Culture vultures can turn to all things Japanese at festival
The first of what organisers hope will become an annual festival of culture in Lincoln, will focus on all things Japanese this month.
Darren Bolton founder and chair of Blueprint Film Foundation is the brains behind the event.
"It was the film Akira that got me so interested – it was the first anime to be really big in this country. Now it's the 25th anniversary of Akira and it's being rereleased in June but Lincoln are getting to show it at the festival before anyone else in the country.
"To begin with I just really wanted to do a Japanese film project. I contacted the Japanese Society in the UK and told them my idea of doing a festival in Lincoln and they thought it was great and gave us a small donation to help us put it together.
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"This year is really a taster for what we are going to do every year from now on. Originally it was going to be a Japanese festival each year but people are saying to me 'how about a different country every year?'. So we are thinking, does it become the Lincoln Cultural Festival? Or perhaps each day of the festival could be a different country?
"We have become a more cosmopolitan country, and I do a lot of work in the community, but I think there's still opportunity for even more exposure to cultures."
The event starts with an exhibition at The Terrace and Cafe Portico between January 21-26, featuring a local Japanese artist Kaoru Shimada.
The main event will then take place at The Venue, Bishop Grosseteste, on January 27.
Darren says: "Doors open at 2pm and Akira starts at 3pm. The art exhibition will be moving over to The Venue and there will be martial arts demonstrations at 2.30pm.
"Between 5pm and 6pm there is going to be food and drink tasters and live music. We have got three Japanese musicians coming to perform. One of them is the only professional player of the Tsugaru-shamisen in the country.
"At 6.30pm a talk by Jasper Sharp will be followed by the film Pigs and Battleships, which was the first big Japanese new wave film from the 60s.
"It's great to have Jasper coming here to Lincoln because he is a really prestigious talker. He's written lots of books on Asian cinema and does a lot of the commentary for Japanese DVDs."
Tickets for the films are £4 for Akira (15+) and £6 for Pigs and Battleships or £8 for a festival pass. Any film ticket also gives you access to all activities. The exhibition at The Terrace and Portico Cafe is free. For tickets visit www.japanfestival.co.uk For further information call Blueprint on 01522 539977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org