Japanese Film Festival

Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February | Times and descriptions below

The Japanese film festival is coming to Upper Hutt! A festival giving insight into the culture, customs, and traditions of Japan, alongside what is popular with Japan's society today, through film. All films will be screened in Japanese with English subtitles.

Free | Bookings Required


Saturday 24 February

Ito | 1.00pm | 116 minutes

Director: YOKOHAMA Satoko Year: 2021 Rating: PG

Genre: Drama

Awarded Grand Prix - Best Picture in the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021; It is the story of a downcast teenager living in the small town of Itayanaki, in northern Japan with her father and grandmother. She's a talented traditional shamisen musician. Recently, she has lost all interest in playing music and is eager for new experiences. Ito impulsively answers a job ad for a nearby 'maid café'. Her new job helps her break out of her shell, but it only adds to the simmering tension between her and her father.

The Fish Tale | 3.30pm | 139 minutes

Director: OKITA Shuichi Year: 2022 Rating: PG

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Directed by Okita, the acclaimed filmmaker both domestically and internationally; Meebo is a grade-schooler who has an obsession with fish; observing, illustrating and dreaming about fish every day and night. Meebo becomes even more obsessed with fish in high school and is put in charge of taking care of a pair of horseshoe crabs at school, successfully breeding them, a first in Japan. The achievement is reported on a news program. Meebo's enthusiasm for fish is now broadcast nationally, affecting millions around Japan.

We Make Antiques! | 6.20pm | 106 minutes

Director: TAKE Masaharu Year: 2020 Rating: PG

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Directed by Masaharu Take produced the award-winning film “100 Yen Love,”, a dowdy antique dealer in Kyoto is asked by a beautiful lady, Shino, to find a swindled, valuable teacup made by Master Oriole in the 16th century.

The dealer and a pottery artist create, for Shino, an authentic-looking imitation. Recognizing their skills, she proposes a deal to earn big money in a con game, leading them to get revenge on the villains who stained their reputation in the past.

Sunday 25 February

The House of the Lost on the Cape | 1.00pm | 105 minutes

Director: KAWATSURA Shinya Year: 2021 Rating: PG

Genre: Anime, Fantasy

Winner of the 2023 Les Toiles Filantes Festival in France and the 76th Mainichi Film Awards in the Animation category, this heartwarming yet bittersweet tale from award-winning author Sachiko Kashiwaba, set in her native Iwate Prefecture, is a story of nostalgia, precious kinship and a touch of magic.

17-year-old Yui, a run-away and 8-year-old Hiyori, who lost her family and her voice, have no place to go when they run into Kiwa, a strange old lady who offers them a place to stay. The place is called “Mayoiga” and is an old Japanese house overlooking the sea, radiating warmth and warm hospitality. Both girls' damaged hearts begin to heal little by little, until one day, a variety of strange beings which Kiwa calls "Fushigitto" begin popping up around the house.

Dreaming of the Meridian Arc | 3.15pm | 112 minutes

Director: Nakanishi Kenji Year: 2022 Rating: PG

Genre: Drama, Comedy

A team in the Katori City Office in Chiba, launches a project to revitalize their city by sponsoring an NHK historical drama about a local historical figure. The figure they choose is Ino Tadataka, who is known for completing the first map of Japan. But during the development of the script, the team is panicked to discover the staggering fact that Ino died before the map was completed. Back in 1818, after Ino passed away, his pupils decide to conceal their master's death and carry out a secret operation to finish the map to honor him. The truth behind the first map of Japan is now revealed.