Film enthusiasts will enjoy the 10th Istanbul Japanese Films Festival that will be held between Jan. 11 and 25 in collaboration with the Consulate-General of Japan in Istanbul, the Japan Foundation and Akbank Art.
The festival, which will be on screen at Akbank Sanat, will open with the globally acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Like Father, Like Son,” which won the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
The film tells the story of hard-working businessman Ryota, who has found success both in his professional life and at home, where he has a loving wife and a six-year-old son. When he receives the devastating news that the child he thought was his was actually accidentally switched with another baby at birth, Ryoto has an almost impossible decision to make.
The first screening will be followed on Jan. 17 with films from contemporary Japanese masterpieces Makoto Shinkai’s “From Me to You,” the story of Sawako Kuronuma, a serious and praiseworthy girl.
Although her motto is “to do one good thing a day”, her friends are frightened of her and name her “Sadako” (in reference to the main character in Hideo Nakata’s horror film Ring) because she is unable to express her views openly and cares too much about how others perceive her.
Other films include Yukiko Mishima’s “Bread of Happiness,” which features Rie and Sang, who founded a bakery-turned-restaurant named Mani on the shores of Lake Toya, Hokkaido, and Banmei Takahashi’s “Zen,” which is a poignant, in-depth, reverent and surprisingly moving portrait of Eihei Dogen, the great 13th century Japanese Buddhist master. He studied at Buddhist centers in China and established a monastic practice that emphasizes sitting meditation; he is regarded as the founder of the Soto school of Zen. The film is impressively well-researched and produced with great attention to authentic detail.
Films to be screened under the animation category include “Voices of a Distant Star,” “5 Centimeters per Second” and “the Place Promised in Our Early Days,” which are early works of Makoto Shinkai, who is a figurehead of the contemporary Japanese animation scene, as well as Nizo Yamamoto’s “Miyori’s Forest.”
All films will be in Japanese with Turkish subtitles. Screenings will be free to attend.