch general manager.

This year, Born Bone Born has won awards in the Okinawa International Movie Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival and Audience Award at Japan Cuts! festival.

Other films lined up throughout the weekend include 3ft Ball & Souls, Her Sketchbook, Tremble All You Want, Memoirs of a Murderer, Mixed Doubles, Yakiniku Dragon, Chihayafuru Part 3, The Gift of Memory & The Gift of Memory, We Make Antiques!, Perfect World and a documentary on the art of making ramen titled Ramen Heads.

The opening screening on Wednesday featured romance movie The 8-Year Engagement. The film features Takeru Sato and Tao Tsuchiya, nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively at the 41st Japan Academy Prize.

Festival organiser Japan Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up in 1972 and taking up roots in Malaysia since 1989, promotes mutual cultural exchange between Japan and other countries. It aimed to develop mutual understanding between the people through cultural and language within the region.

Since its inception in 2004, the film festival is into its 15th instalment in the country and is held in Sabah and Sarawak for the seventh consecutive year.

In conjunction with the Japanese Film Festival 2018, there will also be a Japanese Sushi-making competition by UCSI University, Japan Week Colouring Contest for Kids and Tanko Bushi Dance performance and workshop at the mall this weekend. — DayakDaily