Friday, November 27, 2020

Japanese Animation Classics to be showcased in the 14th International Silent Film Festival Manila


Calling all film and animation enthusiasts: Japan's film line up includes the oldest Japanese short film from the archive of the National Film Archivers of Japan (NFAJ) collection. Thankfully we don't need to go to the land of the rising sun to be able to watch it. The Japan Foundation Manila pays tribute to the foundations of Japanese animation by featuring its classic animated works in time for the upcoming 14th International Silent Film Festival Manila. Get ready to watch at the comforts of your own home as the International Silent Film Festival Manila is slated to run from December 4 to 6, 2020 and will be available online through

For this year, there will be six (6) unique animated short silent films to be featured and at the same time taken from the Japanese Animation Classics Collection--all digitalized and subtitled in English for your convenience by the NFAJ. Featured this year's silent film festival would be including the four-minute animation classic film entitled "The Dull Sword" by Junichi Kouchi and produced in 1917--the birthyear of domestic animation in Japan. 

The Dull Sword is about a samurai who tests his new sword by attacking a blind person. He purchased the sword from a swordsmith, known as "Dull Smith," for four gold coins. 

Other Japanese Animation Classics worth checking out would be the following films: Burglars of Baghdad Castle (1926 | 14 mins), The Animal Olympics (1928 | 13 mins), Two Worlds (1929 | 15 mins), Old Man Goichi (1931 | 11 mins), and A Day after a Hundred Years (1933 | 10 mins).

The Japanese Animation Classics in the festival will be accompanied by the musical scoring created by the HJH Composers Collective. The group is composed of Hiroko Nagai, Jordan Peralta, and Harold Andre Santos, contemporary music composers with a diverse musical palette of pop, classical, folk, jazz, electronic music, and traditional Philippine and Japanese music, and they frequently collaborate with other artists to create music for film, theatre, dance, and visual arts.

The 14th ISFF Manila will also be holding a webinar entitled "Saving Memory: Making Silent Films Talk to Us," on December 4. Joining the list of international panelists from Japan is DAIBO Masaki, Head of Film Collections at the National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ). DAIBO will be sharing his expertise in the archiving and digitizing of Japanese films and how he manages the preservation of the animated classics of the NFAJ collection. 

Daibo Masaki

The featured Japanese Animation Classic films are curated by benshi KATAOKA Ichiro from the collection of newly digitized animated films by the NFAJ, in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Japanese Animated Films in 2017.

For more information, check out the official portal of the 14th ISSF to watch the films from December 4 to 7 at the comfort and safety of your own homes. Follow the official Japan Foundation, Manila website ( and Facebook page( for updates and full screening schedules.

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