The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019


The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019

People Still Call it Love:

Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema
Experience Japan through Cinema

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns in February 2019, touring to 19 cities nationwide with a theme of “Love”. From contemporary dramas to anime and classics, it is the largest of its kind focusing on Japanese cinema in the UK.

2 February – 28 March 2019, nationwide

2 February – 10 February 2019 at ICA, London

Love, in all its semblances and dimensions, is a state so universally experienced by humankind that it has provided a perpetual source of inspiration in the long history of global cinema. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 features thoughtfully selected films from Japan’s artistic repertoire, all focusing on this theme in one way or another. As the conventional binaries defining what it means to love continually give way to new understandings of this sweeping emotion, so too does this year’s curation aim to provide insights into a wider context of love in Japanese society.


  • The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 will show case 18 Japanese films, most of which have never been screened in the UK.
  • The programme will visit 19 UK cities, arguably the largest touring film programme defined by its scope within the UK.
  • The programme considers the work of Japanese female filmmakers to be important, and the 2019 edition will include 4 films from female directors.

Special Guests Announced:

Directors Keisuke Yoshida, Yukiko Mishima and Hikaru Toda 

The Japan Foundation is very excited to welcome directors Keisuke Yoshida (Thicker than Water), Yukiko Mishima (Dear Etranger), and Hikaru Toda (Of Love & Law), who will attend select screenings of their films around the UK. 

Keisuke Yoshida Biography:

Keisuke Yoshida is a well-established Japanese director and screenwriter. Following his debut film Raw Summer (2005), which won the Fantastic Off-Theatre Competition Grand Prize at the 2006 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, he has produced a further nine works. This includes the 2016 Japanese box office hit, Himeanole, which premiered at the Far East Film Festival in Italy and stars Go Morita of V6 fame. Thicker Than Water is one of two titles directed by Yoshida in 2018, being closely followed by his latest work, Come On Irene. Yoshida will attend special Q&A screenings of Thicker Than Water at:

  • ICA, London: Friday, 8 February and Saturday, 9 February
  • QUAD, Derby: Saturday, 9 February
  • Storyhouse, Chester: Sunday, 10 February
  • Watershed, Bristol: Monday, 11 February
  • Showroom, Sheffield: Tuesday, 12 February

Yukiko Mishima Biography:

Female director and screenwriter Yukiko Mishima’s career spans nearly three decades, having started by writing and directing television series – something she does to this day. Her first feature film, The Tattoer, was released in 2009 and is based on Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s literary classic. Dear Etranger is Mishima’s sixth film and, having had its world premiere at the 18th Jeonju International Film Festival in 2017, it went on to win the Special Grand Prix of the Jury Award at the 2017 Montreal World Film Festival. The 14th Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme screened her film A Stitch of Life to a large UK audience; we are proud to present her latest feature (Dear Etranger) at 11 cities within the UK as part of the 16th edition, with special Q&A screenings held at:

  • Exeter Phoenix: Wednesday, 20 March
  • Filmhouse, Edinburgh: Friday, 22 March
  • Broadway, Nottingham: Sunday, 24 March

Hikaru Toda Biography:

Hikaru Toda is a self-shooting Director/Editor based in London and Osaka, working in long and short format documentaries. Her films have screened on BBC Storyville, France Televisions, NHK, The Guardian and major international film festivals including Hot Docs, CPH DOX and Melbourne International Film Festival. Hikaru moved to Japan for the first time in 22 years to make Of Love & Law which will have limited previews before its UK theatrical release at:

  • Curzon Soho, London: Thursday, 21 February
  • HOME, Manchester: Friday, 22 February
  • Showroom, Sheffield: Monday, 25 February
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