18th JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES 2023
Congratulation !! JFFLA2023 official Award！
Best Spectacular Award : ”Inheritance”
Best Fantasy Award : ”Pécopin and the Devil”
Best Japanese American Award : ”Stamp Our Story”
Best Comedy Award : ”Our late father”
Best Action Award : ”Yae: Blind Samurai Woman”
Best Ensemble Award : ”First Love”
Best Documentary Award : ”Dr. Bala”
Best Screenplay Award : ”HAPPY SANDWICH”
Best Cinematography Award : ”Dead fishes”
Best Cross Culture Award : ”Sampaguita”
Best Awaken Award : ”Planet of love Ⅱ”
Best Passion Award : ”TUNA Girl”
Best Short Award : ”The Old Young Crow”
Best Short+ Award : ”TATARA”
Best Feature Award : ”For whom the flowers bloom”
Best Director Award : ”No No Girl”
“NU-KU-MO-RI” Award : ”Kamaishi Ramen Story”
JFFLA 2023 OFFICIAL SELECTION
Director: Tomoaki Kaneko
Shun Miyata, an introverted young man, moves to Tokyo to become a writer. He finds a job at a take-away shop, where he meets Yuriko and Yuka. Shun and Yuka discover that Yuriko is leading an insurance fraud by murdering elders in the neighborhood. Despite their disgust, Shun and Yuka’s relationship deepens as they share the secret.
Director: Tomoyuki Fujiwara
A high school senior, Tsubaki, is struggling with her father’s murder of an elementary school boy 4 years ago. She fears that she may be as damaged as her father. Two years later, her younger brother goes missing, and a report of Hideaki’s sighting comes in.
Director: Tsukasa Kishimoto
Shogo Manna runs a restaurant in Yanbaru, the northern part of Okinawa’s main island. He is told by a shamanist to make a sandwich as a offering for the god. In search of hints for a sandwich worthy of offering to the gods, Manna visits various people involved in food. Through the experience, the passion for food and the way of life of food producers and chefs in the island, Manna begins to think deeply about food and the way of life.
Director: Paul Goodman
In the middle of the night, before they are to be sent to a Japanese American Internment Camp, one family buries a secret in their backyard garden. 80 years later, a clue is discovered and what begins as a mystery soon turns criminal as a family of different minds try to come together to discover the truth of their past.
Director: Koby Shimada
Dr. Bala, who has been doing volunteer work seven days a year for twelve years, brings expertise to the underdeveloped medical field in Southeast Asia. His strong build and dependable nature earned him the nickname Dr. Bala, meaning “powerful” in Burmese. His work empowers many and offers a message of hope in communities plagued with grief.
Director: Tomoyuki Fujiwara
This movie will document the history and the hardships of Japanese women who immigrated to Hawaii and Japanese American women who were born in Hawaii. It will feature valuable testimonies of Japanese Americans, especially the elderly Nisei second generation. The movie aims to highlight the role of Nikkei women in Hawaiian history, which is often overlooked.
Planet of Love is a documentary film that explores the power of sound to heal and awaken. The film is the brainchild of director Miki, who was inspired to make the film after a whale appeared to her in a meditation and told her to record its voice. This film combines these interviews and messages with footage of whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The film also explores the meaning of sound, including why sound was created on Earth.
Director: Rikiya Mimuro, Julian Koike
Sampaguita, a love story based on a true story, follows Emilia, a Filipino model in Japan, and Miki, a Japanese photographer, as they fall in love. Despite their cultural differences, they are drawn to each other, but their happiness is short-lived when Emilia is forced to leave Japan. The story then shifts to the Philippines, where the two must find a way to overcome the distance and be together.
Director: Keita Matsuda
Hayato, a high school student in Tokyo, falls into a coma after a quarrel with his girlfriend Ami. While reading to him in the hospital, Ami discovers a book about the legendary hunter Pécopin. As she learns of Pécopin’s adventures and triumphs, Ami begins to find hope for Hayato’s recovery.
Director: Ryuichi Onodera
In the spring of 1945, three women in a village protect the Shimada family home while the men are away at war. When the eldest sister-in-law is suspected of pretending to be crazy, a demon appears and turns their world upside down.
Director: Mana Yasuda
Cheerful college girl Minami joins a research camp to learn about bluefin tuna aquaculture. Reality bites, but she regains her passion with the help of her classmates and mentors. One day, she makes a serious mistake during a live video stream…
Director: Akiyoshi Imazeki
After her three-year absence, Masami returns to her family’s ramen shop, now run by her sister and father. Without her father’s help due to illness, the sisters must work together to create the best ramen that tastes just like their mother’s memories.
Director: Taka Tsubota
In a post-apocalyptic world where spider-like creatures have overwhelmed humanity, four high school boys find themselves trapped in a cabin, where they descend into savagery and target Alan, an outsider. Despite the dangers outside, Alan must contend with the claustrophobia, the dangers within, and the darkest of all thoughts.
Director: Gabriel Murphy
Enemy Alien is a poetic retelling of the experiences of Joseph Murakami, a fourteen-year-old boy from Darwin, who is summarily rounded up and interned by his government on the basis of his ethnicity. Enemy Alien explores his memory and the loss this traumatic event imprinted upon him.
Director: Yuichiro Nakada
The ex-Syrian refugee and a food deliverer, Yasser meets Eita, a solitary Japanese boy in the city park, and they grow a family-like bond as they play soccer and cook together after Yasser’s bike gets stolen.
Director: Erin Lau
Photographer Kelsey Akioka finds solace capturing the beauty and chaos of the Kalapana lava fields, but his passion is challenged when his friend moves away and his own home life suffers. Kelsey must confront his inner turmoil to find balance between his art and his responsibilities.
Director: Michael Horwitz
Haunted by grief, the loss of his father and the mounting pressure of becoming a father himself, Adam finds a mysterious baseball glove on the beach. In attempting to track down the owner, he learns of his unlikely connection to a stranger across the world in Japan, a stranger he has more in common with than he ever realized.
Director: Takashi Uchida
Nicole and Sam is a happy couple. But it still requires some effort to keep their relationship happy and glorious.
Director: Hiromu Yamawaki
Mei, a teenage girl, is disappointed to learn that her trip to Japan has been cancelled. Despite her disappointment, she tries to understand her father’s work responsibilities. A traditional Japanese custom, Okuribi, helps Mei to reconcile with her father.
Director: Kaia Rose, Robert Horsting
A short documentary about Japanese American World War II soldiers and their resilience and determination. After 15 years, a grassroots movement led by three elderly Nisei women successfully campaigned for a Go For Broke stamp.
Director: Michiko Mori
Mystery writer Akutagawa is struggling to write his next novel. His young assistant, Naoki, offers to help him ghostwrite it, but Akutagawa soon realizes that Naoki has his own dark secrets.
Director: Liam LoPinto
An Iranian boy befriends an old Japanese woman at a graveyard in Tokyo.
Director: Akiko Izumitani
In the mountains of the Edo Period Japan, when a blind woman’s samurai father is killed by a young samurai avenging his own father’s death, she agrees to be escorted to the nearest village, but she’s not as helpless as she appears.
Director: Yurugu Matsumoto
The theme of the story is first love. The film depicts a variety of first loves, but the happily ever after begins to take an unsettling turn, and the first love takes a sudden turn in an unexpected direction.
Director: Julie Sando
After several years of absence Yukie returns to Baba’s house in search of her identity. In this house of a thousand corners, these two lonely souls meet, but a great chasm separates them. Little by little, between the murmur of the television and the abandoned garden, tongues are loosened and the distance decreases.
Director: Ken’ichi Kurokawa
Wataru Ueshima (33), who is living in his car during his divorce proceedings, meets a hitchhiker, Patrick Johnson (36), who is looking for a car to go to Okinawa and decides to take him nearby. Wataru is attracted to John, whose way of life is completely different from his own, but he has a big secret.
Director: Qunio Nozawa
Will left to Japan to work at Tatara, the traditional Japanese furnace. Now his falling out dad, David is visiting his son after 10 years. As he understands his son’s ideas on life, their relationship shifts toward something good.
JFFLA 2023 – In-Person Screening
Friday Sept. 15th – Sunday Sept. 17th
JFFLA2023 In-Person Screening : Free Screenings
9/15 (Fri) at MI (Musicians Institute)
(Address :1655 N McCadden Pl Los Angeles, CA 90028)
“For Whom the Flowers Bloom” (120min)（Free）
Q&A w/ Haruna Yoshikawa (Producer)
“Planet of Love II” (90min) (Free)
Q&A w/ Director Miki (海響)
“No No Girl” (115min)(Free)
Q&A w/ Actor Chris Tashima and Cast
9/16(Sat) at Japan House Salon Screenings
(6801 Hollywood Blvd #Level 5, Los Angeles, CA. 90028)
Program 2 (Special Screening & Talk)
“TUNA Girl” Screening with Director Mana Yasuda Q&A at Japan House Salon
9/17(Sun) at Japan House Salon Screenings:
(6801 Hollywood Blvd #Level 5, Los Angeles, CA. 90028)
JFFLA 2023 Theme
JFFLA2023 Theme “ぬくもり(nu-ku-mo-ri)” “When you are with your family, friends, a significant other, or someone you care about, you get a warm ‘feeling’. Sometimes, you can get this feeling from a meaningful place or thing, like a house, a room, or even just words. We at JFFLA2023 want to provide this special feeling through the films selected to be shown at our festival.”
JFFLA2023 のテーマは、 “ぬくもり(nu-ku-mo-ri)” です。
家族、友人、大事な人、大切な人と一緒にいると、温かい『気持ち』が生まれます。 家、部屋、言葉など、意味のある場所や物からもこの感情を感じることがあります。 私たちJFFLA2023は、映画祭で上映するために選ばれた映画を通じて、この特別な感覚をお伝えしたいと考えています。
Should there be any format or scheduling changes due to COVID-19 or something, we will adjust and announce our plans accordingly.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter.