Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a member today »

As Japan’s film industry enters its third decade in the new millennium, the inaugural ACA Cinema Project online film series 21st Century Japan: Films From 2001–2020 takes a look back at the last 20 years of Japanese cinema to celebrate some of the most remarkable narrative fiction films and filmmakers that define the era. Covering a wide range of production styles and genres — from small budget independent debuts to festival favorites and award-winning major studio releases — this diverse slate of 30 feature films and shorts offers a guided tour of modern Japanese cinema, including special spotlights dedicated to the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and a selection of free breakout films by up-and-coming filmmakers.

Series highlights include the online US premieres of Red Post on Escher Street — the latest film by cult favorite director Sion Sono, co-presented with Grasshopper Film — and Yukiko Mishima’s female-driven romantic drama Shape of Red, both with exclusive video Q&As. In addition, the series offers access to a slew of hard-to-see gems otherwise unavailable to stream in the US by some of Japan’s most internationally prominent filmmakers — including titles from Hirokazu Kore-eda, Naomi Kawase, Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, and Miwa Nishikawa — as well as directors who are lesser-known in the West and ripe for discovery.

Co-presented by Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization.

From February 5–25, stream 21st Century Japan: Films From 2001–2020 at

All-Access Passes with a 21-day rental window are available for $99 from January 29–February 4. Individual films with a 3-day rental window are $8–$12. Japan Society members receive 20% on all rentals with a coupon code. All films are available to rent within the US and stream in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

Support Hyperallergic

As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. 

Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.

Become a Member