Nov 27, 2020
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Toronto Japanese Film Festival wraps up its ‘best year yet’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival organizer James Heron couldn’t be happier with how the event went this year, attracting record audiences and A-list directors, showcasing highly regarded films, and setting up the fledgling festival for another great year.

The fourth annual festival, put on by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), concluded June 26 at the organization’s North York location.

The two-week festival attracted more than 7,000 visitors to see 20 films at 25 screenings (some films had a second screening).

The festival also featured the world-premier of Kakekomi, a samurai film by director Masato Harada. Harada was at the festival to introduce the film on opening night.

“It was our best year yet, without question,” said Heron, JCCC executive director.

“The exit surveys were incredibly positive, so people enjoyed the films, and people were really complimentary about the programing.”

The festival didn’t concentrate on any one genre of film, but captured the best of it all, he said.

Harada wasn’t the only big-name guest at the festival. Closing night featured an a A-list couple of Japanese film in director Masayuki Suo and his actor wife Tamiyo Kusakari, who introduced their film Lady Maiko at its North American premiere. The film was sold out, but will have a second screening this summer.

In both instances, Heron said, the directors were pleased with their experiences, which helps the festival build a reputation that will help attract more A-listers in future years.

“They were very complimentary. They said there isn’t anything else like this out there, on this scale,” Heron said.

He said the directors who come out are pleased by the audiences who turn up for the films, as there are people from backgrounds other than just Japanese.

“The directors are saying, ‘We really understand the multicultural nature of Toronto and we’re seeing it in the audience. We feel that our films are being seen by Canadians, and also by people with backgrounds as diverse as India and Middle East, and Europe and Africa.’ It really is an international film festival.”

Heron said the festival took a big step forward this year and organizers will continue to build on that and the festival’s strengths.

Heron anticipates future festivals will attract more top talent from Japan, more quality films, more screenings, and larger audiences.

For those who missed the festival, the JCCC puts on a monthly screening of Japanese film.

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man was selected the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the festival. Kakekomi came second.

Shinobu Yaguchi’s Wood Job! received the festival’s Kobayashi Audience Choice Award.

Source: Inside Toronto

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Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Toronto Japanese Film Festival wraps up its ‘best year yet’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival organizer James Heron couldn’t be happier with how the event went this year, attracting record audiences and A-list directors, showcasing highly regarded films, and setting up the fledgling festival for another great year.

The fourth annual festival, put on by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), concluded June 26 at the organization’s North York location.

The two-week festival attracted more than 7,000 visitors to see 20 films at 25 screenings (some films had a second screening).

The festival also featured the world-premier of Kakekomi, a samurai film by director Masato Harada. Harada was at the festival to introduce the film on opening night.

“It was our best year yet, without question,” said Heron, JCCC executive director.

“The exit surveys were incredibly positive, so people enjoyed the films, and people were really complimentary about the programing.”

The festival didn’t concentrate on any one genre of film, but captured the best of it all, he said.

Harada wasn’t the only big-name guest at the festival. Closing night featured an a A-list couple of Japanese film in director Masayuki Suo and his actor wife Tamiyo Kusakari, who introduced their film Lady Maiko at its North American premiere. The film was sold out, but will have a second screening this summer.

In both instances, Heron said, the directors were pleased with their experiences, which helps the festival build a reputation that will help attract more A-listers in future years.

“They were very complimentary. They said there isn’t anything else like this out there, on this scale,” Heron said.

He said the directors who come out are pleased by the audiences who turn up for the films, as there are people from backgrounds other than just Japanese.

“The directors are saying, ‘We really understand the multicultural nature of Toronto and we’re seeing it in the audience. We feel that our films are being seen by Canadians, and also by people with backgrounds as diverse as India and Middle East, and Europe and Africa.’ It really is an international film festival.”

Heron said the festival took a big step forward this year and organizers will continue to build on that and the festival’s strengths.

Heron anticipates future festivals will attract more top talent from Japan, more quality films, more screenings, and larger audiences.

For those who missed the festival, the JCCC puts on a monthly screening of Japanese film.

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man was selected the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the festival. Kakekomi came second.

Shinobu Yaguchi’s Wood Job! received the festival’s Kobayashi Audience Choice Award.

Source: Inside Toronto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Toronto Japanese Film Festival wraps up its ‘best year yet’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival organizer James Heron couldn’t be happier with how the event went this year, attracting record audiences and A-list directors, showcasing highly regarded films, and setting up the fledgling festival for another great year.

The fourth annual festival, put on by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), concluded June 26 at the organization’s North York location.

The two-week festival attracted more than 7,000 visitors to see 20 films at 25 screenings (some films had a second screening).

The festival also featured the world-premier of Kakekomi, a samurai film by director Masato Harada. Harada was at the festival to introduce the film on opening night.

“It was our best year yet, without question,” said Heron, JCCC executive director.

“The exit surveys were incredibly positive, so people enjoyed the films, and people were really complimentary about the programing.”

The festival didn’t concentrate on any one genre of film, but captured the best of it all, he said.

Harada wasn’t the only big-name guest at the festival. Closing night featured an a A-list couple of Japanese film in director Masayuki Suo and his actor wife Tamiyo Kusakari, who introduced their film Lady Maiko at its North American premiere. The film was sold out, but will have a second screening this summer.

In both instances, Heron said, the directors were pleased with their experiences, which helps the festival build a reputation that will help attract more A-listers in future years.

“They were very complimentary. They said there isn’t anything else like this out there, on this scale,” Heron said.

He said the directors who come out are pleased by the audiences who turn up for the films, as there are people from backgrounds other than just Japanese.

“The directors are saying, ‘We really understand the multicultural nature of Toronto and we’re seeing it in the audience. We feel that our films are being seen by Canadians, and also by people with backgrounds as diverse as India and Middle East, and Europe and Africa.’ It really is an international film festival.”

Heron said the festival took a big step forward this year and organizers will continue to build on that and the festival’s strengths.

Heron anticipates future festivals will attract more top talent from Japan, more quality films, more screenings, and larger audiences.

For those who missed the festival, the JCCC puts on a monthly screening of Japanese film.

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man was selected the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the festival. Kakekomi came second.

Shinobu Yaguchi’s Wood Job! received the festival’s Kobayashi Audience Choice Award.

Source: Inside Toronto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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