Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2021


The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 10th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) will be presented across Canada from Saturday, June 5 to Sunday, June 27, 2021. During this period, TJFF screenings will be held online, using the Cinesend festival platform, with select onsite screenings at the JCCC’s Kobayashi Hall planned for October, public health protocols permitting. The festival is one of the largest film events of its kind in the world and is recognized by the Japanese film industry as a vital conduit for bringing Japanese film to international audiences.

“When we held the first Toronto Japanese Film Festival, we never dreamed we’d be celebrating our 10th anniversary during a pandemic, said TJFF Director James Heron. “We also never dreamed the festival would be so well attended and loved by Toronto audiences and embraced by Japanese directors and actors as the place to introduce their films to North American audiences. On this important anniversary I send my warmest thanks to our sponsors, audiences and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre community who have contributed immeasurably to the festival’s success.”


©2021 “Blue Corner” Film Partners

International, North American and Canadian premieres include Hiroki Kadokawa’s foodie-friendly historical drama, MIO’S COOKBOOK, Keisuke Yoshida’s all-star boxing epic, BLUE, Katsuhide Motoki’s period dramedy, ANGRY RICE WIVES, Shuichi Okita’s surreal examination of aging and loneliness, ORA, ORA BE GOIN’ ALONE, Yuichi Fukuda’s manic manga adaptation and ode to high-school delinquency, FROM TODAY IT’S MY TURN!!, and Masayuki Suo’s delightful love letter to Japan’s silent film era, TALKING THE PICTURES.



The work of leading women directors is well-represented in this year’s lineup including Akiko Ohku’s HOLD ME BACK, winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Miwa Nishikawa’s UNDER THE OPEN SKY, which features a searing career-best performance by Koji Yakusho, Naomi Kawase’s powerful story of motherhood TRUE MOTHERS, which was Japan’s representative candidate for the Academy Awards, and Hitomi Kuroki’s historical fantasy THE DEVIL WEARS JU-NI HITOE KIMONO.


©Setona Mizushiro, Shogakukan / “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese” Film Partners

Two of Japan’s top young stars Tadayoshi Okuda and Ryo Narita find one another in Isao Yukisada’s touching LGBTQ romance THE CORNERED MOUSE DREAMS OF CHEESE, while photographer Yoshihiko Ueda’s debut feature A GARDEN OF THE CAMELLIAS is a ravishingly beautiful examination of the exquisite transience of life, and Michihito Fuji’s THE BRIGHTEST ROOF IN THE UNIVERSE is a whimsical comedy-drama that tells the tale of a troubled 14-year-old girl visited by a magical stranger.

This year’s anime premiere is LIP X LIP FILM X LIVE, a hybrid anime movie and “live concert performance” by the popular “vocaloid” virtual popstars Lip x Lip.

Documentaries include Eiji Sakata’s study of the world of sumo wrestling, SUMODO – SUCCESSORS TO THE SAMURAI, Kazuma Tabei’s exploration of one of Uruguay’s most famous presidents, HOSÉ! JOSE MUJICA!, and Kimio Watanabe’s depiction of the 1965 Paralympic Games, TOKYO PARALYMPICS: FESTIVAL OF LOVE AND GLORY.

Tickets are on sale from now until the end of the festival on Sunday, June 27. This year TJFF offers individual tickets at CAD $9.99 and an ALL-ACCESS FESTIVAL PASS at CAD $99.99. The process is quite simple; just go to the FILM LINE-UP page of the TJFF site and follow the prompts.

Please enjoy the films at home with your family. Films are presented through TJFF’s online platform partner CINESEND. Some films do address adult themes, so please check age recommendations on our website.

The Toronto Japanese Film Festival’s mandate has been carefully aligned with that of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. In the 56 years since the opening of the JCCC, film has been an important tool in creating friendship, understanding, and exchange between the Japanese and broader Canadian community. Ticket sales from the festival also help to drive our heritage programming which shares the important lessons of cultural acceptance and human rights, implicit in the Japanese Canadian experience with all Canadians.

Stay updated with TJFF news on our Facebook (@TorontoJFF), Twitter (@TorontoJPFF), and Instagram (@japanesecanadianculturalcentre).

Media Contact:
Virginia Kelly
V Kelly & Associates Inc., 416-839-9239

For all other inquiries:
James Heron
Director, Toronto Japanese Film Festival, 416-441-2345 x 224