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One of the main goals of a film festival is to show movies that audiences won’t get to see otherwise. For the festival operators there’s another objective: testing reactions to films and stories, and using that information for marketing purposes. And with the number of film festivals being held in Japan on the rise, it’s a win-win. If you want to see quality movies that may not get a theatrical release (and to encourage distributors to bring over more interesting movies), visit your local film fest for a sampling of undiscovered gems.

One worth checking out is EU Film Days, showcasing 27 films at the National Film Center in Tokyo (through June 21) and the Museum of Kyoto (July 1-12). Some of the titles are familiar, having already been released in Japan, such as Polish drama “Ida,” a visually stunning tale of a young nun reconnecting with her past. Italy’s “Shun Li and the Poet” is a rare look at Chinese immigrant workers in Venice — in this case a woman who works at a bar on a little lagoon island. “The Lesson” from Bulgaria is a fable of how money can be a savior, but often brings tragedy.

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