H.E. Jun Yamazaki

Ambassador of Japan to Singapore

Following last year’s success, I am absolutely delighted to see that the Japanese Film Festival is back again this year. It was a difficult decision to postpone the Festival back in February, but it is with the enthusiastic support of many that it was able to bounce back before the year’s end.

This year’s film line-up is sure to be a treat for audiences who are interested in exploring Japan through film. The diverse nature of this year’s programming allows an opportunity for Singaporean audiences to immerse themselves in multiple facets of Japanese culture and to acquire a deeper understanding of contemporary Japanese society. It is also my sincere hope that audiences will be able to do so, all while enjoying stories made with, and filled with heart.

The format of this year’s festival has changed slightly; with limited seats at cinemas due to safe distancing measures, the Festival has introduced online components. Fans of Japanese cinema can now choose to watch films either in theatres or in the comfort of their own homes. This year’s Festival will open with Bento Harassment, a family comedy that is sure to warm our hearts and our stomachs. Though we are unable to host any directors in Singapore this year, more directors will be involved with the Festival through online platforms. Audiences can look forward to insightful Q&A sessions with the director of Bento Harassment, Director Renpei Tsukamoto, and many others.

Japan Creative Centre (JCC) is once again privileged to be one of the organisers of the festival alongside the Singapore Film Society and the Japan Foundation. Having just celebrated its 10th Anniversary since its establishment in 2009, it is hoped that JCC will continue to help grow the festival and Singaporeans’ love for Japanese cinema in years to come.

Please sit back, get comfortable with popcorn, and join us as we celebrate the best of Japanese cinema through these brilliant films.

kenneth tan

I am honoured and thrilled to most warmly welcome one and all to our Japanese Film Festival again.
As I reflect on my own JFF journey, I am both exhilarated and humbled by the fact that when I first started working on this Festival with the Embassy of Japan in Singapore, it was 1983 – almost 40 years ago! I have partaken of the richness of Japan’s national cinema repertoire; been befriended by generations of co-organising partners from the Embassy, The Japan Foundation, and the Japan Creative Centre; and watched with pride and joy as my own team members have given, gained, and grown so much. 
This year’s Festival — indeed, this year as a whole — will always have a place in history for being completely unique. Originally planned for February, JFF 2020 is now opening in December. It will be the first JFF with both streamed (online) as well as screened (in-cinema) movies. All of our filmmaker question-and-answer sessions will be done online.  
But some things will never change: the enrichment and ecstasy that can only come from a custom-curated line-up of festival films, meticulously and lovingly programmed by movie buffs and cultural ambassadors who are global citizens with an insatiable drive for interpersonal connectivity.  I salute the colleagues and comrades around me who define these traits, in and by everything they do, and how they do it every day.
Come and immerse yourself in all that JFF has to offer. You won’t regret this “trip” into Japan’s inimitable and enduring cinema culture. That’s my 2020 promise. I should know. It will soon be “20 + 20” years since I started!