The 2014 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, the only fully-dedicated annual Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area, returns for its second consecutive year and kicks off during the 2014 J-POP SUMMIT Festival. Set to open on Saturday, July 19th and running thru Sunday, July 27th, the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF) will showcase a variety of unique programs, many as first-run U.S. premieres.
The 2014 JFFSF takes place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema, located inside the NEW PEOPLE J-POP entertainment complex at 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115. Tickets are $15.00 for most films, unless otherwise noted. Film summaries, trailers, screening times and advance tickets are available at: www.JFFSF.org.
More details after the break.
The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is presented in conjunction with the 2014 J-POP Summit, taking place Saturday July 19th and Sunday July 20th across the city’s historic Japantown district to celebrate the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture with a colorful array of live bands and artists, film premieres, edgy fashion shows, a J-pop dance and singing contest, celebrity appearances and more. Full details are available at www.J-POP.com.
Special film screenings taking place during J-POP SUMMIT include J-POP Splash! 2014, a FREE cinema event presented by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco featuring a colorful feast of music videos by some of the hottest J-Pop artists! Also set to screen at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema during J-POP SUMMIT will be Tokyo Short Shorts: A New Generation of 5 Short Films, as well as Count Five To Dream of You and Kotodama: Spiritual Curse, which both star members of the smash hit teen idol pop group Tokyo Girls’ Style, who will perform at J-POP SUMMIT and also host a special audience Q&A following the film screenings.
For the 2014 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, exclusive live-action programs representing a vivid cross-section of the best in new Japanese cinema will have their exclusive U.S. and/or San Francisco premiere at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. The JFFSF will complement this press release next week with a subsequent announcement detailing an exciting slate of anime feature films also set to receive their U.S. and/or San Francisco premieres.
Special JFFSF Screenings During 2014 J-POP SUMMIT Festival:
COUNT FIVE TO DREAM OF YOU – U.S. PREMIERE!!!
Saturday, July 19th, 12:00pm – Featuring Special Appearance by Tokyo Girls’ Style!
Thursday, July 24th, 7:00pm
This year’s alluring Guest of Honor, Tokyo Girls’ Style, make their big screen debut taking on the leading parts of this film that takes place at an all-girl private high school where the planning for the beauty pageant is in full swing. The short-lived and unforgettable moments of adolescence that is colored by adoration, impatience and impulses, is brought to life by each student played by the members of Tokyo Girls’ Style.
KOTODAMA: SPIRITUAL CURSE – U.S. PREMIERE!!!
Sunday, July 20th, 12:00pm – Featuring Special Appearance by Tokyo Girls’ Style!
Tuesday, July 22th, 9:15pm
Starring the members from Tokyo Girls’ Style, the story revolves around a high school where students start to gossip about the tragic deaths of former students from a gas accident inside of a mysteriously blocked classroom. Since then, a series of bizarre phenomenon begin to occur. Meanwhile, Hitomi and her friends sneak into an abandoned school for a video shoot without knowing that they are stepping into the underworld.
J-POP SPLASH! 2014
Saturday, July 19th, 2:15pm
Come check out the special FREE event, J-POP Splash! 2014, a flood of music videos presented by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, featuring the hottest J-Pop artists! Enjoy the latest musical acts topping the Japanese pop, rock, and modern charts on the big screen including Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, World Order, Sekai no Owari, Mr. Children, Rip Slyme, and many more! Don’t miss special guest DAICHI’s live performance as the opening act!
TOKYO SHORT SHORTS; A NEW GENERATION OF 5 SHORT FILMS – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Saturday, July 19th, 4:00pm;
Discover the latest big screen talent through a unique collection of five short films taking place in Tokyo and other parts of Japan directed by a new generation of filmmakers. From parallel stories of love unfolding around the world’s tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree, to a surreal comedy of a careless death god that pays a visit in the middle of surgery, these shorts are colorful and they warmly applaud life’s new beginnings and comebacks.
Additional Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Live-Action Screenings:
ASK THIS OF RIKYU – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Saturday, July 19th, 6:00pm – Featuring Special Appearance by Director Mitsutoshi Tanaka!
Based on the award-winning novel, “Rikyu Ni Tazuneyo,” by Kenichi Yamamoto, the film begins with the final days of Rikyu, the tea master with the most profound influence on chanoyu, the Japanese “Way of Tea” tradition, who was ordered to commit ritual suicide by the chancellor Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Who was Rikyu – who inspired fear in the most powerful man of his time?
BON LIN – U.S. PREMIERE!!!
Friday, July 25th, 7:00pm
Director Keiichi Kobayashi’s second feature film is a surprisingly pleasant and refreshing road movie about a young couple in Akihabara, the world-renowned holy ground for Otaku culture and anime fandom. Natsuko, a.k.a. BON, an eccentric Boys’ Love (BL) and online game nerd girl, heads to Tokyo along with LIN, her longtime game-playmate, in order to save her best friend MIYU, who seems to be suffering from an abusive boyfriend she lives with.
CROWS EXPLODE – U.S. PREMIERE!!!
Thursday, July 24th, 9:00pm; Sunday, July 27th 12:00pm
Based on the popular “school of punk” manga by Hiroshi Takahashi, Crows: EXPLODE boldly ignites the gang wars in the delinquent schoolyards of Japan. The deadly road battle quietly begins when lone wolf Kazeo Kaburagi transfers to the notorious Suzuran High School. He quickly establishes himself as a fearless fighter, though he has no interest in the power struggle that encircles him.
KANZABURO THE MOVIE – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Sunday, July 27th, 4:50pm
This rare documentary features Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII, a popular Kabuki actor who died of cancer at the age of 57 in 2012. With nearly 7,000 hours of footage that captured his life journey, the film takes us through his enthusiastic life as one of the greatest Kabuki Actors of our time, and his personal side as a father of two sons succeeding his path as descendants of the family with a long history in Kabuki tradition.
PECOROSS’ MOTHER AND HER DAYS – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Saturday, July 26th, 2:10pm
Based on the autobiographical comic by Yuuichi Okano, this heart-warming comedy depicts a middle-aged comic artist Pecoross’s humorous daily life with his hapless mother, Mitsue, who has dementia that began soon after her husband passed away 10 years before. Directed by Azuma Morisaki, the oldest active filmmaker in Japan at the age of 85, the film was critically acclaimed as one of the best movies of 2013 in Japan.
SILVER SPOON – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Tuesday, July 22rd, 7:00pm
Based on the bestselling manga by Hiroshi Arakawa, Silver Spoon centers around an isolated agricultural high school in Hokkaido at the northern end of Japan. Kengo is a freshman with an inferiority complex due to his failure to meet his fathers’ expectation. He finds himself to be a misfit among eager students from farmers’ families, but he gradually discovers his own perspective on life through farming and friendship.
A STORY OF YONOSUKE – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Saturday, July 26th, 7:00pm
A Story of Yonosuke is a beautiful endearing film that reminds us of the incredible impact one person can have on the lives of others. Yonosuke, an 18-year old university freshman just moving to Tokyo, attracts people with his loving character. Set in the 80’s, the story is connected to the modern day by four friends of Yonosuke. Each have lost contact with him somehow, but are pleasantly reminded of their time together.
A TALE OF SAMURAI COOKING: A TRUE LOVE STORY – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Friday, July 25th, 9:00pm; Sunday, July 27th, 2:20pm
A once-divorced woman named O-haru remarries into the Funaki family, generations of trusted samurai chefs that serve the lord of the Kaga Domain. Her husband Yasunobu is the young heir of the family, however, his cooking skills and passion aren’t up to par. With the full support of her new mother-in-law, O-haru takes it upon herself to help Yasunobu find his way to become a great chef and maintain pride of his family tradition.
WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? – S.F. PREMIERE!!!
Sunday, July 20th, 6:00pm
Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is among Sono’s best work as his trademark outrageous-style is infused with his affection for 35mm and Japanese cinema. The Fuck Bombers are an eager group of wannabe filmmakers whose dream of making movies comes crashing down. Circumstances have brought them to this fateful moment where they’ll be able to film Why Don’t You Play In Hell?
NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com