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Revamped Film Festival Debuts in Revamped Theater

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, April 08, 2008, at 09:54AM
yunagi-7-500 Ed Fuentes

"Yunagi City, Sakura Country" opens the 2008 Japanese Film Festival. Directed by Kiyoshi Sasabe, the film tells the story of a family from Hiroshima coming to terms with the atomic bombing of their city during WWII. Photo courtesy Japan Film Festiva

This weekend the ImaginAsian Center will play opening venue for the 2008 Japan Film Festival. The theater plays festival host from Friday, April 11th to Thursday, April 17th before the action moves south to Irvine the following weekend.

The ambitious festival began in 2003 as the Chanoma Film Festival, and this year debuts it’s new name, Japan Film Festival-Los Angeles. The festival brings a full slate of films, and the partnership with ImaginAsian brings a state of the art venue.

Organizers hope that by screening films produced in Japan, Americans will see an accurate portrayal of Japan, and Japanese-Americans can reflect on their own culture from different perspectives, allowing what it "means to be Japanese."

During the festival, films will be screened from noon to 10pm, and tickets are priced at $10. For a $30 advance fee, you can watch three films, or bring a party of three for one film (A VIP pass will cost you $100).

The Start Gala features actor Shin Koymada (”The Last Samurai” and “Good Soil”) will be held somewhere in Little Tokyo, disclosed only by invitation or those with a VIP pass holders. By chance, it will be on Art Walk night, April 10th with a 6:30pm reception.

The ImaginAsian Center reopened in December after a nearly year-long renovation that stuck a new theater inside the walls of what had formerly been the Linda Lea.

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