Monday, November 22, 2010


Last night I attended the Opening Night Gala of the Japanese Film Festival as a guest of Mr Masanori Ohtani. It was the 14th time this annual event has been held. A launch was held in the foyer of the Sydney event centre, George St. After speeches from directors, critics and organisers, the party moved into the main theatre where a near capacity crowd saw the screening of the movie: About Her Brother.

About Her Brother was directed by accomplished Japanese director Yoji Yamada. The film explores the dynamics of a family as they deal with Tetsuro, a family member who is socially inept and continues to embarrass everyone. He is an alcoholic who becomes louder as he drinks. He has been disowned by many of the family members already, and finally is shunned by his sister who until now has been loyal to him. Finally the two are reconciled when she learns Tetsuro is dying. The story is sad, almost tragic yet is presented with a lot of humour and many laughs. It was a terrific film to open the festival with.

The VIP crowd enjoying some food and a drink before the performance.

The festival seems to have something for everyone. Confessions is a thriller mystery involving the murder of a four year old girl. This movie was a box office hit in Japan and is already sold out in Sydney.

Dear Doctor is a dramatic movie about an inspirational doctor who is loved by the whole town before his devastating secret comes to light which will change everything. This film has received awards for Best Actor and Best Film.

There is also the traditional samurai film in Sword of Desperation, while the film I would like to see is The Summit: A Chronicle of Stone. This film is based on the true story of conquering Mt Tsurugidake. It is inspirational and full of stunning scenery.

Ushers dressed in traditional costume added to the atmosphere on the night.

The festival is on in Sydney from 22 November until 28 November. It has already been on in Canberra; and will be on in Melbourne from 2nd to 7th december. An event well worth seeing.

A scene from the popular movie Shodo Girls.