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The Japanese Film Festival returns this weekend, bringing top quality Japanese cinema to Irish viewers throughout April. Now in it’s landmark 10th year, the 2018 edition of the festival will feature a diverse and densely packed programme of films, including work from some of the most acclaimed filmmakers from contemporary Japanese cinema. Probably Ireland’s most transnational festival, this year JFF will be hosting screenings at venues in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary, Sligo, Waterford, Dundalk and of course, Dublin, as part of a concerted effort to spread Japanese cinema and culture to as many Irish eyes as possible. We’ve got the full selection of films showing in the capital this month for you to go through.

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access>CINEMA and the Embassy of Ireland have long been committed to bringing the best of Japanese cinema to Ireland. That includes April of this year when they hosted another successful edition of the Japanese Film Festival and last night, when the excellent Shin Godzilla was finally shown in Ireland. Preceding that screening at the Light House Cinema was an announcement that the Japanese Film Festival and the Light House will be showing an impressive line-up of anime films throughout the rest of the year. Mixing eagerly anticipated upcoming releases with an anime classic, ‘Anime House’ ensures there’s a lot to look forward to for fans  of Japanese animation in Dublin for the rest of 2017.

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Dublin Animation Film Festival is delighted to announce that Academy Award winner Michaël Dudok de Wit will take part in a Q & A at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin on the 21st October 2017 after the screening of his animated feature The Red Turtle.

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For the last nine years, the Embassy of Japan has partnered with Access Cinema to bring the best of Japanese cinema to Irish shores. Many of these films never even get a full international release, but the Embassy and Access Cinema, with the support of the Ireland Japan Association and the Japan Foundation have been opening a cinematic window into Japanese life and culture, showing Japanese films at venues throughout the country. The 2017 Japanese Film Festival, which will be taking place in cinemas in Dundalk, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Maynooth, Limerick, Dublin and Waterdord throughout April, now has its full lineup of films announced. The festival programme was unveiled at the Light House Cinema on Sunday, marked by a screening of the film A Silent Voice.

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Director: Martin Scorsese Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Yōsuke Kubozuka, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Shinya Tsukamoto, Issey Ogata Running Time: 159 minutes


It will be interesting to see the Irish reception to Silence, a film about struggling with the Catholic faith that’s been mulling around in the head of Martin Scorsese for some 25 years. Though it’s oppression of the Church rather than by it that leads to the crisis of belief the Jesuit priests of the film encounter, their struggle will no doubt resonate with many viewers here. And in fairness, be of complete indifference to others. As a quiet and understated story of suffering, it’s a stylistic departure from recent bombastic displays from the veteran director, but hidden in the performances of its leads are similar themes of determined men and their (often self-aggrandising) efforts to succeed that have been consistent throughout his work. Suffering is all over this story, but when suffering is as glorified as is in Catholicism, at what point do the motivations of those who are suffering get called into question?

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Director: Makoto Shinkai Starring: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi Running Time: 107 minutes


After a year with two Disney films and a Pixar sequel, it’s going to be difficult for other animated features to distinguish themselves either in the hearts of the viewing public or in the ballots of voters during the busy awards season. Your Name, an anime film by Makoto Shinkai, does not boast the wide audience of Zootropolis or Moana or even the street-cred of Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings. What it does have though is emotion in abundance, more than enough to connect with viewers. The film received a tiny release here in Ireland, with a small handful of screenings. Worth noting though, is that were Your Name was shown, more screenings were added by demand. Those that saw it were talking about it, recommending it. And so they should. Beautiful in both story and animation, Your Name is one of the year’s hidden gems, a mind (and body) bending romance that’s deeply rewarding.

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