20th Eigasai Japanese Film Festival Opens

Arts & Culture

July 10, 2017 | BY Franz Sorilla IV

The Japan Foundation Manila kicks off its 20th Japanese Film Festival, widely known as Eigasai, at the Shang Cineplex

© "Her Love Boils Bathwater" Film Partners

In honour of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month, cinephiles may be able to watch quality Japanese films from July 1 to August 29. The 20th Eigasai kicked off at the Shang Cineplex with the screening of Her Love Boils Bathwater, which was graced by its writer and director Ryota Nakano. 

To commemorate the successful two-decade run of the festival, Eigasai 2017 presents a retrospective showcase of films. There will be a special encore screening throughout the festival run of Departures, the 81st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language winner and one of the most well-received and one of the most well-received films in the history of the film festival. Meanwhile, two rare 16mm films screened at the first Japanese Film Festival in 1997: The Sting of Death directed by Kohei Oguri, the Grand Prix du Jury winner at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and Memories of You directed by Shinichiro Sawai, were both re-screened on July 1 at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines where Eigasai was first held in 1997. It served as a prelude to the grand opening night last July 6. 


A long-lasting partnership with CCP and the Japan Foundation’s support towards independent filmmakers bring forth again the screening of the Japanese independent film, Poolsideman. It has won the Best Picture Award in the Japanese Cinema Splash at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2016. Hirobumi Watanabe, director of the film will also be present at his Philippine premier during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in August, an allied festival of Eigasai since last year. 

Eigasai is part of the Japan Foundation Asia Centre’s unified Japanese Film Festival held around Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, and together with the Japan Foundation Manila, different genres of films were curated with a total of 20 titles—17 of which are with English subtitles and three are dubbed in Tagalog, offering Japanese film lovers the chance to experience their favourite genre while discovering something new. The genres include animation, drama, comedy, documentary, and horror. 

(c) 2008 Departures Film Partners.jpgDEPARTURES
© 2008 Departures Film Partners

In addition to the cinema partners from last year, the film festival is expanding its reach and impact in the wider region by adding cinemas in Bacolod and Iloilo, extending the festival period until the end of August. Catch the films at the following screening venues: CCP Dream Theatre from July 1 to August 5, 10, and 11, Shang Cineplex Cinema from July 6 to 16, UP Film Institute from August 16 to 19, Abreeza Mall Cinema in Davao from July 21 to 23, FDCP Cinematheque Davao from July 26 to 30, Ayala Centre Cebu from August 2 to 6, SM City Baguio from August 10 to 13, SM City Bacolod from August 24 to 27, and FDCP Cinematheque Iloilo from August 25 to 29.

Admission is free on a first-come, first served basis, except the screenings at Shang Cineplex Cinema which will be 100 pesos per film.