Nippon Connection 2024

A festival for all the senses: The highlights of the

24th Japanese film festival Nippon Connection



Soon it's that time of year again! Just a few weeks left until the 24th Nippon Connection Film Festival once again envelops Frankfurt am Main (Germany) in bright pink. From May 28 to June 2, 2024, the world's largest festival of Japanese cinema will showcase around 100 short and feature films at eight venues. The country's culture will also be explored through the extensive culture program, reflecting Japan's musical, culinary, and artistic diversity.

About the festival

The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection is organized by the 80-member, largely voluntary team of the non-profit association Nippon Connection e.V.  It is under the patronage of the Hessian State Minister for Science and Research, Arts and Culture, Timon Gremmels, the Mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main, Mike Josef, and the Consulate General of Japan in Frankfurt am Main. Since its founding in 2000, Nippon Connection has become the world’s largest platform for Japanese cinema and the most popular film festival in Hesse with more than 18,500 visitors in 2023.


Around 50 filmmakers from Japan will attend the festival to present their works and engage with the audience, including actress Kotone Furukawa, who will receive the Nippon Rising Star Award. This year also marks the inaugural presentation of the Nippon Storytelling Award for the best screenplay. The €1,000 prize is sponsored by the Storymaker Agency for Public Relations.

First Program Highlights In Detail


Films With Guest Of Honor Kotone Furukawa

The guest of honor of the 24th Nippon Connection Film Festival is actress Kotone Furukawa, who will receive the Nippon Rising Star Award for exceptional emerging talent at the festival on June 2, 2024. Kotone Furukawa gained international recognition through the award-winning drama Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Nippon Connection presents a selection of her films, including the new horror film Best Wishes To All by Yuta Shimotsu, which will celebrate its German premiere in the presence of the director and Kotone Furukawa. Another highlight will be the world premiere of the romantic-mysterious drama Secret: A Hidden Score by Hayato Kawai, starring Kotone Furukawa as a lovestruck music student.


Films By Renowned Directors

As a special treat for genre fans, the festival presents the German premiere of Takeshi Kitano's samurai film KUBI, which delves into Japan's past full of political intrigue and action-packed battles while also addressing queer aspects of samurai culture. Nobuhiro Yamashita's musical comedy Let’s Go Karaoke! revolves around the unexpected friendship between a sentimental yakuza and a pubescent choir singer. Another highlight is Fly Me To The Saitama -FROM BIWA LAKE WITH LOVE- by Hideki Takeuchi. The colorful comedy aptly satirizes regional peculiarities of Japan. Many of the showcased films reference pivotal events in Japan's history, such as Shunji Iwai's drama Kyrie, where an orphaned girl makes her way as a singer in the aftermath of the Tohoku natural disasters. Keisuke Yoshida portrays a family grappling with the media attention surrounding the unsolved disappearance of their daughter in his film missing.


Some of you maybe regnorize Japanese musician Gackt in the next Trailer, Fly Me To The Saitama -FROM BIWA LAKE WITH LOVE- by Hideki Takeuchi!

Warning: Movie Kubi『首』- PG 16 (Fight/ Blood)

Films By Emerging Directors

The Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival serves as one of the first platforms for many emerging filmmakers to showcase their works to a wide audience. Actor and director Ren Sudo will present his film Abyss as an international premiere, depicting the complicated love story of two fate-stricken young individuals in Tokyo. Ryoma Kosasa's multi-award-winning debut film PushPause tells stories of comfort surrounding the Coco Guesthouse. With bite and irony, Ryo Ushimaru's Qualia takes aim at the traditional Japanese family image. The unconventional comedy will celebrate its international premiere in the presence of the director at the festival.


Animation Films

Fans of Japanese animation films can look forward to the adventures of the animal visitors of a special department store in The Concierge by Yoshimi Itazu. The festival also presents the energetic anime BLUE GIANT by Yuzuru Tachikawa, narrating the success story of a jazz trio. Shojiro Nishimi's melancholic sci-fi drama PHOENIX: Reminiscence Of Flower takes viewers on a breathtaking journey through space.


Crossing Borders

At the heart of this year's thematic focus, Crossing Borders, are films and talks dedicated to the mutual influence and collaboration between Japanese and international filmmakers. The festival showcases Arnold Fanck's drama Die Tochter des Samurai (1937) as one of the first German-Japanese co-productions at the cinema of the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum. Dr. Iris Haukamp will give a lecture on the interesting history of this controversial film. Representing a current German-Japanese co-production is the documentary Johatsu – Into Thin Air by Andreas Hartmann and Arata Mori, focusing on the organized and self-determined disappearance of people in Japan. The feature film 18x2 Beyond Youthful Days tells a deeply touching love story, directed by Michihito Fujii with an international cast and shot in Taiwan and Japan.

Concerts, Workshops, Lectures & Children's Program

Among the musical highlights of the program are concerts featuring singer Ai Higuchi, the band Samurai Apartment, taiko player TAKUYA, and a vinyl listening evening with Japanese audio brand Audio-Technica. Additionally, workshops on manga drawing and Japanese handicrafts, multiple cooking classes, whisky tastings by Beam Suntory, as well as sake and matcha tastings are offered. Young visitors of the festival are also catered to with the Nippon Kids program, including an aikido workshop and performances of the Japanese paper theater kamishibai.


The complete program and tickets will be available on the festival website as of May 4th, 2024: NipponConnection.com


Event Locations

Festival Centers: Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm and Produktionshaus NAXOS 
Additional venues in Frankfurt am Main: Eldorado Arthouse Kino, cinema of the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Mal Seh’n Kino, Internationales Theater Frankfurt, Saalbau Bornheim, NaxosAtelier 


Partner Hotels

Hotel partners offer special conditions for a stay during the festival.


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