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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts
31 Jan – 16 Feb 2020

The 17th edition of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme presents a line-up of contemporary titles screening for the first time in the UK. Under the theme of happiness, this year’s programme seeks to present the highs and lows experienced in pursuit of happiness in Japan, showcasing diverse cinematic voices as they shine a light on stories of love, social inclusion, the resilience of humankind through times of hardship, and non-conventional paths to achieving and maintaining joy. Since 2004, the Japan Foundation has showcased – in close partnership with distinguished film venues across the nation – some of the finest Japanese films in order to introduce their versatility and uniqueness to the UK.
Organised by the Japan Foundation with Major Support from Japan Airlines, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and Yakult, with Sponsorship in Kind from SUQQU and the Japan Centre, and in Cultural Partnership with Modern Culture and the Japan Society.

Friday 31 January, 6:20 pm
And Your Bird Can Sing
A film adaptation of author Sato Yasushi’s coming-of-age novel.

Saturday 1 February, 1:15pm
Sunday 16 February, 2:30pm
Two students bond and eventually fall in love over shared meals in this offbeat romantic drama from writer-director Ichii Masahide. 

Saturday 1 February, 3:30pm
Set during World War II and inspired by true events, a heart-warming story of courage, friendship and the power of music.

Saturday 1 February, 6:00pm
A Banana? At This Time of Night?
Yasuaki Shikano is a young man with muscular dystrophy who lives an eccentric life of independence.

Saturday 1 February, 8:30pm
A group of women seek revenge against a philandering man in this dark comedy from married couple Ichikawa Kon and Natsuto Wada. 

Sunday 2 February, 1:20pm
Based on the collected short stories of Kotaro Isaka, Little Nights, Little Love follows the lives of a young man and woman over a 10-year period. 

Sunday 2 February, 3:40pm
Sunday 9 February 1:30pm
A Q&A follows the screening of this coming of age film about a young woman who escapes reality through immersing herself in manga comics.

Sunday 2 February, 6:20pm
Director Shinohara Tetsuo and star Yamazaki Masayoshi team up for the first time in 22 years for this adaptation of a mystery novel by Yokoyama Hideo. 

Tuesday 4 February, 6:20pm
Saturday 15 February, 2:40pm
A live adaptation of a comedic Japanese manga series which follows the romantic trials and tribulations of a high school freshman. 

Tuesday 4 February, 8:30pm
A working-class family try to get by despite each of their personal demons.

Wednesday 5 February, 6:20pm
A scathing satire based on Homura Kawamoto’s hit manga of the same name. 

Wednesday 5 February, 8:40pm
From director Yokohama Satoko, a comedy about an actor at a personal crossroads. 

Thursday 6 February, 8:40pm
A lonely young boy finds his fortunes rapidly changing after a school prayer session.

Friday 7 February, 8:40pm
A isolated man who works as a charcoal burner in rural Japan finds his priorities changing after meeting up with an old friend.

Saturday 8 February, 3:40pm
A heart-warming tale from first-time director Kyohei Fujimura, starring pro wrestling champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in his acting debut.

Saturday 8 February, 6:00pm
A benevolent lie to protect a mother from her son’s recent death wreaks havoc on a grieving family.

Sunday 9 February, 4:10pm
An exasperated single mother with a rebellious teenage daughter decides to show her love through painstakingly beautiful bento boxes with concealed messages for her daughter to unveil at school. 

Sunday 9 February, 6:20pm
An estranged couple face an agonising decision in this thought-provoking drama based on Shingo Higashino’s best-selling novel.

Saturday 15 February, 4:45pm
A Q&A follows the screening of a documentary about her elderly parents. 

Sunday 16 February, 4:45pm
A coming-of-age love story about a young firefighter and a university student.