Along with 30 other Japanese films

If you missed 2018’s Asian zombie flick of the year, (Train to Busan was obviously 2016’s; and Zombiepura obviously did not make the cut), One Cut of the Dead will receive another screening here, as the opening film of the Japanese Film Festival 2019. The zombie comedy by Japanese film director Shinichiro Ueda recently won the Audience Choice Award at the 29th Singapore International Film Festival, where it then earned the honour of a sophomore screening. Chronicling the events of a zombie apocalypse filmmaking attempt-turned-real, the film has since garnered a cult fan base for its impressive low budget of 3 million yen (approximately S$38,000).

This year marks both the 22nd edition of the Festival, and the 10th anniversary of the Japan Creative Centre. Hence, expect a bumper line-up of 31 films and new segments, happening Jan 18-Feb 10 across three venues. If it’s fresh films you’re after, catch them in the Contemporary Cinema segment at Shaw Theatres Lido, where One Cut of The Dead serves as the first of 17 latest Japanese titles. The selection ranges from sports-themed rom-coms like Mixed Doubles to dramedies (Dynamite Graffiti), to multi-genre films like Before We Vanish, a human tale of love disguised as a sci-fi flick about alien invasion. There’s also a film about ramen (Lost in Ramen), because no Japanese film festival would be complete without one.

Another highlight is Yakiniku Dragon, a trying family drama titled after the neighbourhood restaurant where much of the action is centered, which follows a small Korean community in 70s-era Osaka. The film explores the challenges of Koreans trying to integrate into Japanese society, and is based off Director Wishing Chong’s 2008 play of the same name—and his own experiences as a third-generation Zainichi (“Japan resident”) Korean. Chong and One Cut’s Ueda will both be present for post-film dialogues at the cinema.

Alternatively, opt for the Short Shorts Programme, a first for the Festival where eight short films from the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia will be screened at *SCAPE. Two curated screenings will each piece together four short films ranging from drama to horror to documentary.

And finally, two classic Japanese films will screen as an homage to Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu in Ode to Ozu, a specially curated segment at The Projector. Early Summer (1951) navigates the rising role of women in post-war Japan, while Early Spring (1956), which has no relation to the former, deals with the hardships of the average salaryman lifestyle.


Japanese Film Festival 2019 happens from Jan 18-Feb 10 at Shaw Theatres Lido, *SCAPE and The Projector. The full line-up and more information here.