Embassy of Japan in New Zealand



Japanese Film Festival 2019 in New Plymouth & Wellington

2-3 November New Plymouth at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 42 Queen Street
8-10 November Wellington at Roxy Cinema, 5 Park Road, Miramar

The Japanese Film Festival is held annually, in order to encourage the growth of Japanese culture and understanding in New Zealand. Each year, we try to give the people of New Zealand some insight into the culture, customs, and traditions of Japan, alongside what is popular with Japan’s society today, through film. All films will be in Japanese with English subtitles. Flyer (Other schedules can be found at the Christchurch page)

New Plymouth - No booking required.
Wellington - Tickets ($1.50 booking fee per ticket) available at the Roxy Cinema website from 17 October

2 Nov 12:30pm - New Plymouth
8 Nov 6:30pm - Wellington

Born Bone Born

Director:Toshiyuki Teruya Year:2018 Rating:PG Length:111min Genre:Drama

Official Site: https://senkotsu-movie.com (In Japanese)

Film Festival, Award:
2018 Moscow International Film Festival
2018 Shanghai International Film Festival
2018 JAPAN CUTS, Audience Award
2018 Hawaii International Film Festival

Senkotsu (lit. “Bone-washing”), is a tradition that is almost extinct. The eldest son of the Shinjo family, Tsuyoshi, returns to his hometown to wash the bones of his mother. His father’s life is in a mess due to his inability to accept his wife's death. Also returning home is eldest daughter Yuko, also facing various hardships in life herself. Will the senkotsu ceremony help the family members unite?



2 Nov 3:00pm - New Plymouth
9 Nov 12:00pm - Wellington

Room Laundering

Director:Kenji Katagiri Year:2018 Rating:M Length:109min Genre: Comedy, Drama

Official Site: http://roomlaundering.com (In Japanese)

Miko is a “room launderer”, someone paid to live in a rental unit where the previous tenant has died of unnatural causes until the manager is no longer legally required to inform future tenants of the death. It’s the perfect job for antisocial Miko. Her problem however is that she can see and talk to the dead. Although Miko has no idea why she has this ability, nor any inclination to use it, spirits come to rely on her.



2 Nov 5:30pm - New Plymouth
9 Nov 2:30pm - Wellington


Director:Katsuhide Motoki Year:2018 Rating:M Length:120min Genre:Drama

Official Site: http://soratobu-movie.jp/ (In Japanese)

Film Festival, Award:
2018 Shanghai International Film Festival
2018 Jeonju International Film Festival

Tokuro Akamatsu can’t believe it when a vehicle of his freight company causes a fatal accident. Faulty maintenance is suspected, but he requests that its manufacturer, Hope Motors, carry out new tests. Yuta Sawada from Hope Motors is initially dismissive of Akamatsu’s demands, until his colleagues’ secretive behavior arouses his curiosity.



3 Nov 12:30pm - New Plymouth
9 Nov 5:00pm - Wellington

The Crimes that Bind

Director:Katsuo Fukuzawa Year:2018 Rating:M Length:119min Genre:Mystery

A woman is found strangled to death in an apartment whose tenant is missing. Detective Matsumiya has a hunch that a charred corpse found nearby the murder scene may have some relevance to the case, and subsequently discovers an item with the names of Nihonbashi’s 12 bridges written on it. When Kyoichiro Kaga learns of this, he is deeply shaken.



3 Nov 10:00am - New Plymouth
10 Nov 12:00pm - Wellington

Lu Over the Wall

Director:Masaaki Yuasa Year:2017 Rating:PG Length:112min Genre:Anime, Fantasy

Official Site:https://lunouta.com (In Japanese)

Film Festival, Award
2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Feature Film Competition, Cristal for a Feature Film
2017 Fantasia International Film Festival, Audeience Award (Silver)
2018 Sundance Film Festival

Middle school student Kai ends up in a declining fishing town as a result of his parents' divorce. One day, he’s invited by a classmate to join their band. Kai reluctantly goes to the practice site on Mermaid Island where he meets Lu, a young mermaid. This tale of the encounter and separation of a young boy and a young mermaid is composed of careful depictions of life rendered through animation bursting with briskness and energy.



3 Nov 3:00pm - New Plymouth
10 Nov 2:30pm - Wellington

The 8 Year Engagement
8年越しの花嫁 奇跡の実話

Director:Takahisa Zeze Year:2017 Rating:PG Length: 119min Genre:Drama, Romance

Official Site: http://8nengoshi.jp (In Japanese)

Based on a true story, Hisashi and Mai are an engaged couple who couldn’t be happier. Three months before their wedding Mai suddenly falls into a deep coma. Mai’s parents encourage Hisashi to find someone else, but he refuses to give up and stays by her side. Mai slowly regains consciousness, but tragically has suffered brain damage leaving her no memory of Hisashi. He’s devastated, but continues to visit Mai every day. Eight years later, a miracle occurs.




In Cooperation with

The Japanese Film Festival is also held at other cities. Click the links below for more details.
CHRISTCHURCH 19-22 November