Everybody has once told a lie or kept something hidden from others. Whether for good intentions or otherwise, it is a fundamental and intriguing aspect of human nature which has provided inspiration to countless storytellers and filmmakers.

With diverse cinematic voices, The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 features some of the best examples of cinema from Japan and will look at how the country’s filmmakers have been drawn to portraying the “(un)true” colours of human nature. The twists and turns of life portrayed in the programme are at times heart-rending, at other times hilarious, but always enthralling.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 is programmed and produced by Junko Takekawa, Paul Graham, Yuri Kubota and coordinated by Darian De La Cruz and Melisha Kontemeniotis. Special thanks to Kiyomi Nakazaki, Dr Alexander Jacoby and Jasper Sharp.


Special Guest Announced:

Yu Irie

The Japan Foundation is proud to announce the attendance of director Yu Irie, winner of the 2009 New Directors Award given by the Directors Guild of Japan. Having directed one of the curated films in this year’s programme, Memoirs of a Murderer, Irie will be attending select screenings of his latest work at:

Showroom, Sheffield: Thursday, 22 March

Broadway, Nottingham: Friday, 23 March

Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast: Sunday, 25 March

He will also give a special talk and take part in a Q&A session at:

Soho Hotel, Screening Room 1, 4 Richmond Mews, W1D 3DH, London: Saturday, 24 March at 3:00pm


Director and screenwriter Yu Irie began his career making short films such as Obsession and Seven Drives, which were screened at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival in 2003 and 2004. His second feature film, 8000 Miles (a.k.a Saitama Rapper) (2009), earned him the grand prize in the Off Theatre Competition at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival and the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award. Other notable works include the adaption of popular comic book series Hibi Rock (2014), historical drama Joker game (2015) and dark family drama Vigilante (2017), which was recently released in Japan. His other recent film Memoirs of a Murder (2017) was shown at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.


Special Guest Announced:

Kosuke Mukai

The Japan Foundation is excited to announce the attendance of one of Japan’s most prominent screenwriters, Kosuke Mukai. Having written the script for one of the curated films in this year’s programme, Gukoroku – Traces of SinMukai will be attending select screenings of his latest work at:

ICA, London: Friday, 2 February and Tuesday, 6 February

Watershed, Bristol: Sunday, 4 February

MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling: Monday, 5 February


Kosuke Mukai is a Writer, Cinematographer and Editor, known for screen writing for an array of Japanese series and films, including the well acclaimed Shinya Shokudo (2009-present), Linda Linda, Linda (2005), and The Girl in the Sun (2013). He was awarded the Ryuzo Kikushima Award in 2007 for his contribution as a screenwriter for The Matsugane Potshot (2007) and was the winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the 71 annual Mainichi Film Concours Film Awards for his screenplay for the film Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow (2016). His most recent narrative Gukoroku: Traces of Sin (2016) was shown at Venice Film Festival in 2016.


Special Guest Announced:

Masahiro Motoki

The Japan Foundation is very fortunate to welcome the actor from the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film winning work, Departures (2009). Having most recently starred in The Long Excuse – one of the many brilliant films in this year’s programme – for one night only, Motoki will be attending the screening of his latest project at:

ICA, London: Saturday, 3 February


Masahiro Motoki has been a well-known figure in Japanese pop culture since the early eighties when he debuted in a boy band under the management of conglomerate Johnny & Associates. Making his switch to acting after a successful career as a top music idol, Motoki’s first film credit was in the role of a Zen monk in Masayuki Suo’s comedy, Fancy Dance (1989). But it was his next collaboration with Suo, in the director’s Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t (1992), that Motoki was introduced to an international audience for the first time. Now, he is perhaps best known for starring in Departures (2009) – a work directed by Yojiro Takita and born out of Motoki’s own fascination with the topic of encoffining following a moving experience in India – which won the 81st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.