Embassy of Japan in New Zealand



Japanese Film Festival 2020

Wellington, New Plymouth & Dunedin


23-25 October Wellington Roxy Cinema, 5 Park Road, Miramar

21-22 November New Plymouth Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 42 Queen Street

12-13 December Dunedin Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 30 The Octagon



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 including Auckland and Christchurch can be downloaded HERE.

Wellington - Tickets ($1.51 booking fee per ticket) is available at the Roxy Cinema website.
New Plymouth, Dunedin - No booking required

23 Oct 6:30pm - Wellington
21 Nov 12:30pm - New Plymouth
12 Dec 12:30pm - Dunedin

Iwane:Sword of Serenity

Director:Katsuhide Motoki Year:2019 Rating:M Length:120min Genre:Period Drama

Official Site: https://iwane-movie.jp (In Japanese)

After the tragic death of his best friends from childhood in an incident at Iwane's homeland, he decides to leave his domain, parting with his fiancée Nao, and becomes a vagrant masterless samurai with nothing more to lose. In Edo, working as a bodyguard at night for Imazuya, he gradually wins the trust of the people around him because of his mellow nature, the chivalrous way he treats everyone with courtesy, and his skills with swords. One day, he learns that Imazuya is being targeted in a conspiracy to sabotage a new monetary system implemented by the government, and Iwane decides to protect the people who have given him support.


24 Oct 12pm - Wellington
21 Nov 3pm - New Plymouth
12 Dec 3pm - Dunedin

Almost a Miracle

Director:Yuya Ishii Year:2019 Rating:PG Length:120min Genre: School Fantasy

Official Site: https://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/machidakun-movie (In Japanese)

Machida is an ordinary-looking high school student who is academically and athletically inept but does like people and he is loved by those around him. One day, an encounter with a certain individual awakens feelings within Machida that he has never experienced before. On top of that, he comes to realize that being kind to everyone can also hurt a special someone, and Machida’s world turns upside down.


24 Oct 2:30pm - Wellington
21 Nov 5:30pm - New Plymouth
12 Dec 5:30pm - Dunedin

Samurai Cat

Director:Takeshi Watanabe / Yoshitaka Yamaguchi Year:2014 Rating:PG Length:100min Genre:Period Drama

Kyutaro (Kazuki Kitamura) is a SAMURAI who was once feared. However, after losing his position, he runs out of money and is living alone away from his family. Kyutaro doesn't know how to earn money without using his sword. One day Kyutaro gets a job offer, which is to kill a cat. Though Kyutaro finds it quite silly, he decides to do it for money. When Kyutaro opens the door to where the target is, he sees the lovely white cat.


24 Oct 5:00pm - Wellington
22 Nov 10am - New Plymouth
13 Dec 10am - Dunedin

Pecoross' Mother and Her Days

Director:Azuma Morisaki Year:2013 Rating:PG Length:113min Genre:Drama

Official Site:http://pecoross.jp (In Japanese)

Yuichi is a widower living in Nagasaki devoted to his elderly mother Mitsue, manga and music. When Mitsue develops dementia, he reluctantly places her in a nursing home. Being with idiosyncratic residents, her memories gradually lead her to retrace her past.


25 Oct 12:00pm - Wellington
22 Nov 12:30pm - New Plymouth
13 Dec 12:30pm - Dunedin

A Beautiful Star

Director:Daihachi YoshidaYear:2017 Rating:M Length:127min Genre:SF

Official Site:https://gaga.ne.jp/hoshi (In Japanese)

Juichiro Osugi, a demotivated weather forecaster, suddenly comes to believe that he is from Mars after being mysteriously struck by blinding light.  About the same time, his children also awake as aliens. They believe that they have different missions to accomplish on Earth and Juichiro believes his is to let people realize the immediate danger of environmental crisis...


25 Oct 2:30pm - Wellington
22 Nov 3pm - New Plymouth
13 Dec 3pm - Dunedin

A Banana? At This time of Night?

Director:Tetsu Maeda Year:2018 Rating:PG Length: 120min Genre:Drama

Official Site:https://bananakayo.jp (In Japanese)

A human drama depicting Yasuaki Shikano, who lived his dreams while struggling with muscular dystrophy. He was loved by everyone. Despite being unable to live without help, he leaves the hospital and begins an independent life. This is a moving drama based on a true story depicting the lives of people who meet and changed with Yasuaki, through their experiences with laughter and tears.



In Cooperation with

The Japanese Film Festival is also held at other cities. Click the links below for more details.