A guide to 2014 Eiga Sai film festival


Posted at Jun 25 2014 03:06 PM | Updated as of Jun 26 2014 06:41 PM

Here’s a rundown of the films, which all have a “G” rating, featured in this year’s festival:

MANILA – Planning to watch a Japanese film or two at the upcoming Eiga Sai festival this next week?

Eiga Sai 2014, organized by the Japan Foundation Manila, will run from July 3 to August 10 in four areas – Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong, Abreeza Mall and Cinematheque in Davao, and Ayala Center in Cebu.


Release date: 2014
Running time: 118 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Kubota Nao
Cast: Matsuyama Kenichi (Jiro), Tanaka Yuko (Tomiko), Ando Sakura (Misa), Uchino Seiyo (Soichi)
Synopsis: In post-nuclear accident Fukushima, Jiro returns to his hometown for the first time in 20 years and begins tending to the fields at his family’s farm, located within the radiation caution zone. Meanwhile, his mother Tomiko, older half-brother Soichi and sister-in-law Misa live together in a temporary housing unit.

The Kirishima Thing

Release date: 2012
Running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Yoshida Daihachi
Cast: Kamiki Ryunosuke (Maeda Ryoya), Hashimoto Ai (Higashihara Kasumi), Ohgo Suzuka (Sawajima Aya)
Synopsis: A rumor that Kirishima, the most popular student in school, is going to withdraw from after-school activities sends the other cool kids into an uproar. This has little effect on the uncool film club member Maeda, who begins to shoot a zombie movie. The emotions of the school’s various student factions gradually intersect. And during the shooting of Maeda’s movie, little incidents occur that sway their hearts.


Release date: 2010
Running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Drama, Children/Family
Director: Fukada Koji
Cast: Yamauchi Kenji (Kobayashi Mikio), Sugino Kiki (Kobayashi Natsuki), Furutachi Kanji (Kagawa Hanataro), Bryerly Long (Anabelle)
Synopsis: Kobayashi Mikio runs a small printing factory in downtown Tokyo and lives a quiet life with his wife Natsuki and his family. One day, a man appears claiming to be the son of a wealthy man who once provided financial support for Kobayashi’s factory.


Release date: 2011
Running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Science fiction
Director: Yaguchi Shinobu
Cast: Igarashi Shinjiro (Suzuki Shigemitsu), Yoshitaka Yuriko (Sasaki Yoko), Hamada Gaku (Kobayashi Hiroki)
Synopsis: Consumer electronics company employee Kobayashi is ordered to develop a bipedal robot, but fails miserably. He comes up with a plan to pass off a human in a suit as a robot, and finds an elderly man named Suzuki who fits inside the suit perfectly, but…

Things Left Behind

Release date: 2012
Running time: 80 minutes
Genre: Documentary
Director: Linda Hoaglund
Cast: Ishiuchi Miyako
Synopsis: “Things Left Behind” is a documentary about photographer Ishiuchi Miyako’s attention-grabbing exhibition “Hiroshima” held at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada. The exhibit features photographs of dresses, shoes and other clothes of those who perished in the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Ishiuchi has continually photographed the mementos of Hiroshima atomic bomb victims.

Casting Blossoms to the Sky

Release date: 2012
Running time: 160 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Obayashi Nobuhiko
Cast: Matsuyuki Yasuko (Endo Reiko), Takashima Masahiro (Katayama Kenichi), Harada Natsuki (Inoue Wakako)
Synopsis: A female newspaper reporter undergoes a number of unusual experiences as she covers the people of Nagaoka. It elicits Nagaoka's beautiful landscape and history of overcoming numerous wars and disasters through a fantastic tale.

A Story of Yonosuke

Release date: 2013
Running time: 160 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Okita Shuichi
Cast: Kora Kengo (Yokomichi Yonosuke), Yoshitaka Yuriko (Yosano Shoko), Ikematsu Sosuke (Kuramochi Ippei)
Synopsis: In 1987, a youth named Yonosuke who is unable to decline the requests of others leaves his hometown of Nagasaki to start university life in Tokyo. One day as he is juggling classes and extracurricular activities, he goes to a driving school and meets Shoko, the daughter of a company president.

Fly, Dakota, Fly!

Release date: 2013
Running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Drama, Historical
Director: Aburatani Seiji
Cast: Higa Manami (Morimoro Chiyoko), Kubota Masataka (Kimura Kenichi), Emoto Akira (Morimoto Shintaro)
Synopsis: A British Air Force “Dakota” VIP transport plane headed for Tokyo makes an emergency landing in a small village on Sado Island. The islanders have mixed feelings about the stranded crew, but decide to come to their aid. Chiyoko, the daughter of the village headman, also does her best to help.

Symphony in August

Release date: 2009
Running time: 118 minutes
Genre: Drama, Children/Family, Animation
Director: Nishizawa Akio
Cast: Fukuen Misato (Ai), Takahashi Keiko (Ai’s mother), Takahashi Kazuya, Yamamoto Gaku, Takagi Wataru, Yoshino Hiroyuki, Mizushima Takahiro, Ando Hitomi
Synopsis: Ai moves to Tokyo alone to fulfill the promise made to her mother to become a singer. However, reality is cruel and she just can’t seem to make her debut. Feeling her hopes crushed, Ai sets her mind to do “1,000 roadside live shows” to inspire herself.

Wolf Children

Release date: 2012
Running time: 117 minutes
Genre: Animation
Director: Hosoda Mamoru
Cast: Miyazaki Aoi (Hana), Osawa Takao (wolf man)
Synopsis: College student Hana meets a young “wolf man” and falls in love with him. Eventually, she gives birth to two “wolf children,” Yuki and Ame, but tragedy strikes the family soon after the wolf man dies. Left to care for their two young children, Hana makes up her mind to raise them in the remote countryside so that they may choose whether to live as humans or wolves.

Like Father, Like Son

Release date: 2013
Running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu
Cast: Fukuyama Masaharu (Nonomiya Ryota), Ono Machiko (Nonomiya Ridori), Maki Yoko (Saiki Yukari), Lily Franky (Saiki Yudai)
Synopsis: Ryota and his wife Midori learn that their son was swapped at birth with another boy at a maternity hospital. They enter into talks regarding an “exchange” with the other parents involved, Yudai and Yukari, but Ryota becomes uncertain.

Tug of War!

Release date: 2012
Running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Comedy
Director: Mizuta Nobuo
Cast: Inoue Mao (Nishikawa Chiaki), Tamayama Tetsuji (Kumada Kimio), Matsuzaka Keiko (Nishikawa Yoko)
Synopsis: Chiaki, who works in the public relations department of the Oita City government, is tasked with organizing a women’s tug-of-war team to generate publicity for the city. She ropes in the idiosyncratic employees of a school lunch center on the verge of being shut down, and together they strive to win a national tug-of-war tournament with the center’s future at stake.

Until the Break of Dawn

Release date: 2012
Running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Director: Hirakawa Yuichiro
Cast: Matsuzaka Tori (Shibuya Ayumi), Kiki Kilin (Shibuya Aiko)
Synopsis: Ayumi seems to be just an ordinary high school student, but he is actually being trained by his grandmother Aiko to take on the role of “tsunagu.” As he facilitates reunions for a diverse range of clients – an arrogant middle-aged man who lost his mother to cancer, a high school girl whose friend died in a bicycle accident, and an office worker who has been waiting for seven years for his missing fiancee to return – he develops various doubts. Can the living be saved by meeting their deceased loved ones again? And what of the dead? These doubts lead Ayumi to seek the truth regarding the mysterious deaths of his own parents.


Release date: 2012
Running time: 105 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Kimizuka Ryoichi
Cast: Nishida Toshiyuki (Aiba Tsuneo), Ogata Naoto (Domon Kenichi), Katsuji Ryo (Oikawa Yuta)
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, a junior high school gymnasium in Iwate Prefecture’s Kamaishi City is used as a morgue. Aiba worked in the funeral business and offers to volunteer at the morgue.

Momoiro sora o

Release date: 2011
Running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Drama
Director: Kobayashi Keiichi
Cast: Ikeda Ai (Kawashima Izumi), Koshino Ena (Ono Hasumi), Fujiwara Reiko (Mayuzumi Kaoru)
Synopsis: Kawashima Izumi, a high school student with a habit of grading newspapers, picks up a wallet containing a large sum of cash that she finds lying on the side of the street. This arouses her curiosity, which drives her to begin a search for the wallet’s owner.

Tamako in Moratorium

Release date: 2013
Running time: 78 minutes
Genre: Comedy
Director: Yamashita Nobuhiro
Cast: Maeda Atsuko (Sakai Tamako), Kan Suon (Sakai Zenji), Suzuki Keiichi (Sakai Keisuke)
Synopsis: Tamako graduates from college, returns to the sports clothing shop run by her father Zenji and spends her days listlessly, not even looking for a job. One day, there’s talk of Zenji going on a blind date, and Tamako flies into a tizzy. Will Tamako be able to take a step forward in her life?

Hearts Together

Genre: Documentary
Cast: Matsuda Seiko, Bob James
Synopsis: Two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist Bob James and renowned Japanese singer Matsuda Seiko performed in a charity concert together with a local jazz band in Ofunato, Iwate, praying for recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. This documentary film portrays the scene behind the concert such as the message concentrated in their new song, “Put Our Hearts Together.”


Shangri-La Plaza

July 3: Homeland (7 p.m.)

July 4: Hospitalité (1:30 p.m.), Tamako in Moratorium (4:30 p.m.), Momoiro sora o (7:30 p.m.)

July 5: Until the Break of Dawn (1:30 p.m.), Wolf Children (4:30 p.m.), Like Father, Like Son (7:30 p.m.)

July 6: The Kirishima Thing (1:30 p.m.), Fly, Dakota, Fly! (4:30 p.m.), A Story of Yonosuke (7:30 p.m.)

July 7: Kokoro o hitotsuni (1:30 p.m.), Casting Blossoms to the Sky (4:30 p.m.), Symphony in August (7:30 p.m.)

July 8: Things Left Behind (1:30 p.m.), Momoiro sora o (4:30 p.m.), Tamako in Moratorium (7:30 p.m.)

July 9: Symphony in August (1:30 p.m.), Tug of War (4:30 p.m.), A Story of Yonosuke (7:30 p.m.)

July 10: Fly, Dakota, Fly! (1:30 p.m.), Casting Blossoms to the Sky (4:30 p.m.), Hospitalité (7:30 p.m.)

July 11: Tug of War! (1:30 p.m.), The Kirishima Thing (4:30 p.m.), Like Father, Like Son (7:30 p.m.)

July 12: Tamako in Moratorium (1:30 p.m.), Reunion (4:30 p.m.), Homeland (7:30 p.m.

July 13: Wolf Children (1:30 p.m.), Like Father, Like Son (4:30 p.m.), Until the Break of Dawn (7:30 p.m.)

Abreeza Mall

July 25: Symphony in August (10:30 p.m.), Tamako in Moratorium (1 p.m.)

July 26: Wolf Children (10:30 a.m.), Homeland (1 p.m.)

July 27: Wolf Children (10:30 a.m.), Like Father, Like Son (1 p.m.)


July 29: Momoiro sora o (10:30 a.m.), Tug of War! (1:30 p.m.), Robo-G (4:30 p.m.)

July 30: Kokoro o hitotsuni (10:30 a.m.), Fly, Dakota, Fly! (1:30 p.m.), Until the Break of Dawn (4:30 p.m.)

July 31: Things Left Behind (10:30 a.m.), Casting Blossoms to the Sky (1:30 p.m.), Momoiro sora o (4:30 p.m.)

August 1: Fly, Dakota, Fly! (10:30 a.m.), Hospitalité (1:30 p.m.), A Story of Yonosuke (4:30 p.m.)

August 2: Casting Blossoms to the Sky (10:30 a.m.), Reunion (1:30 p.m.), The Kirishima Thing (4:30 p.m.)

August 3: Hospitalité (10:30 a.m.), Robo-G (1:30 p.m.), Things Left Behind (4:30 p.m.)

Ayala Center Cebu

August 6: Homeland (7 p.m.)

August 7: Wolf Children (7 p.m.)

August 8: Tamako in Moratorium (7 p.m.)

August 9: Wolf Children (4:30 p.m.), Like Father, Like Son (7 p.m.)

August 10: Tamako in Moratorium (4:30 p.m.), Homeland (7 p.m.)