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JFF Fringe 2019

Special Screenings in Sydney

July 25, August 15 & 29, 2019

Fans of Japanese cinema, you’re in for a treat because the Japanese Film Festival is returning with an off-season Fringe Program.

This season presents a series of films adapted from novels—crime thriller The Crimes That Bind, fantastical anime adventure Penguin Highway, and dysfunctional love story meets murder mystery Birds Without Names.

Presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney and Event Cinemas George St.

Header image from Birds Without Names  © 2017 “Birds Without Names” Film’s Partners

The Crimes That Bind (祈りの幕が下りる時)

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Dir Katsuo Fukuzawa/ 2018 / 119 mins / Cast Hiroshi Abe, Nanako Matsushima, Junpei Mizobata/ Japanese with English subtitles /Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult. 
July 25 (Thurs), 6:30pm

A woman from Shiga prefecture, near Kyoto, is found strangled to death in a Tokyo apartment belonging to a labourer named Mutsuo Koshikawa. However, the police hit a brick wall when they fail to find any links between the victim and presumed suspect. Enter Kyoichiro Kaga, an unconventional detective called on to solve the mysterious case. His investigation leads him to Hiromi Asai, a celebrity theatre director whose glamorous world seems far removed from the case.

The Crimes That Bind is the work of bestselling crime novelist, Keigo Higashino.

All images © 2018 The Crimes That Bind film Production Committee © Keigo Higashino/KODANSHA All Rights Reserved

Penguin Highway (ペンギン・ハイウェイ)

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Dir Hiroyasu Ishida  / 2018 / 119 mins / Cast Kana Kita, Yu Aoi / Japanese with English subtitles / PG
August 15 (Thurs), 6:30pm

Fourth-grade student Aoyama is a young boy sure of his own intelligence and place in the world; he spends his days buried in his notebooks and studying the world around him. But when penguins appear in his small town far away from any oceans, Aoyama knows there’s a mystery that only he can solve—a mystery that involves the woman he has a crush on.

An anime adaption of Morimi Tomihiko’s award-winning novel of the same name, Penguin Highway, is an unforgettable tale about growing up, love, and discovering yourself.

Winner of the Fantasia International Film Festival’s Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award.

All images © 2018 Tomihiko Morimi, KADOKAWA/ Penguin Highway Production Committee 

Birds Without Names (彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち )

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Dir Kazuya Shiraishi / 2017 / 128 mins / Cast Yu Aoi, Sadao Abe, Yutaka Asano, Eri Murakawa, Masaaki Akahori/ English with Japanese subtitles / Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult.
August 29 (Thurs), 6:30pm

There are no limits in the pursuit of love.

Towako is a despicable woman—she lives off Jinji’s meagre earnings while treating him like a worthless slug. Despite Jinji’s dog-like devotion, she constantly reminisces about her horrible ex-boyfriend, Shunichi, even sleeping with other men who evoke memories of him. When she finds out that Shunichi has been missing for five years she suspects Jinji may know more than he lets on. This visceral tale of lust, devotion and deception is not to be missed.

Part of the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 Official Selection.

All images © 2017 “Birds Without Names” Film Partners



All screenings start at 6:30pm

July 25 (Thursday)
The Crimes that Bind

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August 15 (Thursday)
Penguin Highway

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August 29 (Thursday)
Birds Without Names

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Event Cinemas George Street
500-252 George Street Sydney NSW 2000


$15 (booking fees apply when purchasing online)

Book online or at the box office. Tickets are available for purchase in advance of the screening.


For ticketing enquiries, please contact the cinema box office.

For program enquiries, please contact The Japan Foundation, Sydney reception at
(02) 8239 0055 or

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