Eigasai 2019: Japanese Film Festival – What to Do in July

The 22nd annual Japanese Film Festival Eigasai 2019 returns as a celebration of Philippine-Japan Friendship this month of July. Created in 1997, Japan Foundation has been holding the festival to showcase the relatively new additions to Japan’s library of cinematic wonders for everyone to enjoy.

This would be my third year coming (since 2016), and I must say, the movie lineup is looking good. For those who are craving for a good comedy, romance, animation, mystery, or drama, look no further!

Here’s your guide to Eigasai 2019 that includes where to watch, screening schedule, and a synopsis of each movie!

Table of Contents
Must-see Performances at Eigasai 2019
Official Eigasai 2019 Venues
Eigasai 2019 Film Screening Schedule
Eigasai 2019 Film Lineup

Must-see Performances at Eigasai 2019

Japan Foundation x Cinemalaya Presents: The Tears of Malumpati (2019)

The Tears of Malumpati Poster

On the island of Panay, water is scarce and with the help of Japanese and Filipino volunteers, they try to build a 10-km pipeline. Based on the true story of the Pandan Water Pipeline Project.

A special collaboration project, you’ll get the chance to watch the film before it’s released in Japan!

Special Performance by Shamisen Player Keisho Ono

Keisho Ohno will be playing the Shamisen, a three-stringed traditional Japanese music instrument. Having been accredited by the age of 12, he has since gone touring worldwide across the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil.

Official Eigasai 2019 Venues


Free admission for everyone on a first-come, first-served basis, except for movie screenings at the Red Carpet at the Shangri-La Cinema 4 (₱100 per screening).

Metro Manila Venues

Where: Red Carpet at the Shang, Cinema 4, Mandaluyong City
When: July 3 - 14
Where: CCP, CCP Complex, Pasay City (CCP Little Theater & Dream Theater)
When: August 3 - 9
Where: UP Film Institute, UP-Diliman, Quezon City
When: August 14 - 17
Where: Gateway Cineplex, Cubao, Quezon City
When: August 22 - 25

For those living outside of Metro Manila, Eigasai 2019 is also showing in Cebu, Davao, Legazpi, Iloilo, Pangasinan and Tacloban.

Eigasai 2019 Film Screening Schedule

Cinema 4, Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong City

Eigasai 2019 Screening Schedule at Shangri-La Mall

CCP, UP Film Institute, and Gateway Cineplex

Eigasai 2019 Screening Schedule at CCP, UP, Gateway

Eigasai 2019 Film Lineup

The Tears of Malumpati (2019)

Director: Keita Meguro; Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 6.7 / 10

On the island of Panay, water is scarce and with the help of Japanese and Filipino volunteers, they try to build a 10-km pipeline. Based on the true story of the Pandan Water Pipeline Project.

Samurai Marathon (2019)

Director: Bernard Rose; Genre: Action, Adventure, Historical Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.1 / 10

A feudal Lord’s order for his warriors to run a marathon through a mountain as training is misinterpreted by the central government as an act of rebellion and are now targeted by a group of assassins.

Laughing Under the Clouds (2018)

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro; Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
IMDB Rating: 5.6 / 10

Once every 300 years, a powerful snake named Orochi revives in Imperial Japan which results in destruction. Three brothers try to prevent Orochi from bringing forth catastrophe.

The 8-Year Engagement (2017)

Director: Takahisa Zeze; Genre: Romance, Adventure, Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.2 / 10

Couples Hisashi and Mai are about to have their wedding in 3 months when Mai falls into a coma. As she wakes up, Mai doesn’t have any memory of Hisashi.

Yakiniku Dragon (2018)

Director: Wui-Sin Chong; Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 6.7 / 10

In the 1970’s, a Korean family moves to Japan to start a barbecue restaurant. Yong Gil, with his wife and daughters, experiences difficulty not only in his business but also when his daughters get caught up in having relationships.

After the Storm (2016)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda; Genre: Family Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.4 / 10

A private detective struggles to pay for child support and has trouble reconnecting with his ex-wife and their son.

The Third Murder (2017)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda; Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama
IMDB Rating: 6.7 / 10

A lawyer named Tomoaki tries to defend his client, who has previous murder convictions and already confessed as guilty in a murder trial. However, Tomoaki is doubtful as he is presented with contradicting evidence.

Lu Over the Wall (2017)

Director: Masaaki Yuasa; Genre: Animation, Adventure, Children
IMDB Rating: 6.8 / 10

A middle school student named Kai experiences an otherworldly adventure when he meets a peculiar mermaid named Lu.

Mirai (2018)

Director: Mamoru Hosoda; Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.1 / 10

A little boy meets his future sister and discovers a magical garden that allows them to travel through time and meet relatives from different eras.

Author’s Note: I’ve watched The Boy and the Beast (Eigasai 2016) and Wolf Children which were directed by Mamoru Hosoda and they were emotional movies that I would rewatch from time to time.

Mixed Doubles (2017)

Director: Junichi Ishikawa; Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sport
IMDB Rating: 6.6 / 10

A prodigy table tennis player, Tamiko is a 28-year-old who returns to her hometown to practice the sport once again in hopes of beating her ex-boyfriend in a table tennis tournament.

The Crimes that Bind (2018)

Director: Katsuo Fukuzawa; Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDB Rating: 7.1 / 10

The unresolved case of the murdered body of Michiko Oshitani is further complicated when it becomes linked to the death of a detective’s mother.

Perfect World (2018)

Director: Kenji Shibayama; Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10

26-year-old Architect Ayukawa Itsuki is paralyzed from the waist down and works at an interior design company. When Tsugumi Kawana, previously having a high school crush on him, meets with Itsuki and has feelings again, Itsuki has trouble believing he would be able to make anyone happy in a relationship.

One Cut of the Dead (2017)

Director: Shinichiro Ueda; Genre: Comedy, Horror
IMDB Rating: 7.7 / 10

In an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, a director and his film crew is shooting a low-budget zombie movie when they encounter actual zombies.

Kakegurui (2019)

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa; Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
IMDB Rating: 6.9 / 10

Hyakkaou Academy is an institute whose academic rankings are based on a student’s skill in gambling and the best are rewarded with fame and fortune. New female transfer student Yumeko Jabami loves gambling and her skills are put to the test in Hyakkaou

Lying to Mom (2018)

Director: Katsumi Nojiri; Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 5.5 / 10

The eldest son a family takes his own life and his mother goes into shock, resulting in losing her memory. The father and the younger daughter tell her a lie to keep her functioning every day.

Shoplifters (2018)

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda; Genre: Family, Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.0 / 10

A family of shoplifters suddenly adopt a child they find outside freezing in the cold.

The House Where the Mermaid Sleeps (2018)

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi; Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDB Rating: 6.8 / 10

A mother’s daughter becomes comatose and is diagnosed as brain dead. She has to make a decision to whether or not to pull the plug or await to see if there will be a cure in the indefinite future.

See you at Eigasai 2019!

For more on the latest updates about the Japanese Film Festival, check out Eigaisai’s Facebook Page and the official website for Japan Foundation, Manila.

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