Online Japanese Film Festival

39th Japanese Film Festival – Free Online Screenings

One of the Canadian Film Institute’s longest-running annual festivals, the Japanese Film Festival, has, for almost four decades, showcased the best in contemporary filmmaking in Japan. Despite the continued challenges to hosting live screenings, we are proud to continue this cinematic tradition once again this year online for Ottawa audiences. Better still, the 2021 Japanese Film Festival will also be available to film lovers across Canada.

The 39th annual Japan Film Festival features the moving family drama about the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, Bento Harassment, and a bouncy romantic comedy set in the world of table tennis, Mixed Doubles.

These two films will be live online across Canada for 72 hours starting December 9th. Admission is free. Presented with the generous support of and in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and The Japan Foundation.

Upcoming Screenings – 

Mixed Doubles
Junichi Ishikawa
2017 | 119 minutes


Tamako has spent her life trying to flee from the pressures of becoming a professional table tennis athlete. Dubbing Tamako a prodigy from birth, her relentless, driven mother never allows her to skip a day of training. But after her mother passes away, Tamako eases into a normal life – she picks up new hobbies, finishes school, and even joins the workforce. Now all she needs to do is find a husband! She’s 28 and her boyfriend, Ejima, is the hottest athlete in the table tennis world, so things are looking good. Hiding her accomplished table tennis past from Ejima, she instead embraces the role of the supportive girlfriend. Instead of celebrating their wedding engagement, however, Ejima cheats on her with another athlete. What’s an ex-table tennis prodigy to do? Well, for one thing she’ll assemble her own team of ace players and defeat Ejima’s team at the National Table Tennis Championships. Game on!

English sub-titles.

Renpei Tsukamoto
2019 | 106 minutes


Based on a true story, Bento Harassment is the tale of a mother-daughter relationship navigating its way through stormy emotional waters in unusual, entertaining, and occasionally delicious ways. Middle-aged Kaori is a widow who lives with her two daughters. Her youngest, Futaba, is in high school and their relationship is far from perfect. Rebellious Futaba ignores her mother as much as she can. Eventually, in order to try to get Futaba to change her attitude, her mother decides to make boxed bento lunches for her everyday. As the parent-child conflict persists, Kaori also starts including sweet and loving messages as part of the boxes, much to Futaba’s teenaged irritation. Where Futaba’s bento boxes become popular with her classmates, though, she just might begin to see her mother in a different light. Or will she?

English sub-titles.

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