18 September 2011

Japan in Germany 5: Japan Week 2011 in Frankfurt am Main

For the past 35 years, the Japanese have been promoting their culture and business interests abroad by hosting a Japan Week in major cities around the world. As this year marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Germany (or Prussia as it then was) and Japan.  This year’s Japan Week will take place in Frankfurt am Main between the 5th and 12th of November. Events will include theatre, dance, an art and handicrafts market and exhibition, a food pavilion, an ikebana workshop, cooking classes, a football (soccer) tournament and much, much more. See the official website for details (DE/EN/JP)

The highlight for me will, of course, be the film programme organized by Nippon Connection at the newly renovated Film Museum. Many filmmakers will be on hand to participate in lively discussions after the screenings. In order to highlight the theme of German-Japanese relations, the programme includes Japan-themed documentaries by  German directors and a Japanese director who works in Germany.  There are also  two films made by graduates of the Tokyo University of the Arts in Yokohama – which is the future sister city of Frankfurt.

The most anticipated event is the world premiere of the crowdfunded documentary RADIOACTIVISTS which looks closely at Japan after the disaster in Fukushima with a focus of the efforts of the anti-nuclear movement.

Saturday, November 5th, 16:00
Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia Special

The Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia is the biggest short film fest in Asia. It is held each summer in Tokyo and Yokohama and features short films from around the world. For Japan Week, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia has put together a special programme of recent Japanese shorts with English subtitles.

Romance (Toshiro SONODA, Japan 2010, 3 Min., OmeU)
Ken and Kazu (Hiroshi SHOJI, Japan 2011, 23 Min., OmeU)
Tourism Hokkaido "City" (Yosuke YAMAGUCHI, Japan 2010, 18 Min., OmeU)
Meat (Takahiro KIMURA, Japan 2009, 17 Min., OmeU)
bonz (Shohei TADA, Japan 2010, 5 Min., OmeU)
Mister Rococo (Naoto HIDAKA, Japan 2010, 13 Min., OmeU)
Heaven's Island (Naoko SHIMADA, Japan 2010, 14 Min., OmeU)

Saturday, November 5th, 20:30
Yellow Kid 
(Tetsuya MARIKO, Japan, 2009, 107 Min., OmeU)
German Premiere, www.yellow-kid.jp

Debut feature film from Tetsuya MARIKO, an up-and-coming director and winner for two consecutive years of the Off-Theater Competition Grand Prix of the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival with THE FAR EAST APARTMENT (Kyokuto no Manshon) in 2003 and MARIKO’S 30 PIRATES (Mariko Sanjukki) in 2004. This quick-paced film with exhaustive camera work depicts the interaction of two youths living in two completely different worlds - boxing and manga. Boxing is what maintains the spirits of Tamura (Endo Kaname) who is leading a financially constrained life while taking care of his grandmother with dementia. One day, Hattori (Iwase Ryo), a manga-ka, visits the boxing gym where Tamura practices to gather material. Mariko’s latest film NINIFUNI showed at this year’s film festival in Locarno.

Sunday, September 6th, 20:00
(Ryo YOSHIKAWA, Japan, 2011, 89 Min., OmeU)
International Premiere
Special Guest: Ryo YOSHIKAWA
Made possible by the support of the The City of Yokohama - Frankfurt Representative Office

Haruka’s partner has walked out on her. She drops her son off with his grandmother and tries her luck out working at a hostess club. Kana pretends that all is well with her marriage, even though she knows her husband is involved with other women. Things don’t turn out the way both women had hoped.

PANORAMA is Ryo YOSHIKAWA’s graduate film for the Tokyo University of the Arts in Yokohama.

Wednesday, November 9th, 20:30
They Call Us Aliens
(Veit HELMER, Germany/Japan, 2008, 78 Min, EN/JP/PO/RU, OmeU)

Three Ukrainian girls break into the modelling business, a South African bachelor prepares for his Shinto wedding and a priest from Finland runs for election... Just a few protagonists of this documentary film by German director Veit Helmer (TUVALU, ABSURDISTAN). Japan was closed for foreigners until 1853. Now people from all over the world move to Tokyo to explore Japanese culture. Japanese meet foreigners with curiosity and anxiety. The film observes how foreigners struggle to make a living in a totally different culture.

Supporting film:
(Lars Henning, Germany, 2011, 34 Min.)
Special Guest: actor Yuki IWAMOTO

An urban fairy tale about a sad and overtired Japanese salaryman on a business trip.  In the course of one night in a strange German city  he begins to lose more and more of himself.  Yuki Iwamoto, whose face is well known to fans of Nippon Connection, stars in the lead role of Oshima.

Friday, November 11th, 18:00
The Red Spot 
(Der Rote Punkt, Marie MIYAYAMA, Germany, 2008, 82 Min., DE/JP, OmU)
Special Guest: Marie MIYAYAMA

A Japanese student named Aki Onodera travels to Germany to retrace the steps of her lost family.  She is armed with a map marked with a red spot - the location of the tragic accident that took her family from her.  In idyllic eastern Allgäu, she is taken in by the Weber family as their guest.  Her arrival causes great disruption in the Weber family as Aki's presence awakens a terrible secret held by one of the family members.  

Saturday, November 12th, 20:00
(Julia LESER and Clarissa SEIDEL, Germany/Japan 2011, 72 Min., JP, OmeU)
World Premiere, Special Guests: Julia LESER and Clarissa SEIDEL
Followed by a discussion with Prof. Steffi Richter of Leipzig University

When Japan’s triple catastrophe took place on the 11th of March 2011, two German filmmakers Julia Leser and Clarissa Seidel were already on location in the country. They immediately decided to follow the re-birth of the anti-nuclear protest movement and to document their demonstrations in order to counterbalance the one-sided media coverage of the nuclear crisis. Japanese intellectuals, sociologists, scientists and anti-nucler activists critical of the sequence of events surrounding the ill-fated Tepco (Tokyo electric Power Company) are all given a chance to speak their piece. RADIOACTIVISTS is a unique historical documentation of one of Japan’s greatest human tragedies.

Schaumainkai 41, 60596 Frankfurt am Main

Entry fees: 7 euro / 5 euro

To reserve tickets call:
069 961 220 220

OmU = original version with German subtitles
OmeU = original version with English subtitles

This event is supported by:
Referat für Internationale Angelegenheiten der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
The City of Yokohama - Frankfurt Representative Office

Organized by:
Nippon Connection e.V., c/o AStA, Mertonstr. 26-28, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
info@nipponconnection.com, www.nipponconnection.com

This blog post is part the Japan in Germany series.