TUFS Cinema Holds Three Weeks of "Basque Cinema Specials”

January 9, 2024

2023 is the "Euskadi-Japan 2023" and a variety of events are being planned to introduce Basque culture in Japan. As part of these events, TUFS Cinema held a three-day Basque Cinema Special on December 1st, 8th, and 15th, 2023 (supported by the Etxepare Basque Institute and in cooperation with Plankton Co.,Ltd..)

Under the theme of "The Charm of Rhythm, Improvisation, and Dance," a total of three Basque films, one on each theme, were screened. The three films screened were "Nömadak TX" (2006), a road movie about a player of the traditional Basque percussion instrument, "Bertsolari" (2011), a documentary on the socio-cultural significance of Basque improvisational singers, and "Dantza" (2018), which aesthetically depicts the fascination of Basque dance without the use of dialogue.

After the screening of "Nomadic TX," a discussion was held with Professor Sho Hagio and Part Time-Lecturer Gari Ortigos, who initiated this project, and after the screenings of "Bertsolari" and "Dantza", director Asier Altuna and director Telmo Esnal took the stage to explain the background of the films’ productions and Basque culture. Both films were well received by the audience and were followed by a Q&A session.

Despite being a weekday evening, the event was attended by a total of nearly 400 people. The film "20,000 Species of Bees" (2023) by Basque director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren will be released in Japan in early 2024. It is expected that interest in Basque culture in Japan will continue to grow.