Press Release April 16, 2014

14th Nippon Connection Film Festival – The Complete Program

Japanese Summer in Frankfurt
with more than 130 films and over 50 cultural events

The program of the 14th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection in Frankfurt am Main is now complete. From May 27 to June 1 the world's largest festival of Japanese cinema will show more than 100 feature and short films, many of which will be German, European or international premieres. The selection ranges from arthouse cinema masterpieces, exciting thrillers, and crazy comedies to touching dramas, and documentaries on topical issues. More than 50 Japanese film makers, actors and artists will mingle with the audience at the festival center in Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and the adjacent Willy Praml Theater in der Naxoshalle. Other venues are located at the German Filmmuseum, Mal Seh'n Cinema and the exhibiton space ausstellungsraum Eulengasse. A varied cultural program with lectures, exhibitions, concerts, culinary delights and workshops for all ages offers a fascinating experience of all things Japanese.

The Films
With 400 new films each year, Japan is the fourth biggest film producing nation in the world. Based on a careful selection,Nippon Connection showcases a diverse and multifaceted line-up. The Nippon Cinema section will include the new drama Like Father, Like Son by director Hirokazu Koreeda, celebrated in Cannes and Venice, as well as Backwater, an arthouse masterpiece of internationally acclaimed film maker Shinji Aoyama. Fans of star actor Ken Watanabe can look forward to Unforgiven by Sang-il Lee, a remake of the Clint Eastwood cult western, set in 19th century Japan.

Plenty of hilarity is guaranteed in the often bizarre scenarios in Japanese comedies. In The Apology King,Nobuo Mizuta tells the story of an agency issuing tailor-made excuses, possibly a business model only Japan can come up with. In his long awaited new film, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, provocative star director Sion Sono sends a gang of Yakuza on a series of misadventures in the film business.

Many favorite guests will once again return to present their latest works at the festival. Ryuichi Hiroki will come personally to present his moving romantic drama Crying 100 Times – Every Raindrop Falls. And Nobuhiro Yamashita's new work Tamako in Moratorium is about discontent, unhappy young Tamako finally finding her own way in life.

Cult director Takashi Miike will delight horror fans with Lessons of Evil. The first Japanese-Indonesian co-produced thriller Killers by the Mo Brothers is all about murder in the age of social media and the world wide web. Likewise, in Yoshiro Nakamura's suspense-packed crime drama The Snow White Murder Case, everyone is talking about it on Twitter, while an ambitious journalist tries to solve the murder.

Fans of Japanese animation films will enjoy the second edition of the Nippon Animation section. Highlights include Patema Inverted by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, a journey into a fantastical world where everything is upside-down. Director Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the legendary manga and anime Akira, returns this year with Short Peace. Besides Otomo, the list of directors in this short film compilation includes Oscar-nominated animation artist Shuhei Morita.

The section Nippon Visions is a forum for young directors, independent film creators and films that exceed the ordinary. Reflecting new trends and providing a platform for young talents, this section is much appreciated by international professional visitors. Several directors and artists will be presenting their works personally and answer the audience's questions. This year's highlights include Tetsuichiro Tsuta's poetic epos The Tale of Iya and the timeless melodrama A Woman and War by Junichi Inoue.

Three years after the disastrous earthquake in Japan, the impact on the country and its citizens is still large. The documentaries The Horses of Fukushima by Yoju Matsubayashi and Kesennuma, Voices. 3 by Yukihiko Tsutsumi tell the story of people (and animals) in the regions affected most by the tsunami and nuclear accident. The Connecting Bridge by the deaf-mute director Ayako Imamura narrates how deaf people experienced the catastrophe and the time following it. Hiroshi Kanno's drama Fukushima shows how the nuclear power plant has been inflicting the region for more than 70 years.

This year's retrospective Nippon Retro is dedicated to Ko Nakahira: The Wild Child of the Sixties. The Japanese director Nakahira (1926-1978) started his career as assistant of legends such as Akira Kurosawa and Kaneto Shindo. In 1956 he directed the scandalous success Crazed Fruit and thus became a pioneer for the Japanese New Wave. In this and eight more films from the 1950s and 1960s the audience is invited to delve deep into the rebellious era of Japan's postwar generation.

The Competitions

For the first time, there will be four prizes. The Nippon Cinema Award celebrates its tenth edition this year. It will be assigned to the best film of the section Nippon Cinema by the audience. The prize money of 2,000 Euros is donated by Bankhaus Metzler from Frankfurt. The most convincing work from the section Nippon Visions receives the Nippon Visions Jury Award, awarded by an international jury. Here the prize is the subtitling of the director's next film, sponsored by the Japanese Visualmedia Translation Academy in Tokyo. In addition, for the first time the audience can choose their favorite Nippon Visions film. The winner of the Nippon Visions Audience Award, sponsored by the Japanisches Kulturzentrum in Frankfurt, will receive 1,000 Euros. The best 12-seconds-extra-shortfilm on the topic "Nippon in Motion" will be awarded the VGF Nippon in Motion Award and given 250 Euros, sponsored by the VerkehrsGesellschaft Frankfurt am Main. All visitors of the festival website are invited to vote for their favorite Nippon in Motion film until April 30, 2014 (

Nippon Culture
Nippon Connection is not only an event for film fans. In between watching movies visitors can taste delicious Japanese food and stroll through the market. Numerous workshops, lectures and concerts offer insights into Japanese culture. Enthusiasts of Japanese traditions will find a number of workshops, e.g. on kimonos, taiko drums, kobudo (martial arts from Okinawa), kyudo (archery), kendo (martial arts with bamboo swords) and tea ceremony. Visitors can discover your own talents in cooking classes, subtitling and manga drawing workshops. The photo exhibition Tokyo 24-70mm by Natascha Pflaumbaum with city scenes of Tokyo can be visited in the exhibition space ausstellungsraum Eulengasse and provides an insight into modern Japan. A special highlight of this year's culture program will be the premiere of a culinary tour through Frankfurt. Koto player and singer Karin Nakagawa will give a concert with her Japanese harp (koto). And for those who want to relax, there will be massages and green tea in the Naxoshalle, along with Japanese boardgames. The film program will be accompanied by a panel discussion, talks with film makers, as well as lectures on the situation in Fukushima, director Hirokazu Koreeda and the Japanese cinema of the 1960s.

Nippon Kids
In a special program for young festival visitors, 6- to 12-year-olds can discover Japanese culture in a playful way. There will be workshops about Japanese guardian god Jizo, swordplay (kendo), calligraphy and preparing a delicious lunchbox. A painting workshop with artist Kozue Kodama and a paper theater (kamishibai) performance are other highlights of the Nippon Kids program. In addition, there will be a Japanese children's film with German voice-over.

The Organizers
The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection was founded in 2000. It is organized on a voluntary basis by the 50-member team of the nonprofit organization Nippon Connection.

Further Information

Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Waldschmidtstr. 4, Frankfurt-Bornheim (Festival Center)
Theater Willy Praml in der Naxoshalle, Waldschmidtstr. 19, Frankfurt-Bornheim (Festival Center)
German Film Museum (Deutsches Filmmuseum), Schaumainkai 41, Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen (Nippon Retro)
Mal Seh'n Kino, Adlerflychtstr. 6, Frankfurt-Nordend (encore screenings)
Ausstellungsraum Eulengasse, Seckbacher Landstr. 16, Frankfurt-Bornheim (exhibition)

Tickets are available from May 2, 2014 at all Adticket ticket shops in Germany and online:,

The Films (Selection)


The Apology King (Shazai no osama), D: Nobuo Mizuta, J 2013
Au Revoir l' Été (Hotori no Sakuko), D: Koji Fukada, J 2013
Backwater (Tomogui), D: Shinji Aoyama, J 2013
Be my Baby (Koi no uzu), D: Hitoshi One, J 2013
Crying 100 Times - Every Raindrop Falls (100 kai naku koto), D: Ryuichi Hiroki, J 2013
Forma, D: Ayumi Sakamoto, J 2013
Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats (Fukufukuso no Fukuchan), D: Yosuke Fujita, J 2014
Jinx!, D: Naoto Kumazawa, J 2013
Killers, D: Mo Brothers, Japan/Indonesia, 2014
Leaving on the 15th Spring (Tabidachi no Shima Uta – Jugo no haru), D: Yasuhiro Yoshida, J 2013
Lesson of the Evil (Aku no kyoten), D: Takashi Miike, J 2012
Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru), D: Hirokazu Koreeda, J 2013
My House, D: Yukihiko Tsutsumi, J 2012
Number 10 Blues / Goodbye Saigon (Number 10 Blues / Saraba Saigon), D: Norio Osada, J 2013
Pecoross' Mother and Her Days (Pekorosu no haha ni ai ni iku), D: Azuma Morisaki, J 2013
R100, D: Hitoshi Matsumoto, J 2013
Robo G, D: Shinobu Yaguchi, J 2012
The Snow White Murder Case (Shirayuki hime satsujin jiken), D: Yoshiro Nakamura, J 2014
Summer's End (Natsu no owari), D: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, J 2013
Tamako in Moratorium (Moratoriamu Tamako), D: Nobuhiro Yamashita, J 2013
Unforgiven (Yurusarezarumono), D: Sang-il Lee, J 2013
Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Jigoku de naze warui), D: Sion Sono, J 2013
Yokohama Story (Yokohama monogatari), D: Ichiro Kita, J 2013


Band of Ninja (Ninja bugeicho), D: Nagisa Oshima, J 1967
Koji Yamamura Special (short films)
Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema), D: Yasuhiro Yoshiura, J 2013
The Portrait Studio (Shashinkan), D: Takashi Nakamura, J 2013
Short Peace, D: Katsuhiro Otomo, Shuhei Morita, Hiroaki Ando, Hajime Katoki, J 2013
Space Dandy, D: Shingo Natsume, J 2014 (anime series)
Sonny Boy & Dewdrop Girl (Hinata no aoshigure), D: Hiroyasu Ishida, J 2013
Tokyo University of the Arts – Animation Special (short films)


And the Mud Ship Sails Away (Soshite dorobune wa yuku), D: Hirobumi Watanabe, J 2013
Antonym (Rasen ginga), D: Natsuka Kusano, J 2014
Bon & Lin (Bon to Linchan), D: Keiichi Kobayashi, J 2014
Broken Pieces (Koppamijin), D: Yuji Tajiri, J 2013
The Connecting Bridge (Kakehashi – Kikoenakatta 3.11), D: Ayako Imamura
The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed (Watashitachi ni yurusareta tokubetsuna jikan no owari), D: Shingo Ota, J 2013
Firecracker Ideals (Hanabi shiso), D: Moe Oki, J 2013
The Frivolous (Rikkoho), D: Toshimichi Fujioka, J 2013
Friendship (Tomodachi), D: Mikihiro Endo, J 2013
Fukushima (Ai to kibo no machi), D: Hiroshi Kanno, J 2013
The Horses of Fukushima (Matsuri no uma), D: Yoju Matsubayashi, J 2012
In and out of Japan (experimental films)
Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research (Kanagawa Geijutsu Daigaku Eizo Gakka Kenkyushitsu), D: Yuichiro Sakashita, J 2013
Kesennuma, Voices. 3. D: Yukihiko Tsutsumi, J 2014
Sunk into the Womb (Shikyu ni shizumeru), D: Takaomi Ogata, J 2013
Tale of a Butcher Shop (Aru seinikuten no hanashi), D: Aya Hayabusa, J 2013
The Tale of Iya (Iya Monogatari), D: Tetsuichiro Tsuta, J 2013
Unlucky Woman's Blues (Tsugunai), D: Shinji Imaoka, J 2014
A Woman and War (Senso to hitori no onna), D: Junichi Inoue, J 2012
Zentai, D: Ryosuke Hashiguchi, J 2013


Summer Storm (Natsu no arashi), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1956
Crazed Fruit (Kurutta kajitsu), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1956
That Guy and I (Aitsu to watashi), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1961
Mud Spattered Purity (Dorodarake no junjo), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1963
Only On Mondays (Getsuyobi no Yuka), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1964
Flora on the Sand (Suna no ue no shokubutsugun), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1964
The Hunter's Diary (Ryojin nikki), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1964
Whirlpool of Flesh (Onna no uzu to fuchi to nagare), D: Ko Nakahira, J 1964
Black Gambler: Devil's Left Hand (Kuroi tobakushi - akuma no hidarite), D: