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This year, we present D-Cinema – New Currents, a program of VR, a new medium in audio-visual experience, and Japanese Cinema in Europe, a showcase of award winning Japanese films from Nippon Connection, the largest Japanese film festival in the world.


D-Cinema – New Currents / Japanese Cinema in Europe

D-Cinema – New Currents

多目的ホール 7.16(Sun)-7.18(Tue) 13:00-18:00 <4 shows per day. / Free Admission>

2016 was referred to as ‘year zero’ for the virtual reality revolution. VR became a hugely popular medium in Japan and made waves in the film industry, with many international film festivals adding VR sections to their line-ups. In this special presentation, we introduce VR works from Japan and abroad and provide an opportunity to experience the latest in visual technology.



・4 shows per day.
 1) 13:00-13:50   2) 14:00-14:50   3) 16:00-16:50   4) 17:00-17:50
・Free Admission
・Max 20 persons for each show


※Admission tickets will be distributed from 10:00 for the same day.
※Admission tickets do not guarantee viewing but entrance only. Thank you for your understanding.

※Entrance and exit free within each show.
※Age limits: Audience members must be 13 years old or older. Children under the age of 13 cannot use the VR headset. Thank you very much for your understanding.

※VR viewing might cause the audience to feel bad under certain circumstances. People who are suffering from illness, are under the influence of alcohol, pregnant, cannot use the VR headset. Seniors are also advised against joining the VR shows. Thank you very much for your understanding.


Please contact the festival office for inquiries.
SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL Office Tel: 048-263-0818



Last Anniversary

©2017『交際記念日』 プロジェクト


During the last spring semester before graduation, Taichi goes back to the classroom to retrieve something and sees Saya, a girl who holds a special place in his heart. A bittersweet tale of adolescence and the very first Japanese VR film to make you cry.

*No English Subtitles


Director: Takashi Kubota



ANIMA! – Special VR Version

© 2017 Saitama Prefecture/SKIP CITY Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza


A dance sequence from ANIMA!, this year’s Opening Gala film featuring an exciting mix of contemporary dance and drumming, is re-shot with a VR camera and the audience has a chance to experience it with a remarkable you-are-there immediacy.





Night Fall

©&samhoud media


With the cooperation of the Dutch National Ballet, this is the first VR work that features an original ballet designed for the medium. The camera moves as if you are one of the ballet dancers as it tells a story of a man and woman torn apart by a violinist.


Director: Jip Samhoud




©M.I. de Heer


This silent animation portrays nature and humans in harmony by providing a contrast between a cold winter forest in the rain and a community of people gathering in a house by the forest. Delicate layers of sound, the rush of rain, roaring of wild animals, and a thundering gunshot, create a stunning impression.


2015/ Netherlands /13 min.
Director: Maarten Isaäk de Heer



Living in Paris: At Chaillot with the Eiffel Tower

Living in Paris: At Chaillot with the Eiffel Tower©Michel Reilhac


This is one of a 12-part series that captures the every day life of Paris and simulates an experience of an ordinary Parisienne featuring a tango performance at the Theatre National de Chaillot overlooking the Eiffel Tower.


2017/ France/4 min.
Director: Michel Reilhac




Ponteio©Michel Reilhac


In 2015, Simon Ghraichy, a French pianist, performed a successful debut at Carnegie Hall in New York at the age of 29. This VR work features a playful trick where the pianist multiplies as he performs a classical piece.


2017/ France/5 min.
Director: Michel Reilhac


Japanese Cinema in Europe

映像ホール 7.18(Tue)10:30

Nippon Connection is the largest Japanese film festival in the world and is held annually in Frankfurt, Germany. The Festival showcases a wide range of Japanese cinema from mainstream studio films to independent cinema. In this program, we screen Start Line by Ayako Imamura, which won the Nippon Visions Audience Award at the 17th edition held in May this year. At the post screening talk event, Martin Bregenzer, the program director of Nippon Connection, will be on hand to discuss Japanese cinema seen from Europe.

*No English Subtitles



Start Line

Start Line

© Studio AYA


Director Ayako Imamura was born deaf and has always felt that the presence of a wall when she communicates with the non-handicapped. She points a camera to herself and records her 3,824-kilometer bicycle journey over the course of 57 days from Okinawa to Hokkaido. She goes through many failures and suffers from bad weather as she pedals north every day. She experiences heartwarming encounters, but also failed attempts to communicate with the non-handicapped. She meets a young Australian man who is also has trouble hearing and is traveling across Japan on a bicycle. For the first time in her career, Director Imamura places herself in front of the camera and challenges herself to start her life anew and the result is quite moving.



Director: Ayako Imamura

Distributor: Studio AYA


Start Line

Director: Ayako Imamura

Director: Ayako Imamura

Born in Aichi Prefecture, Imamura is the President of Studio AYA. While attending Aichi University of Education, she studied abroad at California State University, Northridge and pursued filmmaking and American Sign Language. While teaching at Nagoya Gakuin University and Aichi Gakuin University, she directs and produces documentary films. Her filmography includes Coffee and Pencil (2011) and The Connecting Bridge (2013). This film garnered critical acclaim both domestically and internationally and is currently playing in theaters across Japan.



What’s Nippon Connection?

Conceived by Marion Klomfass and Holger Ziegler, both majoring in film studies, Nippon Connection was held for the first time in 2000 to provide opportunities to see Japanese films unavailable in Germany. From the first edition, the Festival had more than 10,000 attendees and since then, the annual festival has been expanding and has grown to become the world’s largest Japanese film festival in terms of attendance and scale, with fans and enthusiasts gathering from all over the world. The Festival has welcomed many distinguished Japanese guests. In 2007, Kinema Club Conference, where scholars and academics of Japanese cinema participated, was held for the first time in Europe and the festival became a hub for people connected to Japanese cinema.


Program Director: Martin Bregenzer

Program Director: Martin Bregenzer

Born in Herdecke, Germany. Martin Bregenzer received a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. He worked at the International Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart and at some other festivals. He started working at Nippon Connection in 2011 in the Film Program Team and the Festival Organization Team. Apart from festival work he has written film reviews for a magazine and was a member of a radio program in Cologne for some years. He is also a freelance media educator for children and teenagers in the field of radio and film.



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