Last year, 634 Japanese films were released in this country, with the great majority screening at independent theaters, locally called “mini-theaters.” Without these theaters, the Japanese independent film sector would cease to exist.

In 2022, Malaysian-born, Osaka-based filmmaker Kah Wai Lim released “Your Lovely Smile,” a comedy-cum-documentary starring Hirobumi Watanabe as an indie director who travels to mini-theaters from Okinawa to Hokkaido trying to persuade their skeptical real-life owners to screen his films. It was a funny, heartfelt ode to indie films and the theaters that show them.

Now Lim is back with “This Magic Moment,” a sort of sequel in which the director journeys to 22 mini-theaters across Japan to talk to the people who keep them running against formidable odds.