Enjoy the Nashville Japanese Film Festival April 7-9, free to see!


Free to See, April 7 – 9!  Enjoy the Nashville Japanese Film Festival!

Nashville, TN – Nashville Japanese Film Festival board President Kelly Frey announced today that the fourth annual Festival – being held April 7 – 9, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film – will be ENTIRELY FREE of charge, offering a five-film slate celebrating the art of Japanese cinema.

“We were already excited about this year’s features,” Frey shared, “and I am particularly happy to announce that we are now able to offer free admission to the entire line-up, thanks to Frost Brown Todd LLC and the generous donations of other contributors.”

The schedule had already included two free showings (Friday’s Voices of a Distant Star and Sunday’s The Gift from Beate), courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

As previously announced, this year’s five films are as follows, each presented in Japanese with English subtitles, except for the Japanese-made English-language feature The Harimaya Bridge

On April 7, the 25-minute animated Voices of a Distant Star will launch this year’s screenings.  From 2002, this was the first major project by director Makoto Shinkai, whose Your Name (Kimi no na wa) recently overtook Spirited Away as the highest-grossing anime film in history.  (7:30 PM)

Saturday, April 8, will feature the animated Miss Hokusai.  From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell) comes a remarkable story of the daughter of one of history’s most famous artists, the revered painter Hokusai.  View a trailer here.  (5:30 PM) 

The Sunday, April 9 schedule begins with From Up on Poppy Hill.  Set in 1963 Yokohama, this animated drama tells the tale of high school students working to save their school clubhouse from demolition.  Produced by the renowned Studio Ghibli, directed by Gorō Miyazaki, scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, From Up on Poppy Hill is based on the 1980 serialized Japanese comic of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama.  View a trailer here.  (1 PM)

The 2004 documentary The Gift from Beate offers an inspiring look at the story of Beate Shirota Gordon, who helped draft the Japanese constitution after World War II, with special focus on the article guaranteeing equality between men and women.  The feature also spotlights several Japanese women who put that new equality to remarkable use.  (3 PM)

Closing this year’s Festival with a cast that includes a supporting role by actor Danny Glover, The Harimaya Bridge is a powerful drama that finds a man struggling to cope with a resentment toward Japan:  a nation he blames for the loss of both his father and his son.  While visiting Japan in the aftermath of his son’s death, his experiences challenge him to reassess what he knows and feels.  View a trailer here.  (5 PM) 

The Nashville Japanese Film Festival will for the first time coincide with the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, being held Saturday, April 8, at the Nashville Public Square.  The ninth annual event is a free to the public, family-friendly celebration of spring and Japanese culture.  Additional information is online at www.nashvillecherryblossomfestival.org.

The Nashville Japanese Film Festival is also very proud to be a part of the First Annual Nashville Japan Week, April 2 – 9, with a full schedule of events online here.

A 501(c)(3) charitable organization established for the public benefit, the Nashville Japanese Film Festival welcomes and appreciates donations to help make this annual event possible.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228, with abundant free parking in the campus lot.

For more information, contact: