The Japanese-Themed Short Films of New York Japan CineFest

The 11th New York Japan CineFest

In-person Screening on Monday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Scandinavia House – 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street
In-person Tickets: $15 in advance; $18 at the door | Students: $12 in advance; $15 at the door

Online Screening from Tuesday, November 15 through Sunday, November 20
Online Screenings: $15 + suggested donation

New York Japan CineFest, a film festival that introduces Japanese-themed short films, is celebrating its eleventh year. The in-person screening tonight (November 14) at Scandinavia House features nine of the festival’s 21 films. Some guest directors are scheduled to appear on stage. To purchase tickets to the in-person screening, please visit NYJCF’s Eventbrite page.

Online screening will be available from Tuesday, November 15 through November 20 at New York Japan CineFest’s website. With the purchase of a Festival Pass, viewers in the US can watch all 21 short films in seven days. To register for the online screenings, please visit NYJCF’s website.

Mar Creation hosts the festival with partners CYBER New York, Japan Information and Culture Center (Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C.), Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Sapporo International Short Film Festival, and Aichi International Women’s Film Festival.


Dir. Erika Nakayama | 2021 | 17:57 | Drama | Japan
Ayumi Tani, an owner of a small bookstore, and Sayaka Murakami, a call center worker, are a lesbian couple living together. While They feel somewhat stifled by the fact that they are part of LGBTQ community, They are looking forward to having a wedding-style photoshoot to celebrate their anniversary.

Lost in Eden
Dir. Hakim Hayashi | 2021 | 14:31 | Drama | Japan
Rika, a young Japanese girl, lives with her new French husband, Isaac, in Paris. She finally manages to renew her residence permit after a long struggle with the chaotic French administration. Then a man from the Japanese Embassy brings a cruel reality to her: We have to deal with your parents’ situation. She faces a Cornelian dilemma.

Kurosawa’s Grave
Dir. Ben Lopez | 2021 | 13:47 | Documentary | United States
Viewed through the eyes of an expert cinephile, this pilgrimage to Japan and love letter to Akira Kurosawa will transport the audience to a moment where modernity meets nostalgia.

Bigger Is Better
Dir. Larry Tung | 2021 | 24:57 | Documentary | Taiwan
Bigger Is Better is a documentary about the identity culture and body politics of the bear subculture within a larger gay male community in Asia. It takes the audience to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China to meet with stakeholders and examines the development of this unique subculture and its meaning and impact.

I Love Today’s Sky
Dir. Kazuma Yano  | 2022 | 6:26 | Drama | Japan
Do you remember yesterday’s sky? The sky always extends beyond your upward gaze. I love today’s sky where clouds scatter leisurely. This film is based on “I Love Today’s Sky,” Shuntaro Tanikawa’s new poem that describes a bright future.

Dir. Masaki Katsuyama | 2022 | 20:00 | Drama | Japan
Haruko, an old Japanese mother, goes to Tokyo from Osaka to see her 30-year-old son, Shuji. The purpose of her visit is to set up matchmaking for him because he is still a single man. However, Shuji already uses a matching app to find his partner.

The Voice Actress
Dir. Anna J. Takayama | 2022 | 15:06 | Drama | Japan
Kingyo, a veteran voice actress working in Tokyo, possesses a unique ability to see the soul in all things, living and inanimate. The voice acting world is changing, and Kingyo must find a way to reconcile her way of living with the modern industry.

Dir. Yurugu Matsumoto | 2020 | 23:25 | Drama | Japan
Young office worker Saki is looking forward to a birthday date with her boyfriend, whom she has been dating for three years. He surprises her the next day when he suddenly proposes marriage. However, Saki’s father is anything but enthusiastic and responsive to their wedding plans.

Dir. Susumu Kimura | 2021 | 18:14 | Drama, Sci-Fi, Dystopian | United States
In the future city of Submittan, people over 80 years old are forced into “retirement” to a remote mountain area as the city deals with increased population. The burden falls on the shoulders of an immigrant artist, who is tasked with designing a propaganda poster to convince citizens of this new registration.

Dir. Ken Ochiai | 2020 | 5:02 | Drama, Horror | United States
In the 1930s, a Japanese American father and daughter must play a deadly game of shadow tag to escape from a demon child, Kageboshi.

Never Give Up: Akinori in Mooresville
Dir. Royce Akifumi Wilmot | 2022 | 13:12 | Documentary | United States
Twenty-four years after attending his first NASCAR race, Akinori Ogata chases his dream of one day racing in the Daytona 500. Moving his family halfway across the world in the process, he races locally in the lower series of NASCAR, working for his big break.

Above Water
Dir. Ken Honjo, Kentaro Yoshimura | 2022 | 26:00 | Documentary, Environmental | United States
On the remote island of Sarichef off the Northwest coast of Alaska, 20 miles below the Arctic Circle, there’s a small village called Shishmaref. Every year, it continues to get smaller as rising water levels erode its shores. In the summer of 2021, two artists were invited to the island to paint a mural, and they learned more about the culture and the impact of the melting permafrost.

Final Deathtination (In association with Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia)
Dir. Marika Tamura | 2021 | 2:05 | Animation | United States
A suicidal man encounters “Death,” who is a “travel agent,” to find the best place to die.

Living While Black in Japan (In association with Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia)
Dir. Shiho Fukada & Keith Bedford | 2021 | 15:13 | Documentary | Japan
African Americans in Japan discuss how racial issues in the U.S. affected their decision to live abroad.

MARE (In association with Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia)
Dir. Tamaki Ishida & Akito Kawabe | 2022 | 7:46 | Animation, Sci-Fi | Japan
In a world that became a wasteland of toxic gas, there’s a painter who lives in an isolated shelter. He draws paintings of oceans. Why does he make these paintings? What happened to the world? This is a story about our near future, with environmental pollution and sheltered lives.

Summer Ends (In association with Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia)
Dir. Yuka Doi | 2021 | 23:53 | Drama | Japan
Botan’s father is a sparkler maker. One day, she is frustrated because she is not allowed to make sparklers, and her father, Yanagi, has a falling out with her. Several years later, Botan, now an AD at a video production company, has no choice but to return to her estranged parents’ home for an interview.

just another summer day (In association with Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia)
Dir. Yoshika Matsuoka | 2021 | 25:00 | Drama | Japan
It was “just” a summer day spent with someone she didn’t know. Hizuki was drunk and lost her memory.

Pain of the Anonymous (In association with Sapporo International Short Film Festival)
Dir. Daichi Amano | 2021 | 27:00 | Drama | Japan
Struggling to find work and entrenched in a personal health crisis, a former middle school teacher accepts a position as an online content moderator. She is faced daily with death, violence, and abuse—and reminders of unspeakable past traumas.

Siblings (In association with Aichi International Women’s Film Festival)
Dir. Yoko Sato | 2021 | 39:55 | Drama | Japan
Nozomi has a younger sister, Kie, with mental disability but has yet to tell her boyfriend, Takashi, about her. One day, Nozomi finally informed him about Kie upon their engagement, causing confusion. From there, Nozomi faces a series of problems peculiar to a family with disabilities, and she starts to reconsider her life.

Dir. Masayoshi Nakamura & Zak Engel | 2022 | 4:23 | Animation | United States
This film is the journey of a father and son. The young son enters into this crazy and unknown world, and the father tries to guide him though as best as a father could. There are some things the father himself doesn’t fully understand, and he lets the son know that’s ok.

Dir. Tekko Nogami | 2021 | 4:02 | Drama, History | Japan
Today’s travelers follow the path of Iemori Taira, which has been passed down to Ukujima, an island in the Goto archipelago off the coast of Kyushu. Their path will eventually synchronize as they come into contact with the life and culture of the people on the island from the past, present, and future. It is a journey story that encounters a miracle that “people return to themselves.”

About New York Japan CineFest 

NYJCF was founded by three Japanese producers based in New York in 2012: Yasu Suzuki (actor, dancer and filmmaker), Kosuke Furukawa (film director), and Hiroshi Kono (CEO of Mar Creation, Inc.)  Since 2015, the film festival has screened its programs and films in multiple cities including Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the U.S. NYCF has also participated in film festivals in Japan such as the Aichi International Film Festival Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market, Kadoma International Film Festival, and New Director Film Festival.