July 01

The 10th Annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival … Virtual 2021

By Sally Warburton

The 10th Annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival …  Virtual 2021

The 2021 Toronto Japanese Film Festival was an excellent virtual event! In its 10th year! This excellent selection of films was viewed from the comfort of home anytime from June 5 to June 27.  The ease of the online platform for selecting and viewing the films was very user-friendly. Tickets could be purchased individually or a pass to see all the films.

There was an amazing variety of films. A film for each person’s interest. Sports films included Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai  shows Japan’s most revered sports with its deep connection to the history and culture of Japan. 

Seen are the Sumo wrestlers’ lifestyle, their big time exercise regimes – lifting and pushing massive tires and the incredible amount of food eaten!  Film “Yowamushi Pedal: Up the Road” about high school racing based on popular Manga was motivating.  Dealing with emotional issues of adoption was “True Mothers”. “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese – coinciding with Pride month, dealt with relationships. For music “Hosé! Joseé Mujica! – Just Keep Walking – was a heartfelt, thoughtful documentary about Uruguay’s Unassuming President José Mujica and his special bond with Japan. “The Devil Wears Ju-Ni Hitoe Kimono”, “Talking the Pictures” “The Brightest Roof in the Universe”, “Mio’s Cookbook” all dealt with various themes depicting Japanese life. “Tokyo Paralympics: Festival of Love and Glory” 1965 film full of hope and glory showing Japan’s reemergence into the world.  The Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2021 Grand Jury Prize went to the film “A Garden of the Camellias”. 

Films were in Japanese with English subtitles. And there was a well represented selection of films by leading Japanese women directors

Yes, we missed the in person screenings, events and actors who usually attend the Japanese Film Festival in Toronto. This will all come back. In the meantime the virtual event was excellent ..and comfortable .. way for local and global audiences to view Japanese films and to learn so much about Japanese culture by. A real treat. Loved it.  Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary!

We would like to thank Virginia Kelly
V Kelly & Associates for the invitation to this event and we look forward to the 11th edition of this event in 2022.