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Japanese Filmfest captures Filipino hearts; Filipino made film Voltes V takes center stage

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By Marinel Peroy 

Wondering what to do next in your spare time? Add these Japanese films to your watchlist and enjoy! 

Japan brings the best of Japanese films to the Philippines from wonderfully crafted animations, heartfelt romances, whimsical fantasies, and the ebb and flow of life. Under the auspices of Japan Foundation Manila, these curated films lined up for the Japanese Film Festival 2024 in the Philippines will surely capture the hearts of Filipinos. 



With the central theme “nostalgia”, the movie entries create a tapestry of emotions — resonating with viewers of all ages. From meticulous storytelling to evocative soundtracks, the narratives also pay tribute to the depth of Japanese cinema. This year, expect not only classic masterpieces but also contemporary films, offering a diverse collection of films spanning a myriad of genres, eras, and even cultural expressions of Japanese-Philippine collaboration. 

Japan Foundation Manila Deputy Director Yojio Tanaka and Mark Reyes Director of Volte V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience

Nostalgia: Re-discovering the beauty of joy  

Being nostalgic is something that many of us tend to do, even on a random moment. Whether you are looking at a photograph, passing by through a familiar scent, or hearing a favorite song from your playlist — nostalgia is undeniably everywhere — and something that can affect us. 

Japan Foundation Manila Deputy Director Yojio Tanaka
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Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Deputy Director Yojio Tanaka said that aside from nostalgia itself, the Japanese Film Festival showcases the “diversity” and “contemporary” side of Japan. He also mentioned during the press conference on Tuesday that the movie entries mirror the reality of our society, especially how Japanese and Filipinos are changing rapidly — not being able to catch up with the speed of change.

“Sometimes people want to stop and think if this is the right direction that they want to go. So, the messages of the films are asking the audience, if the direction [as] we are going in today’s rapidly changing society: Is this the right direction? We should go ahead. This is the time for them to watch the films and consider those issues,” explained Deputy Director Tanaka-san. 

In this way, this side of nostalgia depicted in films will bring a sentimental value of embracing the peak of elatedness (or even bringing back the joy of being part of the youth) from a certain period in life. 

Filipino made film makes it at Japanese Film Festival 2024

Mark Reyes Director of Volte V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience

Meanwhile, Mark Reyes Director of Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience expressed profound gratitude to Japan Foundation Manila for including Voltes V Legacy, the cinematic experience to be part of the 2024 Japan Film Festival Philippines.

He noted that this film a 100% Filipino made film is truly a product of respect and adoration for a Japanese mecca series that is loved by Filipino people for several generations now.

The inclusion of Voltes V in the Japanese Film Festival 2024 Philippines will bring back nostalgia to those who followed the admired Japanese cartoon series that became popular in the late 70s till early 80s.

Reyes also said that this 100% Filipino made film of Voltes V is deemed worthy of a cinematic of a limited cinematic release for Filipino viewers to enjoy the gigantic Voltes V robot on the big screen that they will not get the same experience are watching it on the small screen to television because this movie is shown in a high definition and this is the chance for movie watchers to experience the the volt-in sequence in a high definition and surround sound.

Lastly, Reyes underscored that Voltes V will forever be a pop culture ambassador to both Japan and the Philippines and wishes that the story of Voltas V will continue to inspire the love for family, country and the planet for many years to come.

A showcase of Japanese films’ timeless classics 

With 14 entries for this year, the Japanese Film Festival 2024 Official Film Lineup are as follows: 

  • Tokyo Story (1953)
  • Detective Conan The Movie: The Time-Bombed Skyscraper (1997)
  • Voltes V: The Liberation (1977-1978) 
  • Detective Conan The Movie: The Private Eyes’ Requiem (2004)
  • Not Quite Dead Yet (2020) 
  • We Made a Beautiful Bouquet (2021)
  • The First Slam Dunk (2022)
  • Angry Son (2022)
  • MONDAYS: See You “This” Week! (2022)
  • The Father of the Milky Way Railroad (2022)
  • A Man (2022)
  • Voltes V: Legacy – The Cinematic Experience (2023)
  • Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom (2023)
  • And Yet, You Are So Sweet (2023)

Take a trip down memory lane from Feb. 1 to March 3, 2024. Admission is FREE, and on a first-come-first serve basis. 

Whether you are a cinephile or someone with a curious mind who would like to immerse into the mesmerizing Japanese world of film craftsmanship, you may watch at the following venues nationwide: 

  • Feb. 1 – 11 | Shangri-la Red Carpet Cinema 
  • Feb. 16 – 25 | SM Seaside City Cebu 
  • Feb. 22 – March 2 | UPFI Film Center
  • Feb. 23 – March 3 | SM City Baguio, SM City Davao, and SM City Iloilo

Indeed, this year’s JFF movie lineup is an opportunity to remember such fond memories and feelings of nostalgia amidst the fast-paced flow of life’s mundanity.

“There’s only joy that you can just enjoy — only in the cinema. I hope that many people will use this chance to come to the theater. If you’re not coming to the theater for more than one year or two years [or so], come to the theater and watch the films. You can really remember the joy that you used to have,” said Deputy Director Tanaka-san. 

It’s time to embrace the intersected Japanese culture and values through JFF 2023 by immersing yourself with the joy of going to the movie theaters with your loved ones and friends! 

For more information, visit the Japanese Film Festival official website here. ありがとう. 

***JFF is also supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, JT International (Philippines) Inc., and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.***

#JFManila 
#JFF2024 
#JFFPH2024

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