Press Release Jun 04, 2020

  ¼   Press

20th Nippon Connection ONLINE Film Festival – The complete program!

June 9 - 14, 2020,
Over 70 Japanese films on Video on Demand / numerous premieres / diverse supporting program via live streams

The program of the online edition of the 20th Nippon Connection film festival is complete! From June 9 to 14, 2020, the audience of the world's largest festival for Japanese cinema will be able to discover over 70 short and feature-length films from the comfort of their own homes. The wide range of films will be available to festival visitors via the Video on Demand platform Vimeo. More than half of the films are also available outside of Germany, making them available to an international audience. Under the title Nippon on Demand, the films can be accessed during the festival period in exchange for a small rental fee for a full 24 hours after purchase. Each film and short film program will cost 5 euros. Reduced-price tickets are available in advance on the festival website, which come in packages of 10. Nippon Connected invites you to discover Japan’s multi-faceted culture online through daily live broadcast lectures, concerts, and workshops. For participation registration, tickets, and our complete program, please visit our website

Numerous International, European, and German Premieres

Nippon Connection Online will be presenting numerous outstanding productions from Japan, including the documentary drama Family Romance, LLC by Werner Herzog, which celebrated its premier last year at the Cannes International Film Festival. More than half of the productions from the program will have their German, European or international premieres at the festival. Eiichi Imamura’s zombie road movie Beautiful, Goodbye and Michio Koshikawa's soulful family story After The Sunset will have their international premiere. Eisuke Naito's drama Forgiven Children and Keisuke Imamura's directing debut Yan will be shown for the first time in Europe. The Journalist by Michihito Fujii, winner of three Japanese Academy Awards, will also celebrate its European premiere on Nippon Connection Online. Both the latest work Dancing Mary by cult director SABU and the last feature film Labyrinth of Cinema by the recently deceased directing legend Nobuhiko Obayashi are being presented for the first time to a German audience. The romantic comedy My Sweet Grappa Remedies by Akiko Oku and the shocking stalker drama Under Your Bed by Mari Asato will also be shown in Germany for the first time. The dark drama Shape Of Red by Yukiko Mishima questions traditional gender roles and social constraints in this novel adaptation.

This year's film program is dedicated to the thematic focus Female Futures? - New Visions of Women in Japan, which is supported by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. Numerous films, a lecture, and a podium discussion will reflect the role of women in contemporary Japanese cinema. In celebration of our 20th festival anniversary, a small selection of cinematic highlights from past festivals will be shown in the program section Best of Nippon Connection.

Current Documentary Films from Japan

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Nippon Connection, Nippon Docs is showing a particularly exciting documentary film program, with a focus on female filmmakers. For five years, Haruka Komori accompanied a radio presenter for Listening To The Air during her work in a small Japanese town that was destroyed by the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. In her documentary film, which will be an international premiere, the director, who received the Nippon Visions Jury Award in 2018, tells of personal stories and everyday life after the disaster. Kaori Oda pursues an experimental approach by literally immersing herself in the mystical world of the cave systems on the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico in her documentary Cenote, capturing beautiful images in ciné film format. In his documentary film An Ant Strikes Back, Tokachi Tsuchiya shows an employee of a moving company in his fight against the degrading working conditions in his company. In Sleeping Village, director duo Reika Kamata and Junichi Saito document the spectacular story of a criminal case from 1961, the traumatic effects of which continue to this day. 

Nippon Animation

Nippon Animation presents innovative productions ranging from current anime blockbusters to independent short films. Tomohiko Ito transports his audiences through time to the year 2027 in Kyoto in the visually stunning science fiction love story Hello World. Tatsuyuki Nagai is known for his award-winning anime series Anohana: The Flower we saw that Day (2011), and in Her Blue Sky he explores the connection between two sisters whose fates unexpectedly change. The two animated feature films will have their German premiere in the 20th edition of Nippon Connection. As part of the short film series Constant Metamorphosis - Independent Animated Shorts By Women, independently produced animated films by female directors will be presented.

Nippon Online Award

The Nippon Online Award will be presented for the first time in the virtual edition of Nippon Connection. The prize, a subtitling for the next film, is donated by the Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) from Tokyo. All feature films of 60 minutes or more from the NIPPON VISIONS and NIPPON DOCS sections are nominated. The audience will decide who will receive the first Nippon Online Award by voting online.

Nippon Connected

With around 40 online concerts, performances, workshops, and lectures, Nippon Connected offers a varied supporting program all about Japan. Many events are available daily free of charge via live stream on Vimeo. The festival kicks off with its live opening on June 9 at 6 pm and a subsequent opening concert with traditional music from Okinawa. Highlights of the festival include an audiovisual performance with the duo Usaginingen, Japanese comedy with the Rakugo narrator Katsura Sunshine in his live stream from Tokyo, and a concert with the electronic trio Sawa Angstrom from Kyoto. Our audiences can also look forward to many opportunities to actively participate, such as with origami folding, Japanese radio gymnastics and online karaoke. With Nippon Cinema At Home, it's time to sit back and relax: cult director Jörg Buttgereit and film scholar Marcus Stiglegger will provide live commentary on a jewel of Japanese genre cinema from the 1960s. In a live broadcast Benshi performance from Tokyo, the internationally renowned film narrator Ichiro Kataoka will accompany a silent film from the 1930s. The exchange with the filmmakers won’t be neglected during the virtual festival edition either. A panel discussion on the topic of Female Futures? with three of this year's directors will offer the opportunity for dialog in the subsequent Q&A. In another panel with representatives of the Japanese film and cinema scene, the effects of the Corona crisis on the Japanese film industry will be discussed together. In addition, interested viewers can learn more about the work of the filmmakers and the creation of their works in pre-recorded Film Talks.Rahmenprogramm ​rund um Japan.

Exciting Program for Kids

The Nippon Kids series has a wealth of discoveries in store for young Japan fans. In an online cooking course, colorful dango rice balls can be prepared, and in the virtual drawing workshop, kids can learn how to draw manga figures. The program also includes a Japanese course for kids and a fairy tale in the tradition of the Japanese paper theater Kamishibai. An exciting selection of animated films in the German dubbed version is of course also included.

Nippon Market

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary edition, the festival homepage also shines in new splendor. Here you can find detailed information about the films and online events and watch the daily live streams, video messages, and interviews. Those who really want to delve into the Japan-experience can find a wide range of offers about Japan on the new virtual market place, as well as tips for the next (virtual) trip to Japan. Various suppliers present Japanese delicacies, a special DVD and book selection, or handmade souvenirs and other various works of art at Nippon Market.

The Festival

The Japanese film festival Nippon Connection is organized by a team of 70 members, consisting mainly of volunteers, of the non-profit association Nippon Connection e.V. It is under the patronage of Peter Feldmann, mayor of Frankfurt am Main, Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and Art and the Consulate General of Japan in Frankfurt am Main.  

Festival Partners