Embassy of Japan in New Zealand



Japanese Film Festival 2021

Wellington, New Plymouth & Dunedin


16-17 October Wellington Roxy Cinema, 5 Park Road, Miramar

30-31 October New Plymouth Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 42 Queen Street

20-21 November Dunedin Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 30 The Octagon

The Japanese Film Festival is also held at Christchurch (8-11 Nov) and Auckland (3-6 Mar 2022).


Japanese Film Festival 2021


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..

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

Sat 30 Oct 12pm - New Plymouth
Sat 20 Nov 12pm - Dunedin

After the Sunset

Director:Michio Koshikawa Year:2019 Rating:M Length:133min Genre:Drama

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

Set in the small town of Nagashima, Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. Yuichi Hino farms yellowtail fish, a family business, for his livelihood. He lives with his wife Satsuki, his mother Mie and 7-year-old son Towa. But Towa is not their biological son. Yuichi and Satsuki want to formally adopt him, and as they embark on the special adoption procedures with the Family Court, they find out how Towa was taken into care. They are shocked to learn the name of their foster son’s biological mother is exactly the same as that of the woman who moved to the island a few years ago, and has since been working at the diner. The tensions between foster parents and biological mother are depicted in a human drama set in a small island in Japan.

Sat 16 Oct 12pm - Wellington
Sat 30 Oct 2:45pm - New Plymouth
Sat 20 Nov 2:45pm - Dunedin

Show Me the Way to the Station

Director:Naoki Hashimotoi Year:2019 Rating:PG Length:125min Genre:Drama

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

Her pet dog and constant companion Lou is gone. The grown-ups all say he will never be back, but 8 year-old Sayaka cannot bring herself to believe them. One day near the end of summer, another dog leads her to the coffee shop of an elderly man, Fuse. Having suffered a devastating loss himself, he is also alone. These two, unable to accept what is gone, forge an unlikely friendship.

Book ticket (SOLD OUT) in Wellington (Booking fee applies)

Sat 16 Oct 2:35pm - Wellington
Sat 30 Oct 5:20pm - New Plymouth
Sat 20 Nov 5:20pm - Dunedin

The Voices in the Wind

Director:Nobuhiro Suwa Year:2019 Rating:M Length:139min Genre:Drama

Official site:www.kazenodenwa.com

After losing her family in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster, Haru moved to Hiroshima to live with her aunt Hiroko. When her aunt falls ill and is in the hospital, Haru decides to travel in the direction of home. Haru heads towards her hometown, making connections with several people along the way. Upon arriving home, she hears that there is a phone booth people call the “Wind Phone”, close by. It’s not hooked up to any phone lines, but people use the phone to communicate with the loved ones they have lost. Haru goes toward her final stop, as if she has been guided there her entire journey. Inspired by the existing “wind phone” in Japan’s Iwate prefecture, which was opened to the public for people to find closure after the disaster.

Book ticket (SOLD OUT) in Wellington (Booking fee applies)

Sat 16 Oct 5:30pm - Wellington
Sun 31 Oct 10pm - New Plymouth

Our 30-Minute Sessions

Director:Kentaro Hagiwara Year:2020 Rating:M Length:114min Genre:Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Official Site:sayonara-30min.com (In Japanese)

When quiet college student Sota picks up a cassette tape he gets a surprise when he tries to play it back: his body is taken over by Aki, the owner of the tape who died in an accident the previous year! When the tape is played, Aki gets to take over Sota's body for just 30 minutes – the length of recording on the cassette tape. Reserved Sota, who doesn’t like to interact with others, and outgoing Aki, who wants to reunite his old band and bring a smile to his girlfriend’s face, try to work together for mutual benefit, learning about each other along the way. Our 30-Minute Sessions is a funny and heart-warming film which highlights the importance of human connection and music.

Book ticket (SOLD OUT) in Wellington (Booking fee applies)

Sun 17 Oct 12:00pm - Wellington
Sun 31 Oct 12:30pm - New Plymouth

Stopmotion Animation Films by Takeshi Yashiro

Director:Takeshi Yashiro Year:2020 Rating:PG Length:106min Genre:Animation

Award-winning director Takeshi Yashiro’s stop motion films rarely screened outside of Japan.

Each Film Title - The following four films will be shown in order.

1. Norman The Snowman: The Northern Lights (25min)
As the first snow falls on a town in the northern country, a boy sneaks out of his house to board a northbound train with his friend “Norman the Snowman.” They are off to witness the beautiful wonders of nature that Norman had always talked about.

2. Norman The Snowman: On A Night Of Shooting Stars (25min)
Tomorrow is the night of the shooting stars! A new chapter of “Norman the Snowman” begins as Norman and the Boy embark on another venture to see the star-filled sky.

3. Moon Of A Sleepless Night (27min)
A squirrel and a boy set out on a journey together to restore daylight. They must find and release the moon stuck high up on a tree somewhere far, far away.

4. Gon, The Little Fox (28min)
When Gon, a playful orphaned fox, finds that young Hyoju has lost his mother, he tries to comfort him and make amends for his own earlier mischiefs by secretly bringing small gifts to the boy every day. But Hyoju doesn’t realize who is behind the anonymous gifts, and the two are headed for a heartbreaking climax.

Book ticket (SOLD OUT) in Wellington (Booking fee applies)

Sun 17 Oct 2:15pm - Wellington
Sun 31 Oct 3:30pm - New Plymouth


Restaurant From The Sky

Director:Yoshihiro Fukagawa Year:2019 Rating:PG Length:126min Genre:Drama, Food

Wataru lives happily with his wife, Kotoe, and daughter, Shiori, in Setana, Hokkaido, running a cheese factory and raising cattle on a ranch with a view of the ocean that he inherited from his father. His cheese-making skills are still mediocre, so he is constantly getting scolded by his strict master, but Wataru enjoys a good life with a group of like-minded friends that are always there for each other. Then Kanbe, a young shepherd from Tokyo, joins their circle, and the friends find pleasure in “good food” that they produce themselves and share with one another. One day, a chef from a famous restaurant in Sapporo, who is attracted by their food, pays them a visit. They are ecstatic that their products are made even more delicious by this chef, and together they start planning a one-day-only restaurant to spread their joy to other people.

Book ticket (SOLD OUT) in Wellington (Booking fee applies)

Sun 21 Nov 10am - Dunedin

Only The Cat Knows

Director:Shotaro Kobayashi Year:2019 Rating:PG Length:105min Genre:Drama, Romance

Based on the best selling comic book, "Only The Cat Knows" is about an elderly couple, Masaru and Yukiko, in their 50's who suddenly face a marriage crisis because of their missing cat named CHIBI. Masaru does not seem to care about it at all. His attitude triggers Yukiko to decide that it is time for them to divorce...



In Cooperation with

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