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The 10th Japanese-Serbian Film Festival (JSFF) was officially opened last night at Cineplexx Galerija by the celebrated British film and TV director, Peter Webber.

(all photos are courtesy by KADROVIT)

"Welcome to the tenth Japanese-Serbian Film Festival! Congratulations on this significant jubilee. I am delighted to be in Belgrade and to witness the Serbian and Japanese productions showcased at this festival. In today's world, with all the surrounding issues like war and the like, promoting cultural events that focus on understanding between different cultures is of paramount importance. It is also crucial to support independent films, given the overwhelming presence of superhero films from America. The opportunity to watch films coming from different regions and cultures around the world is incredibly precious," Peter Webber addressed the audience at the festival's opening.

In addition to Webber, another esteemed guest and winner of JSFF2020 who will be joining the jury panel this year, director Masakazu Kaneko, emphasized the significance of such events in strengthening intercultural relations and fostering an understanding of other cultures. Masakazu also shared the influence Balkan cinematography had on his early development and passion for the film, underlying the culture as a tool to improve this world and the important role of the film industry in it.

Festival director Jovana Stević welcomed the audience and the festival's guests, including the renowned casting director from Spain, Luci Lenox, recalling the ten years of the festival's persistent and dedicated work, highlighting the theme of this year's festival, "Lasting," which best describes JSFF's journey from its inception.

The festival's program director, Jakša Nikodijević, mentioned the rich program awaiting the audience at the 10th JSFF. "During five days of intensive film programming at Cineplexx Galerija Beograd, Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, and the Museum of Yugoslav Archive, you will have the opportunity to see four program sections: feature and short film competition programs, Japanese series and anime, with the last day of the festival culminating in the awards ceremony," he said.

The screening of the film Mom, Is That You? by the renowned Japanese director Yoji Yamada marked the beginning of the 10th Japanese-Serbian Film Festival. This film is part of the competition selection, and Yamada, who recently turned 92, is renowned for his masterful storytelling about family relationships and societal conditions. The film will undoubtedly mark the pinnacle of the illustrious career of the Japanese actress Sayuri Yoshinaga.

On the second day of JSFF at Cineplexx Galerija, the premiere of the Japanese film "December," directed by Anshul Chauhan, awaits the audience, while anime enthusiasts can look forward to the premiere of the legendary animated film "Akira" in its 4K restored version, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.

At Jugoslovenska Kinoteka (Uzun Mirkova 1), the second day of the festival features an exhibition by digital artist Vesna Filipović, MOTOKO, inspired by Japan, opening at 7:00 PM, followed by a block of short films. The program at Kinoteka concludes with the screening of the feature film "Love Is Outdated," directed by the younger generation Japanese director Yusaku Okamoto.

JSFF is a thematic festival of cultural exchange focusing on the art of film, held in Belgrade and Tokyo, organized by the Association for the Development of Arts and Culture CULTCRAVE, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the City of Belgrade, and the Embassy of Japan in Serbia.


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