Pop Culture

Eiga Sai 2016 Brings Japanese Literature To The Big Screen [Updated]

June 13, 2016

Fans of Eiga Sai are in for a treat as this year marks 60 years of Philippines-Japan friendship and the Japan Foundation, Manila’s 20th anniversary!

Twelve films were carefully curated for this year’s line up. Expect award-winning film adaptations of some of the best fiction and non-fiction novels written by the most prolific Japanese writers, produced between 2011 to 2015.


The festival will open on July 7 with “KAKEKOMI” (駆込み女と駆出し男 / 2015 / Drama, Comedy / Rated R13 / 143 min), directed by this year’s guest of honor, Masato Harada. This is his first jidaigeki (samurai period film), based on the novel “Tokeiji Hanadayori” by Inoue Yasushi. Set at an actual “divorce temple” in Kamakura, it follows the efforts of a novice doctor and playwright who falls into a whirlwind of events as he tries to help two women get out of their respective marriages.

Complete line up for Eiga Sai 2016

Director Harada’s film adaptation of Inoue Yasushi’s autobiographical novel “Chronicle of My Mother” (わが母の記 / 2011 / Drama, Family / Rated PG / 118 min) traces the roots of the author’s feeling of abandonment after being separated from his parents at a young age, and how this has resonated for most of his adult life.

Provocative and dramatic, Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film “The Great Passage” (ビリギャル / 2013 / Comedy, Drama, Romance / Rated PG / 133 min), based on the novel by Miura Shion, follows editor Majime’s passio for pursuing the prodigious goal of creating a huge dictionary with over 240,000 entries over a fifteen-year period.

Master filmmaker Yamada Yoji takes on Nakajima Kyoko’s prize-winning novel “The Little House” (小さいおうち / 2014 / Drama, Romance / Rated PG / 136 min). Set against the backdrop of the “Showa Modern” period, the story unravels the full and mysterious account of a scandalous romance.

Pale Moon” (紙の月 / 2014 / Mystery / Rated R13 / 126 min), adapted from popular author Kakuta Mitsuyo’s eponymous novel “The Kirishima Thing” by director Yoshida Daihachi, depicts the downfall of a housewife who falls head over heels in love and into a life of crime.

Revolving around the struggles of a bottom-ranked students of Nagoya High School, “Flying Colors” (ビリギャル / 2015 / Comedy, Coming of Age, Drama, Family / Rated PG / 117 min), a film adaptation of the non-fiction bestseller directed by Doi Nobuhiro, follows Kudo Sayaka’s journey as she attempts to pass the extraordinarily competitive entrance exam for Keio University.


When assistant camera Tatsura Sawada joins the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, he lands in trouble with fellow member Kazunari Hamura. “Crossroads“(クロスロード / 2015 / Rated PG / 103 min), directed by Suzuki Junichi, finds them both dispatched to the Philippines where Tatsura meets siblings Noel and Angela in Baguio. Eight years after, Tatsura meets Kazunari once more, at the Tohoku region where the great earthquake and tsunami occurred.


The feature-length animated film, “The Boy and The Beast” (バケモノの子 / 2015 / Adventure, Drama, Family, Animation / Rated PG / 119 min), based on an original screenplay by Studio Chizu and Hosoda Mamoru, presents the story of Kyuta, who enters into a strange agreement with a beast named Kumatetsu. Along the way, the two gradually create a strong bond equal to that of a true father-son relationship.

In “Our Little Sister” (海街diary / 2015 / Drama, Family / Rated R13 / 126 min), the death of Sachi, Toshino and Chika’s absentee father signals the beginning of a new life filled with joyful discoveries as they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their estranged teenage half-sister, Suzu.

Eiga Sai and Cinemalaya form alliance

Officers of The Japan Foundation Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has signed an agreement that makes Eiga Sai and Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition as allied festivals.

Completing the trio of Director Harada’s film featured for the festival, there will be a one-time special screening of “The Emperor in August” (日本のいちばん長い日 / 2015 / Drama, War / Rated PG / 136 min) on July 8 to celebrate the launch of this partnership. It will be followed by the Director’s Talk, where he shares his experience and knowledge about the art of and his career in film making.

An adaptation of Hando Kazutoshi’s non-fiction novel “Nihon no Ichiban Nagai Hi: Ketteiban”, it reveals the anguish and deliberations of the Japanese who put their lives to end the Pacific War and achieve peace.

CCP will also host the Philippine premiere of Hiroshi Shoji‘s “Ken and Kazu” (ケンとカズ / 2015 / Action, Adventure, Drama / Rated R13 / 98 min) on August 6, 2016. This award-winning film (Japanese Cinema Splash Best Picture Award, 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival) depicts the conflict between friends who deal with drugs.

For the 12th Cinemalaya Festival on August 5-14, 2016, aside from Shoji’s “Ken and Kazu”, JFM will bring another independent film to be featured in the Cinemalaya’s Asian section: “August in Tokyo” (愛の小さな歴史 / 2014 / Drama, Romance / Rated R13 / 80 min) by Ryutaro Nakagawa. This film portrays the dynamics of people trying to co-exist in nature and in the city; directed by one of the leading up-and-coming filmmakers in Japan and an established poet.

Eiga Sai 2016 Screening Venues and Schedules

All films will be shown with English subtitles. All screenings are free and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but admission process may differ according to venues.

Shang Cineplex Cinema 2, Shangri-La Plaza, EDSA, Mandaluyong City (July 7-17, 2016)

July 8 / FridayThe Great Passage1:00 PM
Chronicle of My Mother4:00 PM
The Little House7:00 PM
July 9 / SaturdayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
August in Tokyo4:00 PM
KAKEKOMI + Director’s Talk: Masato Harada7:00 PM
July 10 / SundayOur Little Sister1:00 PM
Flying Colors4:00 PM
Pale Moon7:00 PM
July 11 / MondayThe Great Passage1:00 PM
Crossroads4:00 PM
The Little House7:00 PM
July 12 / TuesdayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
The Great Passage4:00 PM
Chronicle of My Mother7:00 PM
July 13 / WednesdayCrossroads1:00 PM
The Little House4:00 PM
Flying Colors7:00 PM
July 14 / ThursdayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
Chronicle of My Mother4:00 PM
Pale Moon7:30 PM
July 15 / FridayKAKEKOMI1:00 PM
The Little House4:00 PM
Crossroads7:00 PM
July 16 / SaturdayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
Our Little Sister4:00 PM
July 17 / SundayChronicle of My Mother1:00 PM
Flying Colors4:00 PM
Pale Moon7:00 PM

Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City (August 6, 9, 10 & 12, 2016)

July 8 / Friday / CCP Little TheaterThe Emperor in August + Director’s Talk: Masato Harada7:00 PM
Aug 6 / Saturday / CCP Little TheaterKen and Kazu + Director’s Visit: Hiroshi Shoji6:15 PM
Aug 9 / Tuesday / CCP Little TheaterAugust in Tokyo9:00 PM
Aug 10 / Wednesday / Tanghalang Huseng BatuteKen and Kazu3:30 PM
Aug 12 / Friday / Tanghalang Huseng BatuteAugust in Tokyo3:30 PM

UP Film Institute, UP Diliman, Quezon City (August 17-20, 2016)

Aug 17 / WednesdayFlying Colors1:00 PM
Our Little Sister4:00 PM
The Great Passage7:00 PM
Aug 18 / ThursdayChronicle of My Mother1:00 PM
Crossroads4:00 PM
August in Tokyo7:00 PM
Aug 19 / FridayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
Ken and Kazu7:00 PM
Aug 20 / SaturdayThe Boy and The Beast 1:00 PM
The Little House 4:00 PM
Pale Moon 7:00 PM

Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao City (July 22-24, 2016)

July 22 / FridayThe Great Passage1:00 PM
The Little House4:00 PM
July 23 / SaturdayFlying Colors1:00 PM
Our Little Sister4:00 PM
Pale Moon7:00 PM
July 24 / SundayThe Boy and The Beast1:00 PM
Flying Colors4:00 PM
The Great Passage7:00 PM

FDCP Cinematheque, Davao City (July 26-30, 2016)

July 26 / TuesdayCrossroads5:30 PM
July 27 / WednesdayChronicle of My Mother5:30 PM
July 28 / ThursdayAugust in Tokyo5:30 PM
July 29 / FridayChronicle of My Mother5:30 PM
July 30 / SaturdayAugust in Tokyo3:30 PM
Crossroads5:30 PM

SM Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 11-14, 2016)

Aug 11 / ThursdayFlying Colors7:00 PM
Aug 12 / FridayThe Great Passage1:30 PM
The Little House4:30 PM
Pale Moon7:30 PM
Aug 13 / SaturdayThe Boy and The Beast1:30 PM
Our Little Sister7:30 PM
Aug 14 / SundayThe Boy and The Beast1:30 PM
August in Tokyo4:30 PM
The Great Passage7:30 PM

FDCP Cinematheque Baguio, Baguio City (August 15-17 & 20-21, 2016)

Aug 15 / MondayChronicle of My Mother2:30 PM
Crossroads5:30 PM
Aug 16 / TuesdayCrossroads5:30 PM
Aug 17 / WednesdayCrossroads5:30 PM
Aug 20 / SaturdayCrossroads5:30 PM
Aug 21 / SundayCrossroads5:30 PM

Ayala Center Cebu Cinema, Cebu City (August 17-21, 2016)

Aug 17 / WednesdayThe Little House7:00 PM
Aug 18 / ThursdayPale Moon7:00 PM
Aug 19 / FridayAugust in Tokyo7:00 PM
Aug 20 / SaturdayThe Boy and The Beast4:00 PM
Aug 21 / SundayFlying Colors4:00 PM
Our Little Sister7:00 PM

Eiga Sai 2016 is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM Baguio City, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Canon Marketing (Philippines) Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co. Ltd., Muji, Watami, Crystal Cup Ozeki Philippines and Richmond Hotel Ortigas.

For more information, you may contact the following:

The Japan Foundation, Manila

Contact number: 811-6155 to 58

Email address: email@jfmo.org.ph


Shangri-La Plaza

Contact number: 370-2597 to 98

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I’m looking forward to attend all Director’s Talks and watch ‘Our Little Sister’, ‘Crossroads’, ”The Great Passage’ and ‘Flying Colors’. How about you, dear reader? Let’s talk about it at the comments section below!

Say hi when you see me at the Shang / UP Film Institute / CCP / SM Baguio 🙂