For its 16th edition CAMERA JAPAN has presented a varied programme, with both films and events, all focussed on Japanese culture. From drama to anime, and even a Shibari/Kinbaku workshop, CAMERA JAPAN put together another interesting and entertaining edition that contains something for everyone.
This is the second time this festival has taken place since the pandemic started and because of COVID-19 related restrictions, there is a limited screening room capacity. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to ensure yourself of a seat.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at what CAMERA JAPAN has in store for us. Here are five highlights from this year’s programme.
461 Days of Bento: A Promise Between Father and Son (2020)
A recently divorced musician, Kazuki, makes a deal with his son Koki after he fails his high school entrance exam. They agree that Koki will never skip school again and in return his father will make him lunch every day for the next three years. Kazuki’s bento boxes help strengthen the bond between the two. A heart-warming and delicious drama about the relationship between a father and his teenage son.
Directed by Kaneshige Atsushi, who is also known for Don’t Cry, Mr. Ogre (2019) and Flight on the Water (2020).
Screenings: Thursday 23 September – 13:30 (Rotterdam), Saturday 25 September – 19:45 (Rotterdam), Sunday 26 September – 15:00 (Rotterdam), Friday 1 October – 19:00 (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 461個のおべんとう | 461kko no obento
Angry Rice Wifes (2021)
This historical drama takes place in 1918. The women of a coastal village are struggling to feed their families, while their husbands are away trying to catch fish. Food, and in particular rice, is getting more and more expensive. A number of women decide enough is enough and take action, starting the infamous rice riots. An entertaining historical film, with its fair share of comedic moments.
Directed by Motoki Katsuhide, known for Samurai Hustle (2014) and Tsuribaka Nisshi Eleven (2000) among other films.
On opening night, 23 September at 19:00 in Rotterdam, Angry Rice Wives will be screened after a taiko- and dance performance Tsunagari.
Screenings: Thursday 23 September – 19:00 (Rotterdam), Saturday 25 September – 12:15 (Rotterdam), Sunday 26 September – 10:15 (Rotterdam), Saturday 2 October – 16:30 (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 大コメ騒動 | Dai kome sōdō
Pompo the Cinephile (2021)
Joelle Davidovich “Pompo” Pomponett produces B-grade action and erotic films, in the movie capital of the world “Nyallywood”. When her assistant is moved by Pompo’s new and exquisite script, telling her she should film it, Pompo tells him to film it himself instead. Making this Gene’s directing debut. How will he bring her “Masterpiece” to life?
This film is based on the eponymous manga and television series and directed by Hirao Takayuki, also known for The Garden of Sinners: Paradox Spiral (2008) and Yoyo and Nene, the Little Witch Sisters (2013).
Screenings: Saturday 25 September – 14:30 (Rotterdam), Sunday 26 September – 17:30 (Rotterdam), Saturday 2 October – 14:30 (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 映画大好きポンポさん | Eiga daisuki Pompo-san
Georama Boy, Panorama Girl (2020)
Haruko Shibuya, a high school student with an ordinary life, happens upon Kenichi Kanagawa, collapsed on a bridge after he’d been beaten up. Haruko instantly falls for him, but Kenichi is more interested in another girl, Mayumi, who’s the reason for the beating. A romance story, far from typical. A playful film that will keep you guessing.
Based on the eponymous manga by Okazaki Kyoko and directed by Seta Natsuki, known for PARKS (2017) and A Letter from Elsewhere (2008), among others.
Screenings: Friday 24 September – 14:15 (Rotterdam), Sunday 26 September – 17:00 (Rotterdam), Saturday 2 October – 12:30 (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: ジオラマボーイ・パノラマガール | Jiorama booi • panorama gaaru
The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea
Hana, an 18-year-old woman, grew up in an orphanage because of a crime her mother was accused of committing. As the oldest ‘sister’ in the home, Hana takes a newly sheltered and abused girl under her wing. An intimate and vulnerable drama about fragile girls living in a cruel world.
Directed by Ogawa Sara, who is also known for She’s Gone (2018) and BEATOPIA (2017).
The screenings in Rotterdam will be preceded by the short Narumi directed by Yabe Rin.
Screenings: Thursday 23 September – 17:15 (Rotterdam), Friday 24 September – 22:15 (Rotterdam), Saturday 25 September – 10:00 (Rotterdam), Sunday 3 October – 15:00 (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 海辺の金魚 | Umibe no kingyo
Andere CAMERA JAPAN activiteiten
As mentioned before this edition of CAMERA JAPAN offers quite a few workshops, performances and exhibitions. There is a special Kids’ Day again this year, where children can learn to write their names in Japanese and watch a selection of animation shorts. A sake tasting, two tea tasting workshops, a market and exhibitions by Ronin de Goede and Sawamura Yuta, to name just a few of the activities you can expect at CAMERA JAPAN this year.
Be sure to check out CAMERA JAPAN’s full programme, as it contains many more films, shorts, workshops, performances and more.
CAMERA JAPAN will take place from 22 to 26 September at LantarenVenster in Rotterdam with the usual kick-off at WORM on 22 September. Then the festival will move to Amsterdam for a long weekend from 30 September to 3 October.