5 Sep – Turning 15 is no small feat, especially in the film festival world, so it was only fitting that yesterday's opening ceremony of the Japanese Film Festival (JFF) 2018 in KL boasted an even more festive atmosphere compared to its predecessors.
Evoking the feeling of summer festivals in Japan, stalls of mouth-watering Japanese delicacies lined the foyer of GSC Pavilion KL, a welcome sight for the JFF 2018 guests, who, some of them, came dressed in colourful kimonos.
Following the opening ceremony yesterday evening, JFF 2018 will be kicking off in Kuala Lumpur from 6 until 12 September.
This year, the film festival also adds another location, Johor Bahru.
"I am extremely pleased that more Malaysian people can have the opportunities to enjoy Japanese films," Ms. Kurihara Etsuko said in the speech she gave on behalf of Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Makio Miyagawa.
Adding that Japanese films successfully capture and portray the life of contemporary Japan from various angles, thus audiences are one step closer to knowing the real Japan through films.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hassan Mutalib, who recently received the Merdeka Award for his contribution to the local animated film industry, noted that Japanese films have always had a big influence on Malaysian movies, including those done by film legend P. Ramlee.
He cited the simplicity of Japanese cinema as the factor that draws both children and adult alike to it.
To celebrate the film festival's momentous milestone, two special programs have been prepared: a marathon of the "Chihayafuru" trilogy and the screenings of films shot in Japan by Malaysian filmmakers.
Two of the highlighted filmmakers, Edmund Yeo and Lim Kah Wai, also graced the opening ceremony.
Some of the films lined up for JFF 2018 are "We Make Antiques!", which also served as the opening film yesterday, "Perfect World", "Memoirs of a Murderer", and "Yakiniku Dragon".
After Kuala Lumpur, JFF 2018 will be heading to Penang from 13 to 16 September. It will then make its first visit to Johor Bahru from 20 to 23 September.
From 4 to 7 October, JFF 2018 will be held simultaneously in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
Organised by the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur since 2004, Cinema Online has been the film festival's official online partner for the past 10 years.
For more information on the movies and showtimes, visit our Japanese Film Festival 2018 page right HERE.