Welcome to BJFF 2019!

Please have a look at the lineup we had for our 2019 festival, which
featured six shorts and one feature!​​​​​​​

-  Feature Film Showing  -
This year’s feature, Kaigo Kodan (Dir. Norio Ogikubo), is a documentary about a woman who looks to traditional Japanese comedy in order to deal with the hardships of taking care of her alzheimer's-ridden father-in-law.

Note from the director:
Being involved in elder care could suddenly become a part of anyone's reality. The film “Kodan on Elder Care” by Kakuei (the actress) has been created especially for those who have nothing to do with elder care in their current lives. Such an audience can appreciate the difficult situation with laughter by way Kakuei’s unique approach to the topic. This film has also been highly rated by professions in the elder care field. What Kakuei tells us is not a technique of how to handle dementia care, but a way to overcome hardships in life. Kakuei expresses her experiences frankly. After bursting out laughing, tears will also come to the audience. She hated her father-in-law, but he turned into her important soulmate, eventually. Please enjoy this wonderful and touching story, and have some huge laughs! 
– Norio Ogikubo
Note from the lead actress:
Dear Non-Japanese Audience:  Japanese people tend to approach elder care in a serious manner in which they sacrifice themselves because they are sincere, faithful and want to try their best for their elders. Unless there is a time limit, such as the last stage of cancer, caregivers could end up getting sick, or even collapse from illness earlier than elders. I've realized that elder care can turn into a fun experience between the care giver and patient when we mix laughter and joy into the process. It was a miracle for me.
– Kakuei Tanabe

-  Short Film Showing  -​​​​​​​

Formal Warrior Suit Ranger
Japan / 2018 / 10 min / Comedy
Shinichiro Ueda
Five men and women in suits confront villains who are disturbing the city. They are the Suit Rangers.
They are appropriately dressed for both their occupations and their battle with the villains!

Mountain Monks
Japan / 2018 / 10 min / Documentary
Fritz Schumann
The Yamabushi in northern Japan practice a once forbidden ancient religion. While their tradition is at risk of disappearing, it offers a way for those seeking a different path in Japan‘s society.

The Traveler with the Pasted Rag Picture
Japan / 2018 / 12 min / Animation
Shigeyoshi Tsukahara
A story that begins in the early Showa era of the 20th century. A mysterious old man on a train investigates the disappearance of his older brother three decades ago in the seaside town of Uozu. The mystery revolves around telescopes, peep shows, and the blurred boundary between reality and dreams.

Japan / 2018 / 6 min / Animation
Seiji Ohara
There was a small planet in the middle of the broad universe. Everyone there is paying attention to one thing: seeing their planet from the outside, from images captured by a drifting astronaut. 

Japan / 2017 / 8 min / Drama
Tekko Nogami
What if there was one day you could go back to before you go to heaven? When would you choose? Who would you spend it with? What would you say to them? From the border of heaven to that day, he goes back to one summer day to tell his true love his thoughts.

Japan / 2015 / 15 min / Drama
Sayoko Akutsu
Ofuku has been searching for her mother since the Edo era 360 years ago. Eventually, she meets Tomiko, an aspiring actress, who is plagued by one misfortune after another. Together, they cook up off-the-wall ideas to rescue Tomiko from a financial crisis instigated by her money-grubbing boyfriend.

-  Panel Discussion  -​​​​​​​

BJFF events offer the chance to connect to Japan in a variety of ways

1:00:  Doors open
1:30:  Program introduction
1:45:  Screening I (shorts)
3:00:  Intermission
3:25:  Screening II (feature film)
4:55:  Post-screening discussion
5:55:  Reception (including raffle)​​​​​​​

Q&A to be held with director of Ofuku
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 34-101
50 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139

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