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Media Release

For Immediate Release | July 3, 2019

Japanese Film Festival (JFF) Fringe 2019

The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is back with JFF Fringe, an off-season program of contemporary Japanese films. 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 Street, each film will show for one night only in Sydney on July 25, August 15, and August 29, 2019.

Based on the book by bestselling crime novelist Keigo Higashino, The Crimes That Bind was an official selection of JFF 2018. Kyoichiro Kaga is an unconventional detective called on to solve the mysterious death of a woman in a Tokyo apartment when police hit a brick wall. His investigation leads him to Hiromi Asai, a celebrity theatre director whose glamorous world seems far removed from the case.

Penguin Highway is an anime adaption of Morimi Tomihiko’s award-winning novel of the same name. When penguins appear fourth-grade student Aoyama’s small town far away from any oceans, the young boy knows there’s a mystery that only he can solve—a mystery that involves the woman he has a crush on. This unforgettable tale about growing up, love, and discovering yourself was a winner of the Fantasia International Film Festival’s Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award.

The film adaptation of award-winning writer Mahokaru Numata’s mystery novel Birds Without Names centres on the despicable Towako, who lives off her boyfriend 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. Part of the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 Official Selection.

Tickets on sale at Event Cinemas George Street box office and online.

Program & Ticketing Info

Screening Schedule

July 25 (Thursday)
The Crimes That Bind

August 15 (Thursday)
Penguin Highway

August 29 (Thursday)
Birds Without Names

Screening times for all films


The Japanese Film Festival in Australia (JFF) is presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney. The JFF started in 1997 with three free film screenings by former Festival Director Masafumi Konomi, and is now one of the largest celebrations of Japanese films in the world.

Last year, the Festival celebrated its 22nd year with an audience of 30,680 and 20 sold-out sessions Australia-wide. The Festival has enjoyed great success over the years, screening a vast variety of Japanese cinematic delights from 35mm film classics to newly-released titles, many of which have never been shown in Australia before. JFF brings out special guests from Japan for Q&A evenings and film screenings, as well as programs events for audiences to enjoy Japanese traditional and pop culture.

JFF Australia is part of JFF Asia-Pacific Platform initiated by The Japan Foundation Asia Center based in Tokyo. This initiative aims to support and grow interest in Japanese films and cinema culture throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia.

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

T: (02) 9273 7300


$15 (Online booking fees apply.)

Available at the box offices of participating cinemas and online.

Ticketing Enquiries

Please contact the participating box office.

Media Enquiries

Anne Lee
(02) 8239 0055

Program Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

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