Japan 2021

The BFI announces the return of BFI Japan 2021: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, coming to cinemas UK-wide from October to December 2021.

BFI Japan 2021: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema

Supported by

We have long carried a torch for Japanese film here at the BFI. Since the first BFI London Film Festival opened with Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood in 1957, we’ve played a vital role in bringing the cinema of this culturally rich nation to UK audiences through our festivals, seasons, theatrical distribution, books and video publishing.

In this major season, we spotlight filmmakers who have inspired admiration and fascination around the world. We start with a two-part season at BFI Southbank focusing on the Golden Age of the studio system and the rise of the radical New Wave and independent filmmakers of the later 20th century. The season also includes a BFI re-release of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), a BFI Player collection focusing on Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, screenings in partnership with the BFI Film Audiences Network at selected cinemas across the UK and a tour of classic Japanese films at cinemas UK-wide.

This landmark season will take place from 18 October 2021.

In partnership with

With special thanks to

With the kind support of

Janus Films/The Criterion Collection, Kadokawa Corporation, Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, Kokusai Hoei Co., Ltd, Nikkatsu Corporation, Toei Co., Ltd


Image: Harakiri ©1962 Shochiku Co., Ltd.


In focus

The best Japanese film of every year – from 1925 to now

From Kurosawa to Koreeda, we make some tough choices about the finest film of every year of Japanese film history going back to 1925.

By Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández, Kambole Campbell and others

The best Japanese film of every year – from 1925 to now

Primers on Japanese cinema

Where to begin with Nobuhiko Obayashi

A beginner’s path through the delirious coming-of-age fantasias of Hausu director Nobuhiko Obayashi.

By Ren Scateni

Where to begin with Nobuhiko Obayashi