JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film kicks off on August 20 as a hybrid online and in-person event. Continuing its mission of showcasing a diverse slate of the best and most exciting films coming out of Japan today, the festival will introduce a total of 29 features and 12 short films including 33 films available online throughout the US and 14 screenings of 8 films on the big screen at Japan Society.
Festivities begin with the US Premiere of Soushi Matsumoto’s charming sci-fi and samurai-tinged celebration of filmmaking It’s a Summer Film!, one of two titles to be presented both online and in-person. The other is the festival’s Centerpiece Presentation of Wife of a Spy — a masterful WWII thriller by celebrated director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The film’s star, Yu Aoi, is the recipient of this year’s CUT ABOVE Award, the festival’s annual accolade recognizing outstanding achievements in Japanese cinema.
The Next Generation competition offers a hand-picked selection of six independently produced narrative feature films by emerging directors. The festival’s only juried section, Next Generation awards the Obayashi Prize to the most accomplished title as determined by a jury of industry professionals.
Other festival highlights include The Great Yokai War: Guardians, a big-budget fantasy/adventure spectacle by Takashi Miike; Kiba: The Fangs of Fiction, a whip-smart, all-star comedy about the publishing industry by Daihachi Yoshida; and Ito, the latest by Satoko Yokohama, which centers on a high schooler who attempts to overcome her shyness by working at a maid café. Also making their online premieres are a selection of otherwise impossible-to-see works within the Classics, Documentary Focus, and Experimental Spotlight sections.
All in-person screenings will take place in Japan Society’s auditorium, located at 333 East 47th Street in New York, NY. For safety, proof of vaccination and mask-wearing will be required of all festival attendees. Online films will stream at film.japansociety.org.
Visit Japan Society’s website to view the entire JAPAN CUTS lineup.