As the movie capital of the world, Los Angeles is host to numerous movie screenings such as The Envelope series and the Cinespia showings in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. You will also find film festivals celebrating the various cultures that exist in the city. One such festival is the LA EigaFest in the Egyptian Theatre that focuses on Japanese cinema.
EigaFest recently occurred from December 14th to December 16th. Unlike many other film festivals, EigaFest showcases mainstream instead of independent films. It caters to a broader audience, and it gives moviegoers a better representation of what’s being shown in Japanese theaters.
For $11, I got to attend the EigaFest opening night showcase, which was the US premiere of “Rurouni Kenshin,” a live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga and anime about a wandering ex-assassin seeking redemption. Ticket holders were also allowed to watch the red carpet ceremony outside the Egyptian Theatre prior to the screening, where Keishi Otomo (director of “Rurouni Kenshin”), Munetaki Aoki (actor from “Rurouni Kenshin”), Mina Ninagawa (director of “Helter Skelter”), Japanese Consul General Jun Niimi, and even George Takei (actor from “Star Trek”) showed up. People also had an opportunity to watch an amazing, thunderous, energetic taiko drum performance inside the theatre auditorium.
After the premiere of “Rurouni Kenshin” and the Q/A panel with Keishi Otomo and Munetaki Aoki ended, viewers were allowed to stay for the after party, where free drink from the bar (i.e. sake, Asahi), free food (i.e. clam soup, fried rice, cooked squid), and free Pocky were served! Both Keishi Otomo and Munetaki Aoki were kind enough to stay behind to talk to everyone as well as sign autographs and pose for photos.
With a screening of “Rurouni Kenshin,” a taiko performance, red carpet viewing, and free food and drinks, $11 was definitely a worthwhile purchase! While I did not have time to watch the other films during that weekend, I look forward to the lineup for next year’s EigaFest. LA EigaFest was located in the Egyptian Theatre at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. The Hollywood & Highland Center nearby provides two-hour parking for only $2 with validation from the center. The Egyptian Theatre is also near the Hollywood/Highland Metro station. For more photos, please check out our Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA.
Stay tune for our upcoming post on the Santa Monica Pub Crawl, and Happy Holidays!!
Until next time,