While the 14th New York Asian Film Festival is still going strong (it runs until July 11th), it’s not too early to start planning for New York’s other terrific annual film festival, JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, which will run from July 9–19, 2015 at Japan Society. Some screening have already sold out, or are very close to doing so.
The festival features twenty-eight feature films, an Experimental Spotlight screening of shorts, and numerous Special Guests (ten from the feature films, and five from the Experimental spotlight). Acclaimed actress Sakura Ando, who stars in this year’s centrepiece presentations of Shingo Wakagi’s Asleep and Masaharu Take’s 100 Yen Love, will be in attendance to receive the CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film.
This year’s line-up offers a range of titles from both Japan’s studio system and its independent sector, including Yu Irie’s espionage thriller Joker Game, Setsuro Wakamatsu’s samurai saga Snow on the Blades, Mipo O’s romance The Light Shines Only There, Lisa Takeba’s irreverent comedy Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory, and Yuki Tanada’s road movie Round Trip Heart.
A highlight for anime enthusiasts will undoubtebly be the just-completed 4K restoration of forgotten masterpiece Belladonna of Sadness, which is the third and final installment of the adult-oriented Animerama trilogy produced by “Godfather of Manga” Osamu Tezuka and directed by his longtime collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto.
Parties, award ceremonies, food and live music events round-out what will surely prove to be another fantastic edition of JAPAN CUTS.