Film Festival

16 Films you cannot miss at the Nara International Film Festival 2016

niff_films

We present a list of 10 films and 6 short films you can’t miss at the Nara International Film Festival that will be held from September 17th – 22th in Nara, Japan.

Films

about-my-liberty-sealds

About my liberty: SEALDs 2015 by Takashi Nishihara – Japan | 2016 – 165 min.

This documentary follows the activities of the Japanese student activist organization, SEALDs, who have been protesting against the Prime Minister’s advocacy to pass the bill which is to alter the interpretation of the constitution regarding the country’s defense and security. .

Schedule
September 19th – Hotel Sunroute Nara 1F Obana-Za – 17:00 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window | Country restriction apply)

boku-to-dagashi-no-ie

Boku to dagashi no ie (Me and a store that sells sweets) by Kenta Tanaka
Japan (Osaka University of Arts) | 2016 – 73 min.

In Osaka, there is a small candy store owned and operated by a mother and her daughter. The store has become a safe space for local children where they can share their struggles at school or their troubles at home. This documentary explores the deep relationship that has developed between a neighborhood candy store and the children it exists to serve.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center 2F – 10:30 am
September 21st – Nara Machi Center 2F – 16:30 pm

golden-kingdom

Golden Kingdom by Brian Perkins – US | 2015 – 103 min.

“GOLDEN KINGDOM” is a narrative feature film about four orphan boys, all novice monks, living in a Buddhist monastery in a remote part of Northeast Burma. The head monk departs on a long journey from which he may never return, leaving the boys alone in the middle of the forest. Once the boys are on their own, strange, magical events begin to occur. Orphan Witazara realizes he must protect the three other boys throughout this series of bizarre events, which threaten to unravel the fabric of the young monk’s reality.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F – 18:00 pm
September 20th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q & A) – 10:30 am

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

how-to-win-at

How to win at checkers (Every time) by Josh Kim
Thailand, US, Hong Kong, Indonesia | 2015 – 80 min.

After the loss of both parents, a young boy faces an uncertain future when his older brother must submit to Thailand’s annual military draft lottery. Unable to convince his brother to do whatever he can to change his fate, the boy takes matters into his own hands resulting in unexpected consequences. Based on the bestselling book “SIGHTSEEING” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap, “HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME)” is the debut feature film of Josh Kim, which is set in the economic fringes of Bangkok and examines the joys and challenges of growing up in contemporary Thailand.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F – 15:30 pm
September 20th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q & A) – 19:10 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

manang

Manang Biring by Carl Joseph Papa – Philippines | 2015 – 87 min.

“MANANG BIRING” is a dark comedy-drama about a feisty, terminally ill old lady who has long accepted her imminent death due to stage-4 breast cancer, but then receives an unexpected letter from an estranged loved one announcing his return for Christmas.

Schedule
September 19th – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F – 13:50 pm
September 21st – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q&A) – 18:30 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

old-stone

Old stone by Johnny Ma – China, Canada | 2016 – 80 min.

After a car accident that puts a man into a coma, a small-town taxi driver becomes overburdened with paying the injured man’s hospital costs to the point of considering murder as a possible way out.

Schedule
September 19th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q&A) – 10:30 am
September 21st – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F – 13:20 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

pure-white

Pure White by Yoshihiro Sakamoto – Japan | 2015 – 97 min.

Mashiro Shibuya, who has a minor intellectual disability, was born and raised in a small town in Toyama Prefecture. Her life was peaceful and quiet until she met a freelance photographer from Tokyo. She falls in love for the first time in her life. People around her are happy for her, but her family is worried.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F (Q&A) – 11:00 am
September 19th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q&A) – 16:30 pm

senritsu-kaiki-file-kowasugi

Senritsu kaiki file kowasugi! By Koji Shiraishi – Japan | 2014 – 80 min.

Being experienced researching many urban legends and poltergeists, Kudo and his fellows visit “Tatari Mura”(cursed village), where everyone who visits becomes crazy and disappears.

Schedule
September 18th – Hotel Sunroute Nara 1F Obana-Za – 19:00 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

the-beekeeper

The beekeeper and his son by Diedie Weng – Switzerland, Canada | 2016 – 81 min.

After drifting as a migrant worker in the city for a year, Maofu returns to his family bee farm in rural China. Maofu brings along big ideas for marketing and honey sales. However, his father Lao Yu wants him to focus on the bees and learn the traditional handcraft beekeeping that the family continued over the generations. Now in his declining years, Lao Yu witnesses the environmental degradation and pollution that has also depleted his bee colonies. He’s struggling with his own self-worth and values and mixed emotions of whether his son should even stay in the traditional area of work. Meanwhile, Maofu feels suffocated by his father’s authoritarian tunes. Even the animals on the farm echo the emotional intensities of father and son which unexpectedly provides comic relief.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall (Q&A) – 13:20 pm
September 21st – Nara Prefecture Cultural Hall 2F – 11:00 am

Extract (11 min.)

the-wolves-of-the-east

The wolves of the east by Carlos M. Quintela – Japan, UK, Switzerland – 2016 – 90 min.

Akira is a lonely 75-year-old hunter, who when he was younger had traveled around the world as a sailor. During his journeys, he met a woman in Cuba who later he would never been able to forget. Now residing in the wooded region of Higashi Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, Akira has been running the local hunting association for many years. But his obsession with hunting a wolf causes him to fall out with colleagues who eventually force him to resign. Akira then decides to go into the deep forest to kill the wolf.

Schedule
September 17th – Nara Park Kasuga no Enchi – 18:45 pm
September 21st – Nara Machi Center Main Hall – 15:30 pm

Short Films

fisherwoman

Fihserwoman and tuk tuk by Suresh Eriyat – India | 2015 – 15 min.

A poignant story of a middle aged fisherwoman who dreams of owning an auto rickshaw and the subsequent events caused by the auto rickshaw.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall – 16:00 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

forestry

Forestry by Tetsuichior Tsuta – Japan | 2016 – 33 min.

The film features a day of the newly hired forestry worker, Kozue Hayashi who will soon become a forestry worker in real life. Having no acting experience, Hayashi plays the starring role in this documentary-like short film.

Schedule
September 21th – Hotel Sunroute Nara 1F Obana-za – 16:30 pm

imago

Imago by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez – Philippines | 2016 – 15 min.

Inday, a 54 year old single parent of a special child, is a funeral agent in the bustling slums of Metro Manila.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center 2F – 16:50 pm
September 21st – Nara Machi Center 2F – 19:00 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

old-umbrella

Old Umbrella – Japan | 2015 – 5 min.

On a rainy day, a robot boy meets a robot girl, who doesn’t have an umbrella. He plucks up the courage to lend his battered old umbrella to the girl; and it is this old umbrella which wins the robot girl’s heart.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center: Main Hall – 16:00 pm

timecode

Timecode by Juanjo Giménez – Spain | 2016 – 15 min.

Luna and Diego are parking lot security guards. Diego does the night shift, and Luna works the day.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center 2F – 16:50 pm
September 21st – Nara Machi Center 2F – 19:00 pm

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

tokeru

Tokeru by Aya Igashi – Japan | 2015 – 45 min.

An emotionally confused teenage girl has a daily ritual : secretly jumping into the river as a form of emotional release. As chance would have it, one day her ritual is discovered by her male cousin, visiting from Tokyo. The presence of her cousin, and the unexpected pregnancy of her close friend, gradually causes changes in her unfocused and uncertain day-to-day life.

Schedule
September 18th – Nara Machi Center 2F – 13:30 pm
September 20th – Nara Machi Center 2F – 16:00 pm

To know more about the festival you can see the FESTIVAL PROFILE or go to the official website to know all the screening times and dates HERE.

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