Not even a global pandemic can stop our love for Japanese cinema! The world’s largest showcase for Japanese film, Nippon Connection is going online for the first time ever to deliver some of the best recent hits from Japan to homes around the world. The festival will be partnering with streaming service Vimeo from 9th to 14th June. Each film is €5 to rent and is valid for 24 hours after purchase. Of course, not everything is available everywhere and though most films are streaming with English subtitles exceptions have been noted below.

Nippon Cinema

  • After The Sunset – family drama in which a couple try to do what’s best for an abandoned child. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Dancing Mary – latest from SABU in which a civil servant is charged with organising the demolition of a disused disco which turns out to be haunted. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Family Romance, LLC – Werner Herzog’s fake family drama. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Labyrinth of Cinema – final film from Nobuhiko Obayashi in which three youngsters find themselves lost in the movies. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Little Miss Period – adaptation of the popular manga in which a harried publisher is joined by a monthly visitor in the form a giant pink fluffy monster. English subtitles. Worldwide except Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, & Myanmar
  • Makuko – adaptation of Kanako Nishi’s novel in which a young boy becomes fascinated with the girl who moves into his family’s guest house. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s an Alcoholic – light hearted drama about living with an alcoholic dad starring Kiyohiko Shibukawa. English subtitles. Worldwide excl Japan & Mainland China.
  • My Sweet Grappa Recipes – latest from Akiko Ohku in which a lonely middle-aged woman finds love and friendship with the help of an outgoing colleague. English subtitles. Worldwide excl Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, USA, & Italy
  • Shape of Red – steamy drama from Yukiko Mishima in which an unfulfilled married woman (Kaho) embarks on a passionate affair with an old lover (Satoshi Tsumabuki). English subtitles. Germany only.
  • The Journalist – political thriller from Michihito Fujii loosely inspired by real life reporter Isoko Mochizuki who is also the subject of i -Documentary of the Journalist- streaming in the docs strand. Review. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Under Your Bed – Mari Asato’s sympathetic stalker drama starring Kengo Kora as an isolated young man yearning for a single word from a woman he knew in college. Review. English subtitles. Germany only.

Nippon Visions

  • Beautiful, Goodbye – award-winning Pia indie drama in which a man on the run knocks over a woman who turns out to be a zombie! English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Extro – mockumentary in which a 64-year-old dental technician tries to fulfil a life long dream as jidaigeki extra. English subtitles. Worldwide excl Japan, USA.
  • F is for Future – drama in which a young man tries to fulfil a promise to a friend to get rid of his porn collection before his parents find it. English subtitles. Europe.
  • Flowers and Rain – hip hop drama featuring the music of SEEDA. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Forgiven Children – drama in which a young man kills a friend by accident but is acquitted due to lack of evidence and becomes a social pariah. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Infinite Foundation – improvised musical drama revolving around the songs of Cosame Nishiyama. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Kinta and Ginji – surreal drama about the friendship of a tanuki and a robot. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Minori on the Brink – latest from Ryutaro Ninomiya in which a young woman courts controversy with her uncompromising authenticity. English subtitles. Worldwide excl Japan & Italy
  • Mrs Noisy – a blocked writer blames all her problems on the noisy woman next-door in Chihiro Amano’s quiet plea for a little more understanding. Review. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Shell and Joint – surreal drama from Isamu Hirabayashi. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Tamaran Hill – playful drama in which a young woman gets lost in a book. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Yan – A man travels to Taiwan to reunite with his brother 20 years after he returned to the island with their Taiwanese mother. English subtitles. Europe.
  • Me & My Brother’s Mistress – a woman spots her brother out with a woman who is not his fiancée but starts to wonder if she might be better for him after all. English subtitles. Worldwide excl Japan.

Nippon Docs

  • Ainu Indigenous People of Japan – documentary focussing on the Ainu indigenous people of Hokkaido. Germany only.
  • An Ant Strikes Back – documentary following a man resisting Japan’s rigid culture of overwork through union activities. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Book-Paper-Scissors – Nanako Hirose explores the life of book designer Nobuyoshi Kikuchi. English subtitles. Worldwide.
  • Cenote – experimental doc from Kaori Oda. English subtitles. Worldwide excl. Japan.
  • i -Documentary of the Journalist- – documentary following outspoken journalist Isoko Mochizuki. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Listening to the Air – documentary following a radio host in post-tsunami Tohoku. English subtitles. Worldwide excl. Japan.
  • Prison Circle – documentary exploring therapy programs for prison inmates hoping to reintegrate into mainstream society. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • This Planet is Not My Planet – documentary following feminist pioneer Mitsu Tanaka. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • What Can You Do About It? – a filmmaker with ADHD documents his friendship with a relative who has Pervasive Developmental Disorder. English subtitles. Germany only.
  • Sleeping Village – documentary exploring the Nabari Poison Wine Incident in which a man confesses to killing five neighbours to get rid of his wife and lover but later retracts and protests his innocence. English subtitles. Worldwide excl. Japan.

Nippon Animation

  • Hello World – a high School student receives a visit from his future self telling him the love of his life will die in an accident. German subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • Her Blue Sky – a music-loving teen’s life is disrupted when her older sister’s boyfriend returns from the city. German subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.

Nippon Kids

  • Summer Days with Coo – Kiichi Hara anime in which a boy finds a kappa under a rock and adopts him! German dub. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • Magical Sisters Yoyo and Nene – a girl from a magical kingdom ends up in Tokyo! German dub. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • The Piano Forest – 2007 movie in which two boys bond over a mysterious piano in the forest. German dub. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.

Best of Nippon Connection

  • 100 Yen Love – slacker drama starring Sakura Ando in which a woman fights her way to freedom in the boxing ring. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats – quirky comedy from Yosuke Fujita about a cheerful man whose fear of women is challenged when an old friend returns. German subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • House – psychedelic classic from Nobuhiko Obayashi in which a girl takes some friends to see her aunt and gets a lot more than she bargained for. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • The Night is Short Walk on Girl – Masaki Yuasa’s adaptation of the Tomihiko Morimi novel set over one wild night in Kyoto. Review. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • Whispering Star – quiet sci-fi drama from Sion Sono. Review. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • World of Kanako – controversial drama from Tetsuya Nakashima in which a cognitively compromised detective searches for his missing daughter. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.
  • Miss Hokusai – Kiichi Hara’s animation inspired by the life of Hokusai’s daughter. Review. German Subtitles. Germany, Austria, Switzerland only.

The festival will also be holding its usual complementary selection of events via Zoom and Vimeo Live including a panel discussion (in English) on two decades of 21st century Japanese cinema chaired by Dr. Alexander Zahlten featuring panelists Tom Mes, Stephan Holl, and festival director Marion Klomfass. You can find full details for all the films as well as viewing links on the official website and you can keep up with all the latest news on this landmark digital edition by following the festival on FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickr, and Instagram.

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