Japan Society Announces Full Lineup for the 16th Annual JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film

North America’s largest Japanese film festival presents two weeks of contemporary movies from Japan, including opening film THE FIRST SLAM DUNK directed by Takehiko Inoue, centerpiece film UNDER THE TURQUOISE SKY directed by KENTARO, closing film THE THREE SISTERS OF TENMASOU INN directed by Ryuhei Kitamura

CUT ABOVE Award Honoree Yuya Yagira and a Special Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto

Featuring 5 International Premieres, 10 North American Premieres, 7 U.S. Premieres, 3 East Coast Premieres and 3 New York Premieres

July 26–August 6, 2023 · In-Person at Japan Society · New York, NY

Japan Society announces the full lineup of the 16th annual JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest festival of its kind in North America, set for July 26–August 6. This year’s edition will present 29 films and mark the first fully in-person JAPAN CUTS since 2019. This year’s festival spans 12 days and features 24 feature-length films and five short films across Feature Slate, Next Generation, and Short Film Spotlight sections, as well as a special tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto. Among the festival’s lineup are five International Premieres, 10 North American Premieres, seven U.S. Premieres, three East Coast Premieres, and three New York Premieres. Additionally, JAPAN CUTS will welcome six special guests and host two parties during the course of the festivities.Kicking off this year’s festival, JAPAN CUTS is excited to present the East Coast Premiere of THE FIRST SLAM DUNK as its opening film. THE FIRST SLAM DUNK is the number one movie at the Japanese box office this year, and it is the first new feature-length film from the SLAM DUNK franchise in over 33 years, as well as manga creator Takehiko Inoue‘s directorial debut. JAPAN CUTS will present this very special screening in partnership with GKIDS and Toei Animation ahead of the film’s upcoming nationwide theatrical release.Leading this year’s guests, JAPAN CUTS will present acclaimed actor Yuya Yagira with this year’s CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film for his lead role in our centerpiece film, Under the Turquoise Sky from director KENTARO. Yagira was the youngest-ever winner of the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his lead in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows and has since starred in over 50 films and television series ranging from commercial blockbusters to art house gems. He will receive the CUT ABOVE Award from JAPAN CUTS in honor of his diverse career and especially for his work in Under the Turquoise Sky. A remarkable international co-production from director KENTARO, Under the Turquoise Sky sees Yagira embark on a personal journey across the vastness of the Mongolian countryside. Both Yagira and KENTARO will make special appearances at the film’s premiere screening and encore presentation.“JAPAN CUTS is back in-person!” says Peter Tatara, Director of Film at Japan Society, who organized this year’s festival with Japan Society Film Programmer Alexander Fee. “JAPAN CUTS is one of Japan Society’s most popular events and beloved in New York’s cinema scene. After a pause during the pandemic, we couldn’t be more proud for JAPAN CUTS to return with two weeks of exciting, thought-provoking, and tear-jerking films. We’re honored to share a captivating slice of Japan’s cinematic world with New York!”An additional highlight is the first in-person iteration of the festival’s Next Generation competition, which offers a hand-picked selection of six independent narrative features directed by emerging directors. The festival’s only juried section, Japan Society awards the Obayashi Prize to the most accomplished film as determined by a jury of industry professionals. This year’s distinguished jurors are critic and essayist Moeko FujiiDan Sullivan, programmer at Film at Lincoln Center; and distributor Pearl Chan (Good Move Media, Kani Releasing).Further, JAPAN CUTS offers two programs of SHORT CUTS which explore experimental, narrative, and animated short-length films, including the directorial debut of Sogo (Gakuryu) Ishii composer Hiroyuki Onogawa and Silent Movie, a versatile assortment of benshi-narrated silent films that includes an adaptation based on the screenplay of Sadao Yamanaka’s first film.And JAPAN CUTS is proud to present the 1985 documentary Tokyo Melody: A Film about Ryuichi Sakamoto in tribute to the legendary musician, composer, and groundbreaking creative whose innovations in music, film, and art remain unparalleled. Widely unavailable and rarely shown, the cult film—which offers an intimate snapshot of Sakamoto’s genius—will screen on an imported 16mm print with renowned musician Akiko Yano and director Elizabeth Lennard present.Described by The New York Times as “meticulously curated” and “an annual highlight of New York’s film calendar,” JAPAN CUTS brings the best and hardest-to-find contemporary films from Japan to New York City. From blockbusters, independent productions and anime, to documentaries, avant-garde works and short films, JAPAN CUTS offers an impressive look at the past 12 months of Japanese cinema. Japan Society is a 116-year-old nonprofit organization focused on connecting the U.S. and Japan, and its JAPAN CUTS is one of the organization’s largest and most popular programs.All films will be screened at Japan Society (333 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017) and presented in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

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