2022: 17th Annual Japan Film Festival Los Angeles showcases 33 Japanese films in Hollywood, Sep. 16-18

Opening events of the 17th Annual Japan Film Festival Los Angeles were held at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles on Sept. 16. “Masters of Sake Brewers” was featured as the opening screening. (Photo courtesy of Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2022)

The Japan-America Media Association organized the Japanese Film Festival Los Angeles in Hollywood from Sept. 16-18. Online screenings were available from Sept. 3-14. The opening event was held on Sept. 16 at Japan House Los Angeles in Hollywood with newly installed Consul General Kenko Sone, Director Ms.Yuko Kaifu of Japan House Los Angeles, and a full house of guests. “Masters of Sake Brewers” was featured as the opening screening.

On Sept. 17, the venue was moved to the Marilyn Monroe Theater in Hollywood, West Hollywood, where 16 films were screened in theaters over 3 days, and a total of 33 Japanese films were screened including online screenings.


From left: Naoyuki Ikeda, Director of JFFLA 2022; Yuma Aasakura, Representative of Japan America Media Association; George N. Chamchoum, Executive Director of Asian World Festival; Japanese Consul General Kenko Sone; and Yoko Kaifu, President of JAPAN HOUSE (Photo courtesy of Japan Film Festival LA)

In addition, director Chihiro Ikeda, who produced the film “The Craft of Memories,” and producer Keikou Hyo, who produced “Tea Brewer” visited from Japan and in person stage greetings.

In conjunction with the screening, cold tea was served by the Ichinobo Japanese style Sencha Ceremony, and the guests who came to the event enjoyed one after another the culture of Japanese tea.

“Nighttime Warbles” had its world premiere at this year’s film festival. During the post-screening stage greeting, Director Hideo Jojo was introduced online and many questions were asked by movie fans.


“Hiroshima Piano” is a drama that revives a piano that was exposed to radiation in 1945. After the screening, An A-bomb survivor, Mr.Howard Kakita of American Society of Hiroshima Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors (ASA) gave a message of peace, and film  Hiroshima Piano’s director Toshihiro Goto conducted an online Q&A.

Other producers of dramas and documentaries produced in Los Angeles and San Francisco also attended and enjoyed the film festival.

On Sept. 18, a memorial screening of actor Hiroyuki Watanabe and a memorial talk show were held. An award ceremony was held from the evening of this day, and 17 works were awarded at the full venue. Filmmakers who attended online and in theaters cried out with joy at receiving the award. The winners are below.


Winners of Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2022

*Best Humanity Award “Lunar Maria”

*Best screenplay Award “Parents’ Day”

*Best Mystery Award “The Craft of Memories”

*Peace Award “Hiroshima Piano”

*Best Colors Award “The most important me in the world”

*Best Passion Award “The River: Flow of Life”

*Best J.Horror Award “The Soloist”

*Best Japanese American Award “Before They Take Us Away”

*Best Storytelling Award “Submittan“

*Best VFX Award “Orbital Christmas”

*Best Documentary Award “Living In The Story”

*Best Short Award “Last Hawaiian Sugar”

*Best Short+ Award “Siblings”

*Best feature Award “Nighttime Warbles“

*Chanoma Award “Tea Brewer”

*Best Actor Award “Hiroyuki Watanabe“

*Best Picture Award “Mo-Ruerani “