Eiga Sai : An Exhibit of Japanese Culture on Film [★]

July 22, 2013

During that one week off from work that I had before heading on to my new work, I had the leisure to go out and see Japanese movies for free at Shangrila Plaza Mall (along Shaw Boulevard) as part of an Eiga Sai event. 

Eiga Sai, or Japanese Film Festival, is held every year by the Japan Foundation, Manila as part of the Philippines-Japanese Friendship month festivities. In this event, an array of Japanese films (with English subtitles of course) are shown at various cinemas in the country for a week. Check out the schedule here for this year's film festival.

I have come to know Eiga Sai when I was still in UP Diliman, because the Film Center is one of those cinemas where the films are being shown. A free admission movie is proved to be a crowd catcher, and that was first the main reason why I got exposed to the event. I remember walking by the film center then seeing the cinema signage at the front with the movie title below the 'NOW SHOWING' sign, and below it with bold letters the words 'FREE ADMISSION'. Even with exams the next day, me and my boardmates would go check what movie would be showing for each night. xD Each film showed the diverse and unique culture that Japan has. You would see that those are not commercialized films, and I could compare them to the indie films that we do here in the Philippines.

Here are some of the wonderful movies that I got to see in the festival in the past years.

Hotel Hibiscus
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Hanging Garden



Rinco's Restaurant


This year, RL (a colleague) and I watched the Eigasai on its fourth day. Because it's a weekday, only a few people were in the line when we arrived. The cinema staff releases the "tickets" 30 minutes before the film starts so it is better if you come and fall in line a few hours before the film schedule.

It's a nice experience to be able to watch these films. Surely, I would continue to look forward to this festival every year. :D


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