Bringing the 10-day Japanese Film Festival to city’s big screens for the first time, the Director-General of Japan Foundation Kaoru Miyamoto says Chennai’s theatre-going culture is attractive for foreign film industries.
Speaking to DT Next at the inaugural of the film fest recently, Kaoru Miyamoto, the Director-General of Japan Foundation, an organisation which works for arts and cultural exchange between the island-nation and India, said JFF-India aims at creating a taste and an awareness for Japanese films in Chennai. “Through the festival, we wanted to introduce the audiences to a diversity of films. With the ever-increasing theatre going audiences, particularly among millennials in India, the festival is aimed at popularising Japanese films, leading up to commercial releases in the future,” he said.
The fest, which began three years ago, was screened in Delhi and Mumbai alone for the first two years. This third edition of the fest will travel from Chennai to Guwahati, Bengaluru and Kolkata as well. It was screened in Delhi and Gurugram during September. “This is the first time that JFF-India is expanding to the southern market of the country. South India has an extremely vibrant film industry and cinema viewing culture. Chennai’s annual film festivals, clubs and theatre-going culture make it a very attractive city for foreign film industries,” added Miyamoto.
Consul General of Japan in Chennai Kojiro Uchiyama said the stories of the films to be screened can be a window to Japan’s society, culture and people. “Many Japanese still remember the film Muthu starring Rajinikanth, and his recent movie 2.0 hit cinemas in Japan,” he said.
The films chosen for the festival include recent mainstream, art-house and independent films, along with anime/manga adaptations, which are popular in India, said Miyamoto. “While India and Japan have had a vibrant cultural exchange for many decades, in case of cinema, there hasn’t been much development with respect to mainstream releases and co-productions. A bilateral engagement between the two industries needs more nurturing. The film festival is one such step in this direction,” he remarked.
Among the films to be screened as part of the fest are Dance With Me, Shoplifters, Your Name, Perfect World, Children of the Sea, Kingdom and Weathering With You. The Japanese Film Festival will be screened at PVR Icon in VR Mall, Anna Nagar till November 17.