key visual

Creating KOTO from KOTO

The Nara International Film Festival recreates a “thing” ーKOTO from the “old capital city”-KOTO.


What’s NIFF?

The Nara International Film Festival (NIFF) is a biennial film festival located in one of the most historically rich city, Nara, Japan.
NIFF was founded by locals of Nara and a filmmaker, Naomi KAWASE in 2010, and this year, we are celebrating its 5th edition of the festival. Since the founding year, NIFF has dedicated to embracing emerging filmmakers and to nurturing audience and feature artistic talent thorough films.
Along with the main programs of International and Student Competition programs, NIFF showcases special programs and interactive events which entertains not only film enthusiasts but also local audiences.


Executive Director 
Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase
photographed by LESLIE KEE

Since the first year of the Nara International Film Festival (NIFF) in 2010, we have created a bond through films with many people who believe in us, and this year, we are celebrating a milestone of the 5th edition of NIFF. It has been 10 years since the pre-event of the festival in 2008.

Our biannual festival was dedicated to creating “NARAtive” films with our focus on “Watching” and “Creating” films, and these are the indispensable key words for our festival.
Films are not just to be shown but also to be created, and nevertheless, being watched by an audience, the connection of film creates a complete circle.

With this circle of film in mind, NIFF’s 2018 concept was decided on
RE : CREATION ー “Watching” “Creating” “Showing”
This year, we are initiating a new youth program which allows children to experience the world with their own eyes and to discover a future key through films.

Following the partnership with Cannes Film Festival in the 4th edition of 2016, from this edition, our festival established a partnership with the Berlin International Film Festival Generation. I hope NIFF continues to be a doorway into Nara from the world and also a doorway to the world from Nara, and I hope for NIFF to continue on as a festival of Nara where the local people embrace their own cultures and homeland.

Wishing for dreams to come true in the next ten, hundred, and thousand years.

Nara International Film Festival Executive Director

Chief Director 
Satoko Nakano

Satoko Nakano

This year, the Nara International Film Festival (NIFF) is celebrating its 5th edition of the festival and the 10th anniversary since the establishment of the NIFF Organizing Committee.

With the support and devotion of many people, NIFF has been able to grow to this date.

When I think of all the guests and directors who came to NIFF from all over the world and those who went to their own bright future paths from NIFF in last ten years, all the memories of past NIFF come back vividly in my mind.

On the first year of NIFF in 2010, an initial installment ceremony for the main columns of the main hall of Kōfuku-ji Temple, Chu-kon Do was held near the main center of NIFF. This year, the completion ceremony for the restoration of Kōfuku-ji Temple, Chu-kon Do will be celebrated.

Ten years may be in the blink of an eye for the long history of Nara, but we continue trying to cultivate a new cultural platform by offering new programs in this historical city, Nara.

Come join us and experience this edition of NIFF.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Nara International Festival 2018!

Chairman of the Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee

Story of Logo


The NIFF logo is originated from the traditional Japanese roof tile.
The tile with a cherry flower design was discovered from the remains of the Heijo palace,
where the emperor’s residence and governement office existed when Nara was the capital of Japan 1300 years ago.
The cherry flower is a symbolic icon of the ancient capital.
The 5 petals and 7 dots inside of them represent the 5 continents and 7 seas of the world,
and the 24 dots around the flower represent the film basic of 24 frames per second.



The intercultural film event between Thailand and Japan

Nara International Film Festival Symposium
Guest: Mr. Isamu Tatsuno (Montbell Chairman)
Alex Kerr (Scholar)


Film screening, live performance, and talk show

Outdoor screening event + “beauty” premium talk show
Screening of kids movie + kids event
Outdoor screening of “SHARA” + dance performance
Shooting of NARAtive 2010 film “bion” & “Last Chestnuts”


The 1st Nara International Film Festival


Shooting of NARAtive2012

March: NARAtive 2010 “BION” “Last Chestnut” Screening Event with Kaori Momoi & Naomi Kawase
April: Shooting of NARAtive2012 “Inori”
May: Announcing the concept of “3.11 A Sense of Home Films” at Cannes Film Festival
September: Screening of “3.11 A Sense of Home Films” at Kinpusenji Temple in Yoshino
September: PRE FIESTA 201


The 2nd Nara International Film Festival

June: The Reconstructive Support Event for the Nara southern area in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo
April-July: Workshop with Hakuho junior high school in Katsuragi city, Nara
August: NARAtive 2012 “Inori” won the Golden Leopard Award at the 65 edition of the Locarno Film Festival
August: Workshop with Todaiji junior high school
August: NIFF 2012 Pre-event: Screening of “Suzaku” with Machiko Ono & Naomi Kawase
September: The 2nd Nara International Film Festival
November: NARAtive 2012 “Inori” won the Best Mexican Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia in Mexico


Shooting of NARAtive2014

January: Supported a 16-year-old film maker to shoot his first short film “Kasabutatan”
April: Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event) started. Guest: Kazuyuki Izutsu, Hirokazu Koreeda
August: NARAtive 2014 “FANTASIA” shooting
December: HEAD GENEVA UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN x NIFF 3-week workshop “Grand Voyage”


The 3rd Nara International Film Festival

April: Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event since 2013)
September: The 3rd Nara International Film Festival


Shooting of NARAtive2016

April:Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event since 2013)
June: NARAtive 2014 project “A Midsummer’s Fantasia” was released in Korea, attracting over 35,000 audience in 3 months
September: The 3-day outdoor screening “Movies in the Park” held in Nara Park
December: The filmmaking workshop with the 5th graders at Doshisha International Academy Elementary School


The 4th Nara International Film Festival

April: Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event since 2013)
April: NARAtive 2016 “The Wolves of the East” shooting
September: The 4th Nara International Film Festival


Shooting of NARAtive2018

April: Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event since 2013)
June: NARAtive 2018 Kickoff Promotion Event “MOVIE ON BIKES”
September: NARAtive Kickoff Promotion Event vol.2″
SING” Free Screening
October: NARAtive2018 Film Shooting in Tenri, Nara
October: NARAtive2016 film WOLVES OF THE EAST screening & Special Still Show at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Descember: WOLVES OF THE EAST showcased at the 2017 Habana Film Festival.


The 5th Nara International Film Festival

Nara Cinematheque (monthly screening event since 2013)
February: WOLVES OF THE EAST released at 11 theaters in Japan.



NPO Nara International Film Festival Committee


Old Addr(until September.31.2018)
Takeda Bldg. 3F, 36 Shimosanjyo-cho, Nara City, 630-8236, Japan

New Addr(since July.1.2018)
23-4 Nishikido-cho, Nara City, 630-8236, Japan