Introducing: Nara!

Founded in the year 710, Nara was once the end of the Silk Road, a place where trade goods, culture, and arts from around the world mingled and merged, and the original capital of Japan. Nara is a place where a welcoming spirit of exchange exists harmoniously with deep-seated traditions and solemn prayers. In putting on this International Film Festival, we aim to reinvigorate Nara’s global roots while allowing filmmakers and filmgoers alike the opportunity to communicate, eat, watch movies, and experience life in the rich, traditional atmosphere of Nara. We hope, visitors from the world over will enjoy Nara’s pastoral grace, and form lasting connections with Nara locals and travellers alike. Nara is still a place of life and beauty, we hope this gathering will be the start of a rebirth of the city as a place of global exchange.

Naomi Kawase has been continually making films featuring her hometown of Nara since her beginnings as a director. Winner of the Gran Prix at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007, Kawase’s films have shared her home with the world. Nara is proud of her status as an international figure, a veteran of over 40 international film festivals all over the world.
It was the experience of attending these events, their significance and vitality, that inspired her to propose the Nara International Film Festival with the vision of reinvigorating the ancient capital of Japan. Local volunteers who agreed with these principles came together with her to establish the Nara International Film Festival Committee as a non-profit organization. With the support of companies from mostly Nara, the government, and 10,000¥ minimum individual donations, the festival has become a reality.

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