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Nippon Connection Online- The program is complete

04.06.2020 | 14:37 Clock | Culture
Nippon Connection Online- The program is complete

As we previously reported, the twentieth edition of the Japanese film festival NIPPON CONNECTION will not be able to take place this year as planned. Especially for film lovers, the cancellation of this world's largest festival of Japanese cinema is a great cultural loss. But with a lot of dedication and ingenuity, the makers have put together an online program that will admittedly lack a bit of flair. But this online edition of the festival is certainly a good alternative. A few days before the launch of NIPPON CONNECTION ONLINE, the programme is now complete.

Interested parties can discover over 70 short and feature-length films from home from 9 to 14 June 2020. The very diverse film programme will be available to digital festival-goers* via the Vimeo platform. The special thing about it is that more than half of the films will also be available outside Germany. Thus, the internationality of the festival is also guaranteed in the online edition. Under the title Nippon on Demand, the films can be accessed for 24 hours during the festival period for a rental fee. Each film and short film programme costs 5 euros. Discounted 10-ride tickets are available in advance on the festival website. The daily live Nippon Connected offering of concerts, lectures and workshops invites visitors to discover Japan's diverse culture online. The full program is available at Attendance and ticket links for the films and events are available via the respective event page.

Numerous German, European and International Premieres

As one is already used to from the beautiful festival from previous years, there will also be numerous outstanding productions from Japan at Nippon Connection Online. One highlight, for example, is the docu-drama Family Romance, LLC by Werner Herzog, which premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival last year. More than half of the productions from the program will see their German, European or international premieres at the festival. It's a real standout feature of the festival, and one to which the online edition remains true.

For example, Eiichi Imamura will present his zombie road movie Beautiful, Goodbye and Michio Koshikawa will present the emotional family story After The Sunset as international premieres. Eisuke Naito's drama Forgiven Children will also be screened for the first time within Europe, as will Keisuke Imamura's directorial debut Yan. Also The Journalist by Michihito Fujii, which won three Japanese Academy Awards, will have its European premiere at Nippon Connection Online. The latest work Dancing Mary by cult director SABU and the last feature film Labyrinth of Cinema by the recently deceased directing legend Nobuhiko Obayashi have also never before been presented to a German audience. This year's film programme is dedicated to the thematic focus Female Futures? - New Images of Women in Japan, which is supported by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. The focus reflects the role of women in contemporary Japanese cinema in numerous films, a lecture and a panel discussion. On the occasion of the festival's 20th anniversary, a small selection of cinematic highlights from past festival editions will be screened in the Best of Nippon Connection programme section.

Current documentaries from Japan

To mark Nippon Connection's 20th anniversary, the Nippon Docs section will showcase a particularly exciting programme of documentaries, featuring mainly female filmmakers. For example, there's Haruka Komori, who for Listening To The Air spent five years following a radio host as she worked in a small Japanese town devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The 2018 Nippon Visions Jury Award-winning director shares personal stories and daily life in the aftermath of the disaster in her documentary, which will be screened as an international premiere.

Nippon Animation

The Nippon Animation section will feature innovative productions ranging from recent anime blockbusters to independent short films. Tomohiko Ito transports audiences to Kyoto in the year 2027 with the visually stunning sci-fi love story Hello World, while Tatsuyuki Nagai is known for his award-winning anime series Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011) and explores the bond between two sisters whose fortunes unexpectedly turn in Her Blue Sky. Both animated feature-length films will have their German premiere at the 20th edition of Nippon Connection. The short film series Constant Metamorphosis - Independent Animated Shorts By Women presents independently produced animated films by female directors.

Nippon Online Award

As part of the virtual edition of Nippon Connection, the Nippon Online Award will be presented for the first time. The award, a subtitling for the next film, is sponsored by the Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) of Tokyo. All feature-length films of 60 minutes or more in the NIPPON VISIONS and NIPPON DOCS sections are nominated. Through an online vote, the audience will decide who should receive the first Nippon Online Award.

Nippon Connected

Nippon Connected offers a diverse social program around Japan with around 40 online concerts, performances, workshops and lectures. Many events are available for free via daily livestream on Vimeo. The festival kicks off with a live opening on June 9 at 6 p.m., followed by an opening concert featuring traditional music from Okinawa. Festival highlights include an audiovisual performance with Duo Usaginingen, Japanese comedy with rakugo narrator Katsura Sunshine livestreamed from Tokyo, and a concert with electronic trio Sawa Angstrom from Kyoto. The audience can also look forward to many participatory activities, such as origami folding, Japanese radio gymnastics and online karaoke. At Nippon Heimkino At Home, it's time to sit back and relax: cult director Jörg Buttgereit will join film scholar Marcus Stiglegger for a live commentary on a jewel of 1960s Japanese genre cinema.

The virtual festival edition will also feature plenty of opportunities for exchange with filmmakers. A panel discussion on the topic of Female Futures? with three female directors from this year's programme will offer the opportunity for dialogue in the Q&A afterwards. In a further panel with representatives of the Japanese film and cinema scene, the effects of the Corona crisis on the Japanese film industry will be discussed together. In addition, interested parties can learn more about the work of filmmakers and the creation of their works in pre-recorded Film Talks.

Exciting programming for kids

The Nippon Kids series holds a variety of discoveries for young Japan fans. An online cooking class lets them prepare colorful dango rice balls, and the virtual drawing workshop makes it easy to create animal-themed manga characters. The programme also includes a Japanese language course for kids and a fairy tale lesson in the tradition of the Japanese paper theatre Kamishibai. An exciting selection of animated films in the German dubbed version is, of course, not to be missed.

Nippon Market

For the 20th anniversary edition, the festival homepage also shines in new splendor. Here you can find detailed information about the films and online events, as well as watch the daily livestream, video messages and interviews. If you want to get in the mood for Japan, the new virtual marketplace offers a wide range of products and services related to Japan as well as tips for your next (virtual) trip to Japan. Various vendors present Japanese delicacies, a very special DVD and book selection or handmade souvenirs and artworks at the Nippon Market.

It's really great what the mostly volunteer staff of the festival have put together here to offer visitors a real alternative to the actual NIPPON CONNECTION festival. You should definitely support this by watching as many films and program points as possible. We will definitely be there! The full program is available on the festival website:

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