FREE Japanese Film Festival

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 jeffrey 0 Comments

It's time once again for that annual festival of watching Japanese Films for FREE. Movie goers will enjoy a line up of 10 great films including Departure, winner of the 81st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. Screenings will be at Shangri-La Plaza Cineplex Cinema 4 (July 1-10), Gaisano Grand Citimall, Davao (July 22-24), Ayala Center Cinema 4, Cebu (August 2-7) and UP Film Institute (August 17-20). As always, come at least 2 hours before the screening time to make sure you get a ticket.


  • When the orchestra in which he plays cello disbands, Daigo KOBAYASHI (Masahiro Motoki) abandons a career in music, and moves with his wife Mika (Ryoko Hirosue) to his home town in the northeastern prefecture of Yamagata. He finds a ‘help wanted’ advertisement that seems to offer good terms for work with what he assumes is a travel agency, and goes for an interview in an office with new coffins lining the back wall. The company owner, Sasaki (Tsutomu Yamazaki), hires him with no more than a glance at Daigo’s résumé, at which point Daigo asks what exactly the company does and is told the work involves the ceremonial ‘encoffinating’ of corpses prior to cremation. He is reluctant, but Sasaki urges him to take the job and he accepts, telling Mika the work involves ‘ceremonies’. In this way he begins to travel around Hirano, in Yamagata, with Sasaki.
One Million Yen Girl
  • The film story focuses on 21 year old Suzuko who gets into trouble with her co-workers from part time job and ends up in jail. Coming out of the jail, living with her parents seems like no longer an option. She takes on a various job: cleaning office, delivering newspapers, and saves up a million yen to embark on a journey. She finds herself in a seaside resort and starts working as a part-time staff at a guest house. A local boy falls for her, but she has promised herself to leave for another town once she saves up a million yen. To this aim, Suzuko works as hard as possible and saves the money.
The Chef of South Polar
  • Mr. Nishimura is a chef of the team. He misses his family in Japan, but he always tries to make a delicious meal every day to make the research team members happy. But, without being able to procure fresh supplies, maintaining variety in the daily menu is a Herculean task. The team is comprised of a Captain who is addicted much to ramen, the Doctor, Moto-san who he himself tries to train to participate in a triathlon event when he returns back to Japan, and the other young support members wherein Nishimura had to push himself to a great length to keep the table filled with delectable meals. Several unique characters have to live together for one and a half years. How would life be in the South Pole?
Summer Days With Coo
  • Coo is a kappa, a tiny amphibious creature with a dish-shaped skull. He lives in a swamp near Edo, the former name of Tokyo. There are rumors that the humans plan to drain the swamp for their own purposes, and Coo’s father confronts a human samurai on the road one night to beg him to reconsider the plan. He brings the samurai a fish as a present, but the samurai is afraid of him and cuts him to pieces. Coo runs away, but just then an earthquake strikes and Coo falls into a crevice, where he is buried alive.
Your Friend
  • Nakahara, a writer visits a free school in a small city for his research on children who have problem such as school refusal. At the school, he meets Emi, a volunteering college student who has lame leg. Emi is called “Ms. Puffy” by the children because she always takes pictures of clouds. Interested in this girl, Nakahara asks her to be interviewed, but in vain. However, Emi has gradually changed her mind towards Nakahara when he comes to the school many times and evokes sympathetic responses from the children. Then she answers his questions and tells him about her own childhood…
Climber's High
  • On August 12, 1985, a jumbo jet crashed; out of the 524 passengers, there were only 4 survivors, making the incident the biggest single-plane tragedy in the world. The local press reporters are tossed about by the waves of facts and rumors. While overwhelmed by the magnitude of the accident, Yuuki, in charge of this crash report at a local newspaper, faces a string of decision-making moments. How should a man do his work and survive in a corporate hierarchy? What do family and friends mean to him? An intriguing story, which keeps the audience on the edge of tension and reality.
Yunagi City, Sakura Country
  • Thirteen years after the bombing incident in Hiroshima. Hirano Minami feels happiness when her colleague, Uchikoshi expresses his love for her. However, the incident has brought her sickness resulting from her exposure to atomic bomb and the pain of that emotional scar also returns. Nanami (Rena Tanaka), the leading female character in the contemporary part of the film, is the daughter of Minami’s brother, Asahi (Masaaki Sakai), who had evacuated to Ibaraki Prefecture when Hiroshima was bombed. Nanami, an ordinary 28-year-old, follows her father who travels to Hiroshima secretly had no idea about her dad’s past or the existence of her late aunts. Through her father’s conduct, she finds out what the family has been carrying as well as her aunt Minami’s haunting experience. This prompts Nanami to reflect on the ensuing devastation experienced by the Hiroshima people and their descendants in contemporary time and the value of peace.
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones
  • “If no one tries, there will never be a path.” In 1907, a band of men challenged Japan’s last unconquered mountain, in order to complete a map of their nation. Mt. Tsurugidake, located in Tateyama mountain range in the Northern Alps in Toyama Prefecture, stands 2999m above sea level, and is renowned as a difficult mountain. Since the beginning of historical records, it has been designated as the “God” for those engaged in mountain Asceticism-Shamanism and sometimes referred as “Needle Mountain” or “Mountain of Death” for its inaccessibility.
Villon's Wife
  • While raising a young son, Sachi (Matsu Takako), the wife of the popular writer Otani (Asano Tadanobu), struggles to contain the damage wrought by her profligate husband. To pay off his debts, she starts working at a pub, where she wins the favor of Okada (Tsumabuki Satoshi), a young fan of Otani’s, and the lawyer Tsuji (Tsutsumi Shinichi), who she had a crush on in the past. But Otani surges with jealousy at the sight of the newly confident and popular Sachi. Struggling with his writing as well, he attempts a love-suicide with his lover Akiko (Hirosue Ryoko).
Feel The Wind
  • Kakeru (Hayashi Kento), a super talented runner in high school who nevertheless quit the sports world to attend the up-and-coming Kansei University, finds himself being manipulated by the school running captain, fourth year student Haiji (Koide Keisuke), to move into the dormitory for the members of the running team. Already living there are such characters as manga freak Prince (Nakamura Yuichi), Musa (Dante Carver) who is an African exchange student with no experience in track and field, and chain-smoker Nico-chan (Kawamura Yosuke), who failed a year of school. Although they are all amateur runners who are only living there due to affordable housing, Haiji plans to enroll them in the Hakone Ekiden.

Promo Requirements:
  1. Visit for screening schedule
  2. Go to Shangri-la Plaza, UP Film Institute, Gaisano Grand Citimall Davao, or Ayala Center Cebu in the scheduled movie dates
  3. Get your FREE tickets (1st come, 1st served). Go there at least 2 hours before the screening time to guarantee your tickets
  4. Enjoy watching the movies!

Promo Period: July 1 - August 20, 2011
  • July 1 - 10 in Shangri-La Plaza Mall
    • July 1 - Opening Night, Cinema 2 (by invitation only)
      • Departures - 7 PM
    • July 2 - Open to the public, Cinema 4 (first come, first served)
      • The Chef of South Polar - 1 PM
      • Departures - 4 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 7 PM
    • July 3
      • Summer Days with Coo - 1 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 4 PM
      • The Chef of South Polar - 7 PM
    • July 4
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 1 PM
      • Villon’s Wife - 4 PM
      • Climber’s High - 7 PM
    • July 5
      • Your Friend - 1 PM
      • One Million Yen Girl - 4 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 7 PM
    • July 6
      • One Million Yen Girl - 1 PM
      • Climber’s High - 4 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 7 PM
    • July 7
      • Feel the Wind - 1 PM
      • Climber’s High - 4 PM
      • Your Friend - 7 PM
    • July 8
      • Your Friend - 1 PM
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 4 PM
      • Departures - 7 PM
    • July 9
      • Departures - 1 PM
      • One Million Yen Girl - 4 PM
      • Villon’s Wife - 7 PM
    • July 10
      • Summer Days with Coo - 1 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 4 PM
      • The Chef of South Polar - 7 PM
  • July 22 - 24 in Gaisano Grand Citimall, Davao
    • July 22
      • Your Friend - 4 PM
      • Departures - 6:30 PM
    • July 23
      • One Million Yen Girl -11 AM
      • The Chef of South Polar - 1:30 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 4 PM
      • Climber’s High - 7 PM
    • July 24
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 11 AM
      • Summer Days with Coo - 1:30 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 4:30 PM
      • Villon’s Wife - 7:15 PM
  • August 2 - 7 at the Ayala Center Cebu, Cinema 4
    • August 2
      • The Chef of South Polar - 7 PM
    • August 3
      • Climber’s High - 7 PM
    • August 4
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 7 PM
    • August 5
      • Villon’s Wife - 7 PM
    • August 6
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 1:30 PM
      • Summer Days with Coo - 4:30 PM
      • One Million Yen Girl - 7:30 PM
    • August 7
      • Your Friend - 1:30 PM
      • Summer Days with Coo - 4:30 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 7:30 PM
  • August 17 - 20 at the UP Film Institute Q.C.
    • August 17
      • Summer Days with Coo - 12:30 PM
      • One Million Yen Girl - 3 PM
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 5:30 PM
      • Villon’s Wife - 7:30 PM
    • August 18
      • Your Friend - 12:30 PM
      • Yunagi City, Sakura Country - 3 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 5:15 PM
      • Climber’s High - 7:30 PM
    • August 19
      • Climber’s High - 12:30 PM
      • The Chef of South Polar - 3 PM
      • Villon’s Wife - 5:30 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 7:30 PM
    • August 20
      • Summer Days with Coo - 12:30 PM
      • Feel the Wind - 3 PM
      • The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 5:10 PM
      • The Chef of South Polar -7:30 PM


  • Watch FREE movies!
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