BFI announces ‘BFI JAPAN 2020,’ a major new celebration of Japanese cinema!

The BFI has today announced highlights of BFI JAPAN 2020: OVER 100 YEARS OF JAPANESE CINEMA, a major new celebration of Japanese cinema which will launch on BFI Player on 11 May 2020.

Originally scheduled to run in venues across the UK from May – September 2020, the BFI has responded to the current situation by programming nine new online collections of Japanese films on BFI Player from May – October 2020.

The season will continue in cinemas when they are able to reopen, hopefully later this year and into 2021.

BFI JAPAN will feature the great classics of Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse, the samurai swordsmen of Akira Kurosawa and the pioneering women of the Golden Age like Kinuyo Tanaka. There will be striking films by post-war New Wave directors like Nagisa Oshima, vivid visions of Anime masters such as Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon, and the J-horror netherworlds created by filmmakers like Hideo Nakata. The season will also celebrate contemporary visionaries such as Takashi Miike, Takeshi Kitano and Naomi Kawase, as well as spotlight the next generation of creatives making waves in Japan, with the chance to see 21st century films which are yet to be made available in the UK.

The season will also draw on the BFI National Archive’s significant collection of early films of Japan dating back to 1894, including travelogues, home movies and newsreels, offering audiences a rare chance to see how European and Japanese filmmakers captured life in Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The BFI’s VOD service BFI Player will be the premier destination for Japanese film this year with thematic collections launching over a six month period (May – October): Akira Kurosawa (11 May), Classics (11 May), Yasujirō Ozu (5 June), Cult (3 July), Anime (31 July), Independence (21 August), 21st Century (18 September) and J-Horror (30 October).

All the collections will be available to BFI Player subscribers (£4.99 a month), with a 14 day free trial available to new customers.

There will also be a major new free collection Early Films of Japan (1894-1914), released on BFI Player on 12 October, featuring material from the BFI National Archive’s significant collection of early films of Japan dating back to 1894.

BFI JAPAN will bring great works from over a century of cinema back to audiences across the UK, as well as spotlighting leading film and moving image creatives today.

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