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Japanese film festival to open this weekend

The Japanese Film Festival 2018 will take place in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue and Hanoi from November 2 to December 23.

The festival, organised by the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, will introduce 16 outstanding Japanese films featuring different genres, including drama, comedy, fantasy, mystery, documentary and animation.

All of the films, which will be shown with Vietnamese and English subtitles, focus on themes of love, friendship, family and Japanese culture.

The festival will open with the 2017 drama film Close-Knit, directed and written by Naoko Ogigami, who won the Manfred Salzgeber Award for “broadening the boundaries of cinema today” at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008.

Close-Knit is about a fifth-grade girl whose mother has given her up. She has to live with her uncle and his girlfriend, a transgender woman with a heart of gold.

The film was screened as part of the Panorama section at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2017.

The event will include the screening of director Norihiro Koizumi’s Chihayafuru, which is based on the famous manga series with the same name by Yuki Suetsugu.

The film, whose two sequels will also be shown, honours karuta, a traditional Japanese card game. The films also feature how young Japanese are preserving the game.

The festival will also screen dramas such as Kenji Shibayama’s Perfect World, Wui Shin Chong’s Yankiniku Dragon and Junichi Ishikawa’s Mixed Double, along with horror films Daihachi Yoshida’s The Scythian Lambs and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Creepy.

Two animation films Rudolf the Black Cat by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonori Sakakibara, and Mary and the Witch’s Flower by Hiromasa Yonebayashi will be screened as well.

More information about the film schedule can be seen at