Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs Announce Inaugural ACA Cinema Project Online Film Series 21st CENTURY JAPAN: FILMS FROM 2001-2020 February 5-25, 2021

Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs Announce Inaugural ACA Cinema Project Online Film Series 21st CENTURY JAPAN: FILMS FROM 2001-2020 February 5-25, 2021

February 10, 20214 min read

A selection of 30 films celebrating the past 20 years of Japanese cinema streams online throughout the U.S. on Japan Society’s virtual cinema, including films by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Naomi Kawase and Takashi Miike

Plus, online U.S. premieres of Sion Sono’s Red Post on Escher Street and Yukiko Mishima’s Shape of Red, a special focus on Kiyoshi Kurosawa and a selection of breakout films by up-and-coming filmmakers

Red Post on Escher Street © 2021 “Red Post on Escher Street” Film Partners

Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (ACA), in collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), announce the inaugural ACA Cinema Project online film series 21st Century Japan: Films from 2001-2020, streaming nationwide on Japan Society’s Virtual Cinema from February 5-25, 2021.

As Japan’s film industry enters the third decade of the new millennium, this 30-film online series takes a look back at the last 20 years of Japanese cinema to celebrate some of the most remarkable narrative fiction films and filmmakers that define the era. Covering a wide range of production styles and genres—from small budget independent debuts to festival favorites and award-winning major studio releases—this diverse slate of feature and short films offers a guided tour of modern Japanese cinema, including special spotlights dedicated to the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and a selection of breakout films by up-and-coming filmmakers. A large majority of the films included are streaming in the U.S. exclusively on Japan Society’s Virtual Cinema.

Series highlights include the online U.S. Premiere of Red Post on Escher Street, the latest film by cult favorite director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, 2009)—a comically reflexive, wildly unhinged, return-to-roots feature about a talented young director undergoing the production of a new film. Red Post on Escher Street is co-presented with Grasshopper Film, who will screen the title in tandem with Japan Society as part of the newly launched Projectr Movie Club from February 5-18. In addition, director Yukiko Mishima’s female-driven romantic drama Shape of Red makes its online U.S. premiere—a steamy tearjerker about a tenuous love affair adapted from the novel by Naoki Prize-winning author Rio Shimamoto featuring popular stars Kaho and Satoshi Tsumabuki. Billed as “Special Screenings,” these titles are planned to include pre-recorded video Q&As with the respective film’s director.

Other highlights include harder-to-see gems by some of Japan’s most internationally prominent filmmakers, including: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2009 Doona Bae-starring fantasy drama Air Doll; Naomi Kawase’s 2014 Cannes competition title and self-proclaimed masterpiece Still the Water; Takashi Miike’s 2005 family-friendly monster adventure film The Great Yokai War; Shinya Tsukamoto’s 2015 adaptation of Shohei Ooka’s famous anti-war novel Fires on the Plain; trailblazing gay director Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s 2001 LGBT-themed comedic drama Hush!; and the award-winning 2006 murder mystery drama Sway by Miwa Nishikawa, whose latest film Under the Open Sky (2020) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“While it’s impossible to really capture the last two decades of Japanese narrative fiction filmmaking in its full breadth, we are excited to share at least the tip of the iceberg for these three weeks in February,” says K. F. Watanabe, Deputy Director of Film at Japan Society. “Online or otherwise, a large majority of these titles remain unavailable to watch with English subtitles in the U.S., so I hope this series provides an opportunity to create new fans of filmmakers such as Naoko Ogigami or Shuichi Okita and expand any preconceptions of what modern Japanese cinema can offer.”

Katsura Toda, Senior Specialist for Arts and Culture at the Agency for Cultural Affairs, says, “The ACA Cinema Project was launched with the hope of sharing the diverse appeal of Japanese films to audiences around the world and to create more opportunities for these films to be seen. We are pleased to present U.S. audiences with the works of a great variety of directors—including well-established masters, filmmakers with distinctive voices and rising stars of the 21st century—and hope that many people will be able to encounter Japanese films in a fresh way.”

$99 All-Access Passes with a 21-day rental window go on sale January 29 through February 4. $8 individual tickets with a 3-day rental window go on sale February 5. Individual tickets for Red Post on Escher Street and Shape of Red are $12. Japan Society members receive a 20% discount on all tickets via coupon code.

All films screen online at japancuts.japansociety.org in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted. All titles available within the U.S. from February 5-25 unless sold out or otherwise noted. Titles also available beyond the U.S. are noted below. Lineup and other details are subject to change. For complete information visit japansociety.org.

View the full film line-up here.

Screeners available for most titles. Please send all press inquiries to Michael Lieberman at pr.lieberman@gmail.com. For inquiries regarding Japan Society and its Virtual Cinema, please contact Allison Rodman at arodman@japansociety.org.

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