Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival opens its doors tonight and runs until Sunday at the Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue).
The theme of this year’s festival is “Life is short, work hard!” and is explored throughout the festival’s programming, beginning tonight at 6.30 p.m. with the Momo (Japanese for “peach”) program. The program begins with a couple of hilarious shorts from Japanese comedy duo the Rahmens, The Japanese Tradition—Sushi and The Japanese Tradition—Dogeza. Anyone familiar with how exacting some Japanese business traditions can be will find these absurdist educational films well worth the time. They’re arguably our pick of the festival.
To celebrate five years of the festival, the special Yuzu (“Citron”) program features the award-winning films from the last four years. It runs Friday at 10 p.m and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (closing the festival.) The films include the original Ski Jumping Pairs short, which, although graphically dated, is still as funny as ever; Life in Additional Time, an amusing short about what life would be like if it was more like soccer; and Room Service, a strange little short about packing suitcases.
For fans of Ski Jumping Pairs, the latest episode in the series features in the Ichigo (“Strawberry”) program (screening tonight at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.); Programme Mikan (“Orange”) features the short Anti Sex, for anyone interested in “Love Hotels”; and Programme Ringo (“Apple”) features films acquired from Japanese website OpenArt.
Tickets for The Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival are available for $10 on the door, and a five-screening pass costs $35. Full details of the festival are available on their website.