Camera Japan Festival is a japanese cultural event founded in 2006 by Alex Oost, Dirk Zschunke and Yasuo Kishibe.
Their main focus is on film but they also provide visual arts, dance, music, fashion, architecture and food. This festival is held in Lantaarn-Venster in Rotterdam in September and the week after you can see the movies in Kriterion, Amsterdam.
There is a large group of volunteers behind Camera Japan, Usually the same group of people with a few new comers, These people range from doormen/women and voting card distributors to Hospitality. (Collecting and showing around directors of movies). It’s a don’t-sit-still-weekend, I have worked as a volunteer for them for a couple of years while I was in between jobs, you will run back and forth between viewing rooms and the big hall to get everything done but it is indeed a lot of fun and a very fullfilling weekend. You get to watch the movies you want for free (unless sold out) and you have to watch the movies you’re being assigned too. I always really enjoyed doing it and the crew are all really fun and nice , the visitors are too.
This Festival starts on a Thursday evening, Lasting for 4 days. There is a lot to do; They have exhibitions. this year “A birds eye view of Kyushu” and “Hāfu2Hāfu; Portraits of half Japanese and their unique question to you”. They have a small popup market that sell Sake, Sushi, Taiyaki and other snacks and items and and Izakaya that starts at 10 am and on sunday they have kids day and a film brunch.
Kids day starts at 12 pm and this will provide a bunch of Japanese games for kids to play. Last year we built a robots from scrap items and the year before we had a water balloon scooping. the kids really seem to enjoy these and the anime movies they play as well.
The film brunch is (vegan) Japanese inspired food and a movie to follow, You have to buy tickets for this as a set and I’ve heard it’s always a lot of fun because you get to chat with other visitors and get to know some more people. The food however I have my own opinion on. It’s good, the taste is rather pure. But I like my spices and meats, strong flavors and variety. so for me the vegan pure japanese style isn’t a thing.
Reasons why you should visit the festival
1. Japanese movies
Weird and obscure but also true pearls. Every person can find a movie they like.
Taiyaki isn;t something you usually find in The Netherlands. The sushi is made by Japanese people so it tastes different from the Chinese brand restaurants serving sushi!
Staff and visitors are great, friendly and fun! the entire atmosphere in Lantaarn-Venster is calm, relaxed and adult. No popcorn, no annoying teenagers.
My event rating
4.5 out of 5
I love going to Camera Japan but with my work these last few years it’s near impossible but I will do my best in the upcoming years to join again!