Wednesday, June 19, 2019

EIGASAI 2019 returns to its original home at Shangri-La Plaza


The highly anticipated Japanese Film Festival, also known as EIGASAI goes back to its original home—Shangri-La Plaza’s Red Carpet for its 22nd edition which will be held from July 3 to 14, 2019. Coincidentally, EIGASAI will also be brought to various places such as Manila, Legazpi, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban and Davao.

 Film enthusiasts will surely delight with the roster of featured films lined up for this year’s EIGASAI. The Japan Foundation Manila will be having 17 full-feature films from diverse genres as EIGASAI continues its tradition of screening films to viewers of the Japanese Film Festival. 

Samurai Marathon

This year’s EIGASAI opens with a historical drama, Samurai Marathon directed by Bernard Rose. Based on Dobashi Aikihiro’s novel Bakumatsu Marathon Samurai, the film is about Ansaei Tooashi, known as Japan’s first marathon. The story revolves around how Annaka feudal lord Itakaru Kastuakira organized a run across mountain roads to get his samurai warriors in shape. But one misstep turned a simple race into a rebellion in the eyes of Bakufu central government that ordered a stop to what it thought was an uprising. 

Rolando Samson of Japan Foundation Manila
Johnny Riod, Operations Divisions Manager, Shangri-la Plaza

Dr. Kanami Namiki, Program Coordinator Arts & Culture Japan Foundation

David Fabros, Executive Director of Philippine Film Export Services Office

Tomoko Nakamura, Asst. Director Japan Foundation

Award-winning director Korea-eda Hirokazu has two film showing at the festival. After The Storm, a family drama about an up and coming author who gets another shot at life; and The Third Murder, a psychological thriller about a convicted murderer who is facing death penalty, and the complications that arise once his lawyer tries to reduce the sentence of life imprisonment.

This year’s 22nd edition of EIGASAI also features two animated films, namely Lu Over the Wall—a story about a young man’s arrival at a fishing town where he joins a high school band that rehearses in an island inhabited by a mermaid, Miral on the other hand, tells the story of a little boy who encountered a teenage girl from the future who claimed that she is the newborn sister he hates.

The 8-Year Engagement is another must-see in this festival. It tells about an engaged couple who pauses plans after the bride-to-be falls into a coma. Another heart-warming film you ought to see would be A Perfect World which is about an architect paralyzed from waist down tries to rekindle the relationship with his first love. 

For sports fans, Mixed Doubles is the film for you. A story about a tennis player who returns home to reconnect with her mom’s tennis club in her quest to beat her ex, it’s a dramedy film you must not miss.
For those who seek some suspense, the film One Cut of The Dead will surely not disappoint you. An Indie film crew shooting a zombie movie in an abandoned building on a mountain gets unwanted guests that will give you some goosebumps.

Two films are also based on popular manga series: Laughing Under the Clouds is the 2018 adaptation of Karakrakemuri that revolves around the Kumo brothers and their attempt to stop the awakened Orochi snake demon from endangering the world after the Meiji Restoration. Kakegurui is a tale about the lives of the students from an elite school who use gambling to determine their fates until a newcomer—a compulsive gambler—disrupted the hierarchy of the student council and the entire campus.

Those who seek action will be happy to note that EIGASAI’s roster also includes The Crimes that Bind, a whodunit film that begins with the unresolved death linked to a theater director, a charred corpse, and a past that haunt one of the detectives. Yakiniku Dragon is an adaptation of an award-winning play about a Korean family running yakiniku restaurant in the Kansai garden in the 70’s.

Filipino moviegoers would also appreciate the film The Tears of Malumpati, based on a true story of the Pandan Water Pipeline Project in Panay Island, where a young Japanese woman and a 5-year-old girl break cultural barriers to start a friendship over origami and a picture book. Admission is free in other cinemas with the exception of the screenings held at Shangri-La's Red Carpet Premiere Theater. 
Tickets to EIGASAI at Red Carpet costs Php100 per movie. Seats are on a first come, first served. 

EIGASAI Screenings will be held from July 3 to August 25, 2019 on the following venues:

  • Red Carpet, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong
  • Robinsons Place Tacloban, Leyte
  • SM City Legazpi
  • SM City Iloilo
  • Abreeza Mall Davao
  • Cultural Center in the Philippines, Manila
  • SM City Rosales, Pangasinan
  • UP Film Institute, Quezon City
  • Ayala Center Cebu
  • Gateway Mall Cineplex, Quezon City

Samurai costume on display
The Japanese fever continues at The Shang, as everyone turns Japanese with a round of activities throughout the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July. Mall goers can explore Katana and Armor exhibits by Geisha’s Blade Philippines Samurai Sword Shop from July 5-7 and July 12-14 at the East Atrium. There will be a showcase of highly crafted Japanese style swords and samurai armor. 

Samurai swords on display

A Kendo Exhibit was shown during the press conference for the EIGASAI 2019:

There will also be a live performance of Tsugaru shamisen player Keisho Ohno known for his fusion of Japanese traditional music and rock ‘n roll on July 6 at the Grand Atrium. Guests will also be able to explore Japanese martial arts with world-renowned sensei Tetsuka Sugawara who will do a demo at the Grand Atrium along with Kendo exhibits from the IGA Kendo Club at the East Atrium.

Here's the complete schedule for EIGASAI Screenings at Shangri-La Mall:

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