From August till October 2023, the Japan Foundation (JF) will hold a special feature "JFF+ INDEPENDENT CINEMA 2023" which will shine a spotlight on the "mini-theaters" that support the diversity of Japanese film culture and adding to the vibrancy of local communities.

Following the highly successful launch of "JFF+ INDEPENDENT CINEMA" in 2022, which showcased 12 Japanese films and 6 mini-theaters for overseas viewers and received a great response. We are happy to announce we will distribute 12 Japanese movies recommended by mini-theaters around Japan and filmmakers around the world, additionally we will provide complementary access to videos that introduce 10 mini-theaters. To enhance your experience, we have also prepared a variety of content on the website that will allow you to further experience the charm of the mini theater.

Mini theaters play a pivotal role in supporting Japanese film culture. In 2022, there were over 590 movie theaters, with an impressive 136 of them being mini theaters, accounting for about 20% of all movie theaters. In addition, of the 538 movies released in theaters in the same year, a staggering 60% of those were-small scale productions released in 49 or fewer theaters, majority of these films found themselves being exclusively shown in mini-theaters*.

Mini theaters play a crucial role in supporting Japanese film culture. In addition to being a venue for movie screenings, they also contribute to the production of movie sets in their respective local areas. Moreover, many mini have as cafes as well as other additional amenities, creating a hub that attracts a diverse range of people. Serving as a platform that foster connections and collaborations within the community, by embracing multifaceted roles, mini theaters are a reflection of the local communities they are a part of.

We hope that through this project, you will be able to experience the many charming aspects of the mini theater, which is an important stage for Japanese film.

Referring to "Movie Screening Activity Yearbook 2022" (JAPAN COMMUNITY CINEMA CENTER)

For Media

  • Other online broadcast events
    "Online Japanese Film Festival (JFF ONLINE: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL ONLINE)" is an online film festival that distributes a wide range of Japanese films, from the latest works to documentaries, animations, and classics. Last time in 2022, we streamed 20 Japanese movies for free, with subtitles in more than 10 languages, targeting 25 countries around the world. We are currently preparing for the next event. Don’t miss it!
  • On-site Japanese film festivals around the world
    The "Japanese Film Festival (JFF: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL)" is a film festival organized by JF, showcasing primarily new Japanese films at various locations. It was initiated in 2016 with the objective of reaching 10 ASEAN countries and Australia, under the slogan "Japanese movies anytime, anywhere." Since its inception, the festival has expanded its reach to include China, Russia, India, and Brazil, actively promoting the allure of Japanese cinema worldwide.For more details, please contact the JF overseas office (https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/world/index.html) in each hosting country.
  • Websites that provide information on Japanese movies
    JF operates a website that serves as a platform to introduce Japanese films to a global audience. The website offers a wide range of content, including special distribution projects such as "JFF + INDEPENDENT CINEMA" and "Online Japanese Film Festival (JFF ONLINE: JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL ONLINE)." Additionally, visitors can explore articles about Japanese movies and gain insights into JF's involvement in the film industry. The website also provides contact information for those seeking further assistance or inquiries..
  • Organizer/operator
    The Japan Foundation (独立行政法人国際交流基金) is a specialized organization in Japan that plays a comprehensive role in international cultural exchange. Originally established in 1972 as a special corporation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it transitioned into an independent administrative agency on October 1, 2003. The primary objective of the Japan Foundation is to foster connections between Japan and the global community by promoting cultural understanding, language learning, and dialogue. Through these endeavors, the foundation aims to cultivate empathy, trust, and goodwill among people worldwide.
    In addition to its headquarters located in Tokyo, the Japan Foundation maintains 26 offices across 25 countries, extending its reach and impact internationally. Within Japan, it also oversees two affiliated institutions, namely the Japanese-Language Center and the Kansai International Center, along with a branch office in Kyoto.
    The Japan Foundation