Samurai cinema

Not the last samurai.

Not the last samurai.

Crest Theatre

1013 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 476-3356

The Japanese are known for sumo, sushi and, yes, film. The seventh annual Sacramento Japanese Film Festival is this weekend. And since its start in 2005, the festival has changed from a one-day event to a three-day celebration of the very best the Japanese film industry has to offer—past and present.

The festival will open with Dear Doctor (2009), winner of two Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Tokyo Godfathers (2003) will screen the second day. This unusual animation tells the story of three homeless people, a baby and their suffering, love and redemption. Appropriately placed last, Seven Samurai (1954) will astound even those intimidated by foreign films. From critically acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa, this film has inspired more than 50 years of international filmmaking. Also available at the festival will be a book boutique and handcrafted Japanese cards and crafts.

The Sacramento Japanese Film Festival happens July 8-10, at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street. Parking is free at the city garage on 10th and K streets with a parking voucher from the Crest. Single tickets are $10 and festival passes are $30. For more information, call (916) 421-1017 or visit