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Free Film: Makoto Shinkai Marathon

Free, limited capacity

May 16 & 17, 2017

Japan’s cherry blossom season is almost over for this year but it’s not too late to catch some sakura, even if it’s just on screen. Join us for another free film session in May for a Makoto Shinkai Back-to-Back, featuring The Voices of a Distant Star5 Centimeters per Second and The Garden of Words — films that will surely make you ponder life, love and the sakura-in-between.

If you liked Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) and haven’t discovered Shinkai’s other films, we highly recommend this 2.5-hour program running on May 16 and repeats on May 17. Bring friends and popcorn, and sit back to enjoy our free screenings at JPF. Remember to come early to secure a bean bag!


Voices of a Distant Star
ほしのこえ Hoshi no Koe

Dir Makoto Shinkai / 2002 / 25 mins / Japanese w/ English subtitles / Recommended for ages 12+

Voices of a Distant Star is a sci-fi romance story of long distance love and text messages between a boy and a girl. Set in 2046, the ruins of an alien civilisation have been discovered on Mars. Humans have made leaps in technology and plan to send an expedition into space in the next year. Mikako and Noboru are regular junior high students who will be separated when Mikako joins the expedition to fight off aliens.

This featurette was Makoto Shinkai’s first animated film after quitting his job as a graphic designer at a video game company. Shinkai made the film entirely on his own, relying on a wacom tablet and computer software Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to create full 2Dand 3D digital animation.

© Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters per Second
秒速5センチメートル Byousoku go-senchimetoru

Dir Makoto Shinkai / 2007 / 63 mins / Japanese w/ English subtitles / Recommended for ages 12+

After graduating from primary school, close-knit friends Takaki and Akari have been apart since Akari’s family moved away from Tokyo. However, they continue to write letters to each other. Takaki finally decides to visit Akari in Tochigi but the forces of nature don’t seem to agree and a heavy snow storm delays his train.  

Shinkai crafts a touching film about the beautiful and intangible emotion that is love. 5 Centimeters Per Second comprises of three parts, from Takaki and Akari’s childhood in the 1990s to their teenage years, and their reunion in the present day.

© Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

The Garden of Words
言の葉の庭 Kotonoha no Niwa

Dir Makoto Shinkai / 2013 / 46 mins / Japanese w/ English subtitles / Recommended for ages 12+

Takao is a high school student who dreams of becoming a shoemaker. One day, he decides to skip school to sketch shoes in a rainy garden, not knowing how much his life will change when he encounters the mysterious Yukino. Although older, but perhaps not much wiser, Yukino seems to drift in the world. The two strike up an unusual relationship through chance meetings every rainy day in the same garden. But the rainy season is coming to a close, leaving many things left unshared between them.

Using shoes as a metaphor for life, Shinkai wrote the original story for The Garden of Words hoping to depict lonely sadness. This poetic film is perfect to enjoy with friends or to quietly contemplate on by yourself.

© Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

Presented by



Tue, May 16 & Wed, May 17

6:30pm – 9pm

The Voices of a Distant Star (25 mins)
Intermission (5 mins)
5 Centimeters Per Second (63 mins)
Intermission (5 mins)
The Garden of Words (46 mins)

Program is the same on both days.

* Doors open 30 minutes before event start
Screening will be held in a seminar room type event space.
Bean bags and chairs are available as seating
Please feel free to bring bottled non-alcoholic drinks and snacks (no hot food please).


The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park (Access via lifts)
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

Free, limited capacity.

Change Your Existing Booking

(02) 8239 0055

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