"See Movie! Save Japan!" That's the slogan of the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2011, a five-day, multi-venue screening of the latest, greatest cinema from Japan, benefiting tsunami and earthquake relief. Among the more than 20 films: The Billion Yen Jackpot, Terry Itoh's documentary on the calculated marketing of a Hello Kitty-esque character called "Nanity"; Shodo Girls Blue Blue Sky, Takafumi Ota's drama about desolate high school girls inspired by a calligraphy teacher; Twice Bombed: The Legacy of Yamaguchi Tsutomu, chronicling the later years of a survivor of both atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Birthright, following an adopted daughter watching her birth mother from afar; Takamine, a biography of Japanese chemist Jokichi Takamine, who sponsored the 1912 planting of cherry trees in Washington, D.C.; and Turning Japanese, Paul Bickel's short film starring Brian Austin Green and Zibby Allen. Where's Godzilla?
New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., L.A., Fri.-Sat., April 8-9; East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St., Little Tokyo, Sun., April 10; Starplex Cinema 5, 4626 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, Sat., April 16; Yamaha Music Center, 4620 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, Sun., April 17. Full schedule and ticket info at jffla.org/2011.
Fri., April 8; Sat., April 9; Sun., April 10; Sat., April 16; Sun., April 17, 2011