New York Japan CineFest 2020 |
ニューヨーク・ジャパン・シネフェスト Film Festival

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and the New York Japan CineFest

With support from Cyber-NY

Join us for a weekend of short films from some of the most exciting voices in Japanese cinema!

NYJCF 2020 launches online with fourteen highly acclaimed short films and special video messages from filmmakers. A list of streaming recommendations from the JICC is also available below.


About the Festival

The New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF), now in its ninth year, is a film festival of short films from up-and-coming Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. It has been presented in New York City at the Asia Society and since 2015 has expanded by holding screenings around the U.S. and in Japan. The festival focuses on the independent filmmakers who committed to achieving their full potential and expressing their voice and vision to the world. For more information about the festival, please visit the New York Japan CineFest website.


JICC's Festival Highlights

The following films will be available to stream online beginning Friday, November 20, 2020 at 9:00 AM EST. Please refer to this page for detailed information and the complete lineup.


  • BOZE
    Japan | 2019 | 14 min | Documentary | Directed by MOCHIZUKI Fuyuko
    Within the Tokara Archipelago in Japan, lies the remote island of Akuseki. It is home to 83 residents, and one mysterious visiting deity called BOZE. This is a community that suffers from the declining population like many remote communities in Japan, but unlike any others, this one welcomes all that arrives from the sea with an open heart, even a lost boy.


  • The Butterfly
    Japan | 2019 | 11 min | Documentary | Directed by FUKADA Shiho
    Kota Ishijima spent most of her life hiding from who she is. Finding the strength to live that truth drove a wedge between her and her family. Now more than a decade into that decision, her life comes full circle as she awaits the birth of her first grandchild.


  • Hello! Brand New World | ハロー!ブランニューワールド
    Japan | 2019 | 18 min | Drama | Directed by TAKEBAYASHI Ryo
    A YouTube short film that has a storytelling method like none other - the film begins as a vlog, which seamlessly invites the viewer into an uncharted narrative. Asagiinyo is a famous Japanese YouTuber that hopes to spend every day filled with joy. However, as she repeats the process of creating videos to upload on YouTube, she realizes that her days have become tediously routine. In order to take a break from all the stress, she plans a trip to Atami where she is suddenly struck with nonstop bad luck...


  • Ice Farmers | 氷の農夫たち
    Japan | 2020 | 3 min | Documentary | Directed by INO Tatsuya
    Nikko, Tochigi Tokujiro IV and his buddies cultivate natural ice. They fill ponds with the natural water from the Nikko mountain range and let it develop into ice only by taking advantage of the coldness of the winter. Why does he still use traditional techniques to make natural ice? This short documentary tells a story about Tokujiro, who calls himself an ice farmer, and his beliefs.


  • Miyamoto and the Machine: The Story of KenKen | 宮本哲也と賢くなるパズル
    USA | 2019 | 39 min | Documentary | Directed by Dan Sullivan
    Ten years ago, Tetsuya Miyamoto had a dream to change the world through puzzles. In his classroom in Yokohama, KenKen was born. Enter a world where puzzles matter. From Tokyo to New York, from the classroom to the puzzle page to the tournament floor, Miyamoto and the Machine takes you into the brain of the inventor and the players, all while the machines of business and technology crash into Miyamoto's philosophies of artistry and humanity. He believes each handcrafted puzzle tells a story, and if you look hard enough between the rows, columns and cages of KenKen, you can find the story of the sensei who started a global phenomenon.


  • RAMETOKKOR YAN | ラメトッコㇿ ヤン
    Japan | 2019 | 10 min | Documentary | Directed by YAMADA Yuichiro
    In 2009, UNESCO said that Ainu language is critically endangered. Today, no one speaks Ainu as a mother language. Sekine Kenji, an Ainu language instructor, tries to revive it by teaching it to the children in Nibutani, Hokkaido. However, he is not Ainu himself. 20 years ago, he just happened to visit Nibutani while traveling all around Japan. He met Maki there and married her next year. After two decades of research, he has become one of the most important figures in leading the revival of Ainu language.


  • The Walking Fish | 歩く魚
    Japan/Netherlands | 2018 | 19 min | Drama, Fantasy | Directed by Thessa Meijer
    An ambitious amphibian sea-creature wants to venture into the human world. Her dream to evolve into the perfect individual is so strong that she overcomes the physical boundaries of her fish-body and transforms into a human being. But even as a young woman she remains restless. Will she ever be content?


Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.