Japanese Film Festival 2020 (DEC 9 - DEC 11)

CTC 118 mins

About the Event

The Japanese Film Festival is back in 2020 for its 24th year with three special sessions at Palace Nova Cinemas!

The Japanese Film Festival Australia (JFF) is presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney. The JFF started in 1997 with three free film screenings and is now one of the largest celebrations of Japanese films in the world. In 2019, the Festival celebrated its 23rd year with an audience of over 30,000 Australia-wide. This year, Palace Nova Cinemas partners with The Japan Foundation to bring three amazing selections to Adelaide: Shoplifters on December 9, The Reverse Diaries on December 10, and Penguin Highway on December 111.


A brilliantly humanistic masterpiece that intricately - and on occasion, boldly - explores what it means to be a family. Shoplifters focuses on a ragtag family who have slipped through the cracks of society, using petty crime as a means to survive. After one of their regular shoplifting ventures, Osamu and his son Shota come across a neglected little girl. Despite their own hardships, the family takes her in. They begin a happy, humble life together until an unforeseen incident unravels hard truths and their fragile existence is thrust into the spotlight, uprooting the bonds that hold them together. (Japanese with English subtitles)

2018 Palme d'Or (First Japanese film to win the Palme d'Or since The Eel in 1997)
2019 8 Japan Academy Prizes including Picture of the Year, Best Leading Actress and Best Supporting Actress 
2019 César Award for Best Foreign Film2019 Asian Film Award - Best Film

The Reverse Diaries

When aspiring novelist Rihito Shiraishi (Gen Ogawa) saves Saki Honda (Iku Arai) from an awkward encounter with another man, he is immediately besotted with her eccentric, whirlwind personality. However, once they begin dating, Rihito realises there is more to Saki than meets the eye and perhaps their meeting wasn’t the lucky accident it seemed. There may be only one way to find out the truth, and Rihito will have to face his own inner true self, faults and all. In this cross-genre suspense romance, director and producer Shin Sonoda adapts his own original script for the first time since Wiz/Out in 2007. (Japanese with English subtitles)

2019 SNOWDANCE Independent Film Festival - Best feature film 
2018 SOMA Film Festival - Best screenplay 
2017 London Film Awards - Best feature film

Penguin Highway

Director: Hiroyasu Ishida

Aoyama (Kita Kana) is a young boy confident in his own intelligence and place in the world; he spends his days either observing the world around him or buried in his notebooks. Now

that he’s in the fourth grade, surely he knows everything there is to know! So when penguins suddenly appear in his small town far away from any oceans, Aoyama is convinced that this is a mystery only he can solve—with just a little help from his best friend and the woman he has a crush on. But as the mystery slowly unravels, Aoyama begins to suspect that his crush is more connected to these mysterious penguins than it first seemed.

From an adaptation of Tomihiko Morimi’s award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel of the same name comes Studio Colorido’s first feature length animation Penguin Highway, an unforgettable tale about growing up, friendship, and discovering who you really are.

Winner of the Fantasia International Film Festival's Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award.
2018 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Work in Progress
2018 Fantasia International Film Festival, Satoshi Kon Award
2018 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia
2018 Busan International Film Festival
2018 Taichung International Animation Festival

(Japanese with English subtitles)

Dates & Tickets

Please visit film pages for tickets

Shoplifters - December 9
The Reverse Diaries - December 10
Penguin Highway - December 11

(All films are in Japanese with English subtitles)