The 20th Osaka European Film Festival

In 1994 Osaka, despite being a cosmopolitan hub of international business, offered no opportunity to celebrate European film culture. Fortunately, all that has changed thanks to the ongoing hard work of film aficionado Patrice Boiteau, chairman and founder of the Osaka European Film Festival.

This November the Osaka European Film Festival celebrates its 20th year. From the 15th to the 25th Boiteau’s brainchild will show the film lovers of Kansai just why it has become not only one of the foremost cinematic celebrations in the country, but also one of the most influential showcases of European films in Asia.

The man behind the festival

Chairman Patrice Boiteau is the driving force behind the OEFF’s success. Boiteau came to Japan from Limoges, by way of Paris’ prestigious Sorbonne University. Before moving to Asia Boiteau worked extensively in theatre and film; from lighting design to directing.

After his first visit to Japan in 1986, he returned two years later on a commission from the French embassy with the aim to foster Franco-Japanese relations through cultural promotion. One such project was a French Film Festival in celebration of the Yomimuri Telecasting Corporation’s 30th Anniversary in 1988. This event was the forerunner of the festival we know today.

Although Boiteau is best known for the OEFF, by day he is a lecturer in French Language and Cinema at the University of Osaka, the Kwansei Gakuin University, Konan University and Ryukoku University. His passion for film is immediately evident in his academic life and instrumental role in promoting European cinema in Japan. Thanks to his broad experience in the industry and sophisticated film selection, each year the Kansai region and its visitors have an incredible opportunity to connect with European culture through films of creative excellence and stimulating content.

The Osaka European Film Festival 2013

Commercial cinemas in Japan seem to show a never ending stream of Japanese anime and poorly dubbed Hollywood blockbusters [usually several months after their international release dates]. This, along with extortionate ticket prices, can be somewhat of a nuisance for the avid art-house film lover among us. This year’s OEFF offers the perfect solution: a window into European cinema. So oft ignorantly reduced to clichés of being dark, depressing and difficult, the splendid diversity of European cinema remains largely unexplored in Japan.

Celebrating its platinum anniversary, this year’s festival boasts twenty-four noteworthy films. They cover a wide variety of subject matter, but each demonstrates great artistic accomplishment alongside messages important to our society. Thirteen of these films will also enjoy their Japanese, or Kansai, premiere.

In addition to the festival’s films, satellite events will run from the 19th October to the 25th of November, including photo and art exhibitions, lectures, a symposium to discuss international co-production of films, parties and the Night of the Ad Eaters, an evening dedicated to outstanding television adverts.

Why go? It’s not just about entertainment.

The OEFF promotes and celebrates cultural, educational and international ties between Japan and Europe through spectacular ambitious audiovisual creations. It is a beacon of hope for the future of Europe’s cinematic heritage, even in the face of Hollywood and Anglo-Saxon dominance of the film world.

Some say that political and economic issues have led to Europe questioning its identity. In my opinion fetes like the OEFF, are apt glorifications of Europe’s captivating cultures. The support of both the European Union and the wider international community is paramount to protecting and strengthening this integral and fascinating part of the film industry.


Charlotte Griffiths


Need to know

Main dates

Sat 26, October

The Night of the Ad Eaters 2013 in Osaka

Wed 13, November

20th Anniversary Opening Ceremony

Wed 13 – Tue 19, November

OEFF in Hankyu

Fri 15 – Mon 25, November

Film Screenings

Mon 18, Thu 21, Fri 22, November


Sat 23, November

20th Anniversary Celebration Party

Sat 23 – Mon 25, November

OEFF Flea Market

Sun 24, November




Hankyu Umeda Main Store [9F Hankyu Umeda Hall, Shukusai Plaza]

Hotel Elséreine Osaka [Elséreine Hall”, “Banquet Room”

Osaka International House

The Entente “Banquet Hall” (Kobe)


Screenings: dates and venues

The film selection this year is as diverse as Europe itself, from beauty pageants in Georgia to escaping from terrorists in Turkey and dancers in Hungary. Not to mention the Japanese films premiering at the festival. You can browse the film selection here, and don’t forget to look at the encore screenings, specially selected from the festival’s back catalogue. You will also find language and subtitle information.

【Date & Venue】 15-19 November 2013

Hankyu Umeda Main Store “Hankyu Umeda Hall” 9F

(8-7 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka)

22-25 November 2013

Hotel Elséreine Osaka “Elséreine Hall” 5F

(1-5-25 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka)

Classic film selection screenings

20-21 November 2013

Hankyu Umeda Main Store “Hankyu Umeda Hall” 9F

(8-7 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka)

Special Screening

24 November 2013

Hotel Elséreine Osaka “Banquet Room”

(1-5-25 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka)



You can purchase reserved seat tickets for the film screenings from the venues between the 13th and 25th of November. 1500\

Non-reserved tickets are available from 10am on the day, doors open 20 minutes before the screening starts. 1200\ (concessions 1000\, 3 screenings special 3500\)

Both the Hankyu Umeda Main Store and Hotel Elséreine have approximately 400 seats available

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