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Why go to Osaka to see films? I may sound like an insufferable Tokyo snob asking this, but given all the hundreds of movies on offer in the nation’s capital, it’s worth answering to justify the shinkansen ticket.

One excellent reason to go is the Osaka Asian Film Festival, whose 12th edition will unspool March 3-12. Every year OAFF screens some of the most interesting films coming out of Asia, including ones from Japan. So do the Tokyo International Film Festival and Tokyo Filmex, but not at this time of year — and why wait?

OAFF features 16 films — the most ever — in its competition this year, including “Yamato (California),” Daisuke Miyazaki’s scrappy indie drama about two young women — one Japanese and one American — who bond over their love of rap. Other entries come from all around Asia, including Hong Kong and Thailand — countries that are the subjects of special sections this year.

The opening film is “Mrs K,” an actioner by Malaysia-born director Ho Yuhang, starring action icons Simon Yam and Kara Wai. The closing film is “Parks,” Natsuki Seta’s engagingly offbeat drama about three millennials (Ai Hashimoto, Mei Nagano and Shota Sometani) who investigate the origins of a boomer-era love song in and around Tokyo’s Inokashira Park.

There are also special screenings, films by up-and-coming filmmakers, symposiums, talk events and more. Subtitles are provided in English and, depending on the film, other Asian languages.

For more details, visit www.oaff.jp.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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