Film



JAPAN CUTS Festival of New Japanese Film: July 17–30, 2020

JAPAN CUTS, North America’s largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema, returns for its unprecedented 14th edition as an entirely online experience. Featuring a diverse slate of 30 feature films and 12 shorts—including studio blockbusters, independent productions, documentaries, restored classics, animation and avant-garde works—JAPAN CUTS 2020 offers unique access to the best new films from Japan with filmmaker video introductions, live virtual Q&As and panel discussions.

For the first time ever, JAPAN CUTS is expanding its reach beyond New York to audiences across the entire United States, maintaining the festival’s sense of community and dedication to intercultural communication.


Special Actors   Shinichiro Ueda


Festivities kick off July 17 with a live virtual Q&A with Shinichiro Ueda, director of JAPAN CUTS 2020 Opening Film selection Special Actors—the much-anticipated follow-up feature to Ueda’s breakout 2017 indie debut film One Cut of the Dead.

Fukushima 50
The festival’s Centerpiece Presentation is the online premiere of Fukushima 50, a blockbuster drama that details the heroic actions of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant who stayed behind to avert a catastrophe of global magnitude. The film’s two commanding leads, Koichi Sato and Ken Watanabe, are the dual recipients of this year’s CUT ABOVE Award, the festival’s annual award recognizing outstanding achievement in Japanese cinema.

In addition, JAPAN CUTS 2020 celebrates the legacy of trailblazing filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi, who passed away in April this year at the age of 82, with a screening of his anti-war film Labyrinth of Cinema, and the documentary Seijo Story - 60 Years of Making Films, which chronicles the filmmaker’s long personal and professional partnership with his wife and producer Kyoko Obayashi.

The couple’s daughter Chigumi Obayashi will join the festival as a participant in the virtual panel discussion Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Conversation, moderated by noted Japanese cinema scholar Aaron Gerow—one of three free panel discussions offered during the festival.

Fukushima 50
In keeping with JAPAN CUTS’ long-standing dedication to celebrating independent voices, this year’s edition introduces the Obayashi Prize—a competitive award given to an early career Japanese director whose independent narrative feature film is determined as the most accomplished by a jury of diverse industry professionals within the brand-new Next Generation section, the first competitive section in the festival’s history.

This year, we have reformatted JAPAN CUTS as a dynamic online streaming platform. Utilizing a VOD model, films will be made available to rent with a limited number of virtual tickets per title and access largely restricted to the U.S. View the full lineup here.

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Learn more about JAPAN CUTS here.
JAPAN CUTS is generously supported by The New York Community Trust.

The New York Community Trust


JAPAN CUTS is sponsored by Shiseido Americas.

Shiseido Americas


Additional support is provided by The Japan Foundation, New York and Sapporo U.S.A., Inc.

Japan Foundation New York


Japan Society Film's Programs are generously supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund.

Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, James Read Levy, Masu Hiroshi Masuyama, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Dr. Tatsuji Namba, George Gallagher, David S. Howe, Michael Romano, and an anonymous donor.

Calendar of Events

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