The 16th Japanese Film Week is scheduled to take place at the Cinematheque in Skopje from November 3 to 8. This annual event explores various challenges faced by different demographic groups in Japan.

Bitola will also host the Japanese Film Week from November 9 to 10, with free screenings for all. The festival will open with Kôsai Sekine’s “Love at Least,” which addresses the issue of hikikomori, an extreme form of social phobia affecting many young Japanese people dealing with depression and anxiety.

The second film, “A Long Goodbye” by Ryôta Nakano, revolves around a retired professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his family’s journey to adapt to the new reality, reflecting Japan’s aging population issue.

On Monday, November 6, “Lone Ume Tree” by Kotaro Wajima will be screened, focusing on the challenges faced by parents with autistic children and their integration into society.

Yuki Tanada’s “Cinematic Liars of Asahi-za,” to be screened on Tuesday, November 7, highlights the struggles of one of Japan’s oldest art house cinemas in the face of commercial film dominance.

The closing film, “Makuko” by Keiko Tsuruoka on November 8, combines a coming-of-age story with science fiction elements, offering a unique perspective on human maturity.

This festival aims to bring common human dramas from different cultures to the forefront and bridge the gap between Japan and Macedonia. Japanese Ambassador Otsuka Kazuya mentioned that next year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Japan and Macedonia, with plans for cultural events and international exchange programs.

The Japanese Film Week is supported by the Japan Foundation, the Cinematheque, Bitola Culture Center, and the Japanese Embassy.