The Japanese Film Festival is underway with festival dates finished in Canberra and Brisbane and Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide still to come. In its 22nd year, the Japanese Film Festival once again promises to a great lineup of movies. We’ve picked out 5 films that are a must-see


Adapted from a long-running manga series, Gintama is sci-fi samurai mashup that will leave you in stitches. The story is set in a fictional Edo Japan where aliens have invaded Earth and replaced the simple life for skyscrapers, trains, and motorbikes. A samurai, Gintoki Sakata, and his companions take on odd jobs while also trying to keep the balance between aliens and the humans.


Wilderness is based on screenwriter Shuji Terayama’s first novel, Aa Koya, and looks at the two main characters’ existentialist journey that probes in society, identity and masculinity. The story is set in a dystopian 2021 in Tokyo Japan, plagued with youth unemployment, skyrocketing suicide numbers and a rotting social welfare system. Shinji (Masaki Suda), a hot-headed delinquent, and Kenji (Yang Ik-June), a stuttering barber, are our two main characters who are struggling to find their place in society.

Ramen Shop

If you love ramen (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) then we recommend Ramen Shop. A young Japanese chef visits Singapore in search of his mother’s roots and ends up fusing the best of two cuisines. The movie combines Singaporean and Japanese culture and is a gentle and delightful drama that celebrates life through food, friendship, and family.

The 8-Year Engagement

This tear-jerker of a film is based on the incredible true story of Hisashi Nishizawa and Mai Nakahara, who were engaged to be married in 2007 before a rare brain inflammation sent Mai into a years-long coma. When she awoke in 2011, she had lost most of her memory – including memories of the fiancé who stayed by her side. The movie focuses on Mai’s incredible recovery and Hisashi’s devotion to his fiancé.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is for the cat lovers out there. And even if you aren’t a cat lover, you’re sure to turn into after this film. The movie follows Satoru as he tries to find a new home for his feline companion, Nana, as he can’t take care of her anymore. As Satoru and Nana travel to visit Satoru’s friends one by one, we discover Satoru’s childhood, family, friendships and the reason why he would separate from his beloved Nana.

If none of these films interested you, there are plenty more to choose from! Click HERE to find a movie you’d like to see and when they’re showing.

The festival will run:
Perth: 31 Oct- 4 Nov
Adelaide: 9- 11 Nov
Sydney: 15- 25 Nov
Melbourne: 22 Nov- 2 Dec