The Japanese Film Festival at Garter Lane Arts Centre

THE line-up for this year’s Japanese Film Festival has official been unveiled and this year’s renewal – taking place in Garter Lane from April 17th to 19th and will again feature a diverse and packed programme of films, including work of the most acclaimed filmmakers from contemporary Japanese cinema, and covering a variety of themes, genres and topics.E4S1NewPic1a
Here is this year’s line-up –

‘Dad’s Lunch Box’ (Tuesday, April 17th, 7:30pm)
A father (Toshimi Watanabe) decides to start making a bento box (lunch box) for his daughter Midori (Rena Takeda) before she heads off to high school every day. At first, the experiment doesn’t go so well – the food isn’t great, and one day the fish even turns out to be rotten. However, the father decides to stick with it, and before long his culinary skills start to bloom. Midori, meanwhile, tries to navigate the challenges of being a teenager. With father and daughter busy living their own lives, the daily bento box soon becomes an important daily ritual for them both.
‘Dad’s Lunch Box’ is based on a true story – a viral social media post that showed one girl’s lunch box on her last day of school. That final bento contained an emotional message from her father, after he had spent three years making the daily homemade lunch. The film uses that idea to create a lovely, emotional family drama. First-time director Maskazu Fukatsu tells the story with confidence, and both leads turn in impressive performances. Dad’s Lunch Box is another in a long line of Japanese films for foodies – you’ll be eager to make a delicious lunch box of your own after watching this charming little film.

Lu Over the Wall (Wednesday, April 18th, 7:30pm)
Following his parents’ divorce, loner teenager Kai moves with his father from Tokyo to the declining fishing town of Hinashi to live with his grandfather.
He finds little to amuse him in this new location, preferring to spend long periods by himself creating music on his laptop and sharing it on the internet. When his classmates Kunio and Yuho discover his online identity, they want him to join their band, which Kai is finally persuaded to do when he hears they practise on the local remote and allegedly haunted Merfolk Island.
But they aren’t the only ones drawn to Kai’s catchy tunes. Lu is a rare twin-tailed mermaid girl, who loves to sing and whose whole being transforms when she hears music. But Lu’s friendship with Kai is sure to lead to disaster in a town where local fears and superstitions about the merfolk could place her in danger.
Winner of the top prize at the 2017 Annecy Animation Film Festival, ‘Lu Over the Wall’, the first feature in our Masaaki Yuasa double-bill, brings a hallucinogenic-but-family-friendly feel to the classic tale of the little mermaid who falls in love with a human.
Energetic, irreverent and visually riveting, Lu Over the Wall is delightfully and unpredictably feel-good.

Snow Woman (Thursday, April 19th, 7:30pm)

'Snow Woman' is among the movies Garter Lane Arts Centre will screen during this years' Japanese Film Festival.

'Snow Woman' is among the movies Garter Lane Arts Centre will screen during this years' Japanese Film Festival.

One snowy evening, a young hunter Minokichi and his older mentor Mosaku take shelter in an old mountain cabin. As the pair try to keep warm, a ghostly woman enters the cabin and kills the older man by spraying him with her icy breath. However, she spares Minokichi on the condition that he keeps silent about what he has seen.
The freezing night passes, and the young man makes it home. Some time later, he meets the beautiful, mysterious Yuki, but he dare not utter a word about her striking similarity to the ghostly snow woman. Minokichi and Yuki marry, and soon they have a daughter named Ume. But as Ume grows older, the events of that fateful night on the mountain continue to haunt Minokichi and his family.
‘Snow Woman’ is the latest adaptation of the iconic story written by the Irish-Greek author Lafcadio Hearn, best known for his collections of Japanese ghost stories and legends. The story was famously adapted by Masaki Kobayashi for the classic anthology film Kwaidan, but this new version is a fresh, surprising interpretation of the material. Director and co-writer Kiki Sugino – who also stars as the eponymous snow woman – tells the tale in an artful and deliberate way, while dotting the film with some strikingly surreal and unnerving moments.
One of the most visually distinctive works to emerge from Japan in recent years, ‘Snow Woman’ is an extremely accomplished work that casts a bewitching spell.

To book your tickets (€9) for any of these incredible films, go to or phone the box office at 051-855 038. Refreshments will be served at each showing.

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