The UK’s largest festival of Japanese cinema is back for its 17th edition under the concept of ‘happiness’.

Happiness, though universal in its importance, is felt so subjectively by humankind that the definition of the concept is still very elusive. And yet, the search for happiness has long provided Japanese cinema with a staple theme, and it is within its framework that the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020 has been curated.

Embracing the rich and complex spectrum of emotions that go hand in hand with this concept, the programme seeks to present the highs and lows experienced in pursuit of happiness in Japan, showcasing diverse cinematic voices as they shine a light on stories of love, social inclusion, the resilience of humankind through times of hardship, and non-conventional paths to achieving and maintaining joy. Since 2004, the Japan Foundation has showcased, in close partnership with distinguished film venues across the nation, some of the finest Japanese films in order to introduce their versatility and uniqueness to the UK. With a line-up of contemporary titles that have never had a UK release, documentaries, anime, and classic masterpieces, there is always something for everybody.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020 has been programmed and produced by Junko Takekawa (Japan Foundation London) and Mayu Honda (Japan Foundation Tokyo), coordinated by Darian De La Cruz (Japan Foundation London), with help by Yukino Ishimaru and Jessica Mancoo. Special thanks to Alex Jacoby and Kiyomi Nakazaki.

The film programme is as follows:
My Love Story!!
Our Last Meal for Tomorrow
Her Sketchbook
A Banana? At This Time of Night?
The Actor
Little Lights, Little Love
Another World
Bento Harassment
My Dad is a Heel Wrestler
Lying to Mom
And Your Bird Can Sing
Sea of Revival
The House Where the Mermaid Sleeps
Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
Ten Dark Women
I Go Gaga, My Dear
Ride Your Wave

Screen times are dependent on the venues. More information can be found on the Japan Foundation’s website and Twitter.