The 39th Annual Japanese Film Festival
One of the Canadian Film Institute’s longest-running annual festivals, the Japanese Film Festival, has, for almost four decades, showcased the best in contemporary filmmaking in Japan. Despite the continued challenges to hosting live screenings, we are proud to continue this cinematic tradition once again this year online for audiences across Canada.
The 39th annual Japanese Film Festival, from December 9-11, features the moving family drama about the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, Bento Harassment, and a bouncy romantic comedy set in the world of table tennis, Mixed Doubles.
These two films will be available online across Canada for 72 hours starting December 9th. Admission is free. Both films presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
Mixed Doubles ミックス | 2017 | Comedy | 119 mins | Directed by ISHIKAWA Junichi | Trailer
Tamako has spent her life trying to flee from the pressures of becoming a professional table tennis athlete. Dubbing Tamako a prodigy from birth, her relentless, driven mother never allows her to skip a day of training. But after her mother passes away, Tamako eases into a normal life – she picks up new hobbies, finishes school, and even joins the workforce. Now all she needs to do is find a husband! She’s 28 and her boyfriend, Ejima, is the hottest athlete in the table tennis world, so things are looking good. Hiding her accomplished table tennis past from Ejima, she instead embraces the role of the supportive girlfriend. Instead of celebrating their wedding engagement, however, Ejima cheats on her with another athlete. What’s an ex-table tennis prodigy to do? Well, for one thing she’ll assemble her own team of ace players and defeat Ejima’s team at the National Table Tennis Championships. Game on!
Bento Harassment 今日も嫌がらせ弁当 | 2019 | Comedy | 106 mins | Directed by TSUKAMOTO Renpei | Trailer
Based on a true story, Bento Harassment is the tale of a mother-daughter relationship navigating its way through stormy emotional waters in unusual, entertaining, and occasionally delicious ways. Middle-aged Kaori is a widow who lives with her two daughters. Her youngest, Futaba, is in high school and their relationship is far from perfect. Rebellious Futaba ignores her mother as much as she can. Eventually, in order to try to get Futaba to change her attitude, her mother decides to make boxed bento lunches for her everyday. As the parent-child conflict persists, Kaori also starts including sweet and loving messages as part of the boxes, much to Futaba’s teenaged irritation. Where Futaba’s bento boxes become popular with her classmates, though, she just might begin to see her mother in a different light. Or will she?