H.E. Jun Yamazaki
Ambassador of Japan to Singapore
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation, it has been heartening to see the immense support Singaporeans have given to the Japanese Film Festival. Last year, even with the introduction of a new hybrid model, many participated and responded enthusiastically.
Fans of Japanese cinema are in for a veritable treat with the festival’s line-up: whether it be an upbeat and heart-warming film, an action flick or a brooding mystery, viewers have a wide array of flavours to sample from. Besides contemporary titles, certain classic titles have been included; those interested in the evolution of Japanese film may be interested in this rare opportunity to catch these titles!
This year, we mark 55 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan. Together, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have organised many special campaigns under the name SJ55 to commemorate this milestone in our countries’ friendship. As such, JFF will also be working with STB to feature Japanese films that have ties to Singapore in a special SJ55 segment at venues such as Our Tampines Hub.
This year’s edition of the festival will continue its hybrid model of both physical and online screenings, giving audiences the choice of watching films in-person with family and friends, or in the comfort of their own homes. It is unfortunate that we are unable to invite any directors to Singapore this year, but audiences can still look forward to many intimate and insightful online Q&A sessions and masterclasses with Japanese and Singaporean filmmakers.
Japan Creative Centre (JCC) is once again very privileged to be able to work alongside the Singapore Film Society and the Japan Foundation in organising this festival. It is our hope that this festival will help cultivate a deeper understanding and interest in Japan and Japanese culture in Singaporeans, and grow their love for Japanese cinema.
Please sit back, and join us as we celebrate the best of Japanese cinema at JFF.
Chairman of Singapore Film Society
As I write this message for our Japanese Film Festival this year, I am still immensely thankful that we were able to do JFF 2020 despite all the Covid-related challenges and complexities. And now, here we are, welcoming one and all to not just “another” JFF, but another one in a still-ongoing pandemic environment. I am both humbled and exhilarated at the thought of just how significant this really is.
Everyone’s passion for JFF is stronger than ever before. The ‘hybrid’ model we pioneered last year, with online as well as in-cinema modes, is something I am confident will remain useful for maximizing access to filmmakers beyond the limitations of geographical proximity. At the same time, the quality of Japanese films available for our curation and presentation has never been better or more exciting!
There was a note of sadness for our Singapore team this year, because Ms Saina Nemoto completed her term in Singapore with the Embassy of Japan and Japan Creative Centre, and returned to Tokyo. I want to place on record our deep appreciation and indelible affection for everything Nemoto-san has done with and for us. She will always be part of our Singapore ‘family’. My commitment, and that of my team, is to continue the unique and invaluable relationship we are so blessed to have with all our Japanese stakeholders, as new friendships continue to blossom and flourish.
Let’s make JFF 2021 our best to date, with many, many, many more to come!