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Pinoy-megged ‘Voltes V’ movie part of Japanese film fest

January 29 ------ The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) returns to Shangri-La Plaza this week with over a dozen movies in the lineup, kicking off with an invitational screening on Feb. 1. 


With nostalgia as this year’s theme, it was a stroke of genius to include two movie-length versions of the popular Japanese anime—“Voltes V: Liberation” (1999) and “Voltes V: Legacy, The Cinematic Experience” (2023) from Filipino director Mark Reyes. The first is the “climactic conclusion” denied to Gen X Filipino kids who one day woke to find out that the anime was banned during martial law because of its supposedly “harmful effects on children.” Reyes, who attended the press event last week, said that he grew up watching “Voltes V” and said that everyone knew the opening theme song. He directed the series that aired on GMA 7 last year, as well as the movie that was released in theaters prior to the start of the series. It stars Miguel Tanfelix, Ysabel Ortega, Radson Flores, Raphael Landicho and Matt Lozano. 



“‘Voltes V: Legacy’ is a truncated version of the first six episodes ending with the death of the mother (played by Carla Abellana),” Reyes explained. He recalled that when he attended screenings of his movie, he saw how some viewers were visibly moved as soon as the theme song came on. “They cheered and there were some who actually wiped away tears.” Festival director Yojiro Tanaka said that in keeping with the theme, they chose “films that will make our audience feel nostalgic and remember their own fond memories and feelings.” 


Anime franchise 

The opening film comes from the hit anime franchise, “Slam Dunk,” a 1990s favorite among Filipino fans of both anime and basketball. “The First Slam Dunk” (2022) is an animated sports film written and directed by Takehiko Inoue. Some of the other movies to be screened at the Shangri-La Red Carpet Cinema from Feb. 1 to Feb. 11 include the classic masterpiece “Tokyo Story” (1953) by Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu, as well as recently released movies such as “And Yet, You Are So Sweet” (2023) and “Angry Son” (2022). Also in the lineup is “Detective Conan” (1997, 2006). “We hope that the wide range of films will entertain longtime festival goers and those who are already fans of Japanese films. We hope to get as many as 30,000 viewers this year,” Tanaka said. 


After its Manila run, the JFF moves to SM Seaside City Cebu (Feb. 16 to Feb. 25), and SM City Baguio, Iloilo and SM Davao (Feb. 22 to March 3). There will also be a special run at the University of the Philippines (UP) Film Center in UP Diliman from Feb. 22 to March 2. Admission is free for all screenings with seats being on first-come, first-served basis. The JFF is also supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, JT International (Philippines) Inc. and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines. For more information, visit INQ 




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