Legendary actress KIKI Kilin stole the show at the opening ceremony of the Japanese Film Festival 2016 at GSC Pavilion KL, lending star power to Malaysia’s premier celebration of Japan’s cinematic tradition. The three-time Japan Academy Prize-winner, renowned for her wise and matronly roles, appears twice in this year’s programme.
She has won her usual share of critical acclaim for stepping into the shoes of a mysterious new employee of a red bean pancake stand in An, as well as portraying the doting mother of a divorcee novelist in JFF curtain-raiser After the Storm. “It’s a story about an elderly woman whose son has not been able to make much of a success of himself,” she told the 300-strong audience of diplomatic, business, academic and arts personalities.
“However, she thinks he is not to blame for the world failing to recognise his talent and his ex-wife losing her faith in him. With this in mind, I hope you would be able to understand my role as a person blinded by love.” The family drama is one of 13 featured titles that cut across a variety of genres. Reflecting on the eclectic lineup, Golden Screen Cinemas chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee anticipates a record-breaking turnout for the event. “We have seen admissions climbing steadily to a significant 5,600 with an occupancy rate of 51% in 2015,” she said.
“This year, we are working towards admissions of 10,000, which we expect to be thanks in no small part to the support and loyalty of the Festival’s fans, many of whom plan movie marathons with family and friends.” In his opening speech, Japanese ambassador to Malaysia Makio Miyagawa expressed his desire that the Festival extends its prominence as a cultural gateway to his homeland. “Movies present the nature of a country in a way no other medium can,” he remarked.
“The Japanese film industry is one of the oldest in the world and I believe it will continue to represent the heart and soul of Japan.”
The Japanese Film Festival 2016 will be held in the Klang Valley from the 8th to the 14th of September at GSC Mid Valley, GSC Pavilion KL, GSC 1 Utama and GSC NU Sentral.
It will then move on to Penang (GSC Gurney Plaza on 15–18 September), followed by Kuching (GSC CityONE Megamall on 22–25 September) and Kota Kinabalu (GSC Suria Sabah on 29 September–2 October).
All films are presented in Japanese with English subtitles. For more information, visit www.jfkl.org.my or www.gsc.com.my