• Charlie Vogelsang

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021: 5 Films to Look Out For

The Japan Foundation’s annual Touring Film Programme showcases an exciting array of Japanese cinema. Streaming online for the first time ever between 19 February and 10 March 2021, its films will explore existence and belonging. The best thing about this tour is that it’s available to watch for free.

You’d be a fool to miss out, and here are just a few of our recommendations.


Directed by Yukiko Mishima, Shape of Red follows a married woman who seems to lead the perfect life. She has a successful husband, a cute daughter and an amazing home. Beneath all of this, she feels empty and longs for something else. She embarks on an intense and passionate affair while trying to find her own identity again. Unfortunately for her, her new lover holds a secret that could ruin everything.


Who would’ve thought that periods could be a funny topic? Shunsuke Shinada’s Little Miss Period is a comedy film focused on an obnoxiously large plush period that goes around harassing women during their time of the month. Based on the manga, Little Miss P, the film provides an insightful experience into the struggles that women go through every month and makes light of a taboo topic.


The first feature film of Shinji Hamasaki, Not Quite Dead Yet is a bizarre supernatural movie that explores the relationships between parents and their children. A young college student aspires to be a musician but her hardworking father refuses to accept this - obviously causing arguments. After the father temporarily causes his death due to testing a new drug, it’s up to his daughter to save his body and prevent his company from being stolen. There’s no other film like this one, and it promises to be a zany comedy.


What length would a mother go to in order to protect her children and herself? Directed by one of Japan’s most prolific contemporary filmmakers, Kazuya Shiraishi, One Night shows a battered wife pushed past her limits and murders her abusive husband to protect her loved ones. This film explores her three children and how they have dealt with this trauma throughout their lives as their mother is released from prison. One Night shows the psychological scars that family can cause and how it can affect our lives.


Set in the not too distant future of 2027, Hello World follows a man who time-travels from 2037 to relive his school life and correct a mistake. Directed by Tomohiko Itô, this animated science-fiction-romance hybrid will entertain both adults and children. As the film progresses, it gradually gets more complex until true agendas are revealed. Alongside the interesting story, the animations and visuals look stunning - so you’d be crazy not to check it out.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme runs from 19 February - 10 March 2021, screenings are available here.