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This article was written By Jon Jung on 18 Oct 2010, and is filed under Announcements.

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About Jon Jung

Jon Jung (aka “Coffin Jon”) is the producer and host of the VCinema podcast and editor-in-chief of the VCinema blog. He contributed several essays to World Film Locations: Tokyo (Intellect, 2011). Jon lives in San Francisco, but wishes he was back in Japan where he lived for seven years.

The Zipangu Fest Ready To Get Its Arms Around the U.K.

OK, so I’ll step away from the “Stupid Headline Pun Generator”.

That aside, the Zipangu Fest, the brainchild of Midnight Eye co-founder Jasper sharp, is starting its string of film events and lectures in the U.K.  Details have been released as follows:

The first Zipangu Fest is delighted to announce more details for its programme of events this autumn. The festival will run from November 23th to 28th 2010 in London’s East End before touring the country. The full programme will be announced by Festival Director Jasper Sharp at the Barbican’s Japanese Halloween Shlockfest Double Bill of RoboGeisha and Big Tits Zombie 3D + Augmented City 3D on October 29th. Tickets are almost sold out for these screenings, so be sure to book right away!

To whet audience appetites, Mr Sharp will be presenting a lecture exploring the history of independent jishu eiga filmmaking in Japan, followed by an exclusive screening of Annyong Kimchee (1999). The film is Japanese‐Korean filmmaker Tetsuaki Matsue’s personal enquiry into the importance of ethnic and cultural roots and what it means to be Japanese. This event will first be held at the Coventry University East Asian Film Society (CUEAFS) at 2pm on Wednesday October 20th in Room G34 of the university’s Ellen Terry Building, and then at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at 7pm on Friday November 12th, in the Brunei Gallery lecture theatre.

Zipangu Fest is also proud to announce a special presentation at the 24th Leeds International Film Festival of Hiroshi Shimizu’s rarely‐seen early classic of independent Japanese cinema, Children of the Beehive (1948). The film relates the journey of a group of war orphans (in real life all orphans taken in and raised by the director) as they are taken under the wing of a nameless soldier and set out across a shattered, post‐ war landscape in search of a more certain future. The film will be showing first on Saturday 6 November as part of a one‐day symposium, Breaking Boundaries: Alternative Approaches to Japanese Film, organised by the University of Leeds, and then at 7pm on Monday November 8th at the Hyde Park Picture House. Tickets are £6.50/£5.00.

Zipangu Fest has also put together a special programme of Japanese underground animation in collaboration with the Encounters 16th International Film Festival in Bristol. The Ero Guro Anime Night programme, a selection of nightmarishly morbid animations from the Japanese underground, will screen at the Cube Microplex on Friday November 19th at 8pm. Zipangu Fest festival director Mr Sharp and Man‐ Eater Mountain sound designer Takuro Kochi will be there to introduce the programme. The screenings will be followed by a Late Night Japanese Pink Double Bill of Sexy Timetrip Ninjas (1984) and Groper Train: Search for the Black Pearl (1984), two deliriously tasteless comic classics of the pink film genre directed by Yojiro Takita, now famous as the winner of the 2008 Best Foreign Film Academy Award for the drama Departures. Doors open at 11pm. The Late Night Japanese Pink Double Bill has been made possible by Pink Eiga.

Leading up to Zipangu Fest’s much‐awaited London festival dates, Zipangu Fest has worked with Close‐Up to present the Nippon Year Zero programme of 1960s Japanese experimental films on Tuesday November 23th, at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

Zipangu Fest has confirmed the festival venues of Café 1001 in Brick Lane and the Genesis Cinema on Mile End Road. Guests can expect two full nights of entertainment from 6pm on November 24th and 25th, for the modest ticket price of £5.00 per evening. Zipangu Fest will launch into full swing for the weekend from November 26th to 28th at the Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel. Tickets will be £7.50/£5.00.

Following this, a selection of the Zipangu Fest festival programme will be screened at the Arnolfini in Bristol between December 16th and 19th, with further venues to be announced at a later date.

Jasper Sharp comments: “I’m really excited about these upcoming events across the country, because the goal with Zipangu Fest was always to reach out to new audiences and introduce Japanese cinema to as wide and diverse a crowd as possible. We’re really happy to be partnering up with so many respected film festivals and other organisations to this end, and I really hope this is something we will be able to expand on in the future. I also can’t wait to announce the main programme. We’ve got a really strong set of films and a host of guests already confirmed, and there’s going to be plenty more going on around the actual festival dates than just the screenings.”

About Zipangu Fest:

The first UK‐wide festival devoted to Japanese film, Zipangu Fest will introduce works new and old, previously unseen by mainstream UK film audiences, to demonstrate the many identities of Japan as depicted by some of the country’s most exciting and revered talents.

For its main event this year, Zipangu Fest will be holding around 15 screenings and other related events at venues across London’s vibrant East End. Cinema venues include the Barbican, Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel, Café 1001 in Brick Lane and the Working Men’s Club in Bethnal Green. The main body of film events will take place in London from November 23rd to 28th 2010, with regional events currently arranged in Bristol, Leeds and Coventry, and more to be confirmed.

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