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Free movie at Richmond, Surrey KPU promotes Japanese culture

A free screening of 'Dad's Lunch Box' is being held in Richmond on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Dad's Lunch Box (2017) is a heartwarming tale about food and family.

A free screening of a heartwarming Japanese film is coming to Richmond next week.

On Tuesday, November 8, Richmondites can watch the 2017 film Dad's Lunch Box (パパのお弁当は世界一) with English subtitles at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's (KPU) Richmond campus.

The film is based on a true story that went viral on Twitter in Japan about a newly-divorced dad who made a bento (lunch) box for his daughter every day while she went to high school.

Starring Toshimi Watanabe as the father and Rena Takeda as the daughter, the film explores two intertwining themes with a universal appeal: the father-daughter bond and food.

"The importance of these school meals is stressed quite a lot in the film, through an episodic approach that includes almost any blunder one could make when making a bento," explained Ryosuke Nakazawa, spokesperson for the Consulate General of Japan.

The smell of sashimi, missing side dishes, and food arrangement within the bento box are some things to consider, he added.

"You will be able to see in the movie that a bento is not just a meal box, it also becomes a venue to express your feelings and can even become an art form itself," said Nakazawa. 

The free film show is one of the Consulate General's regular projects to help people gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and customs.

"It has not been the easiest couple of years to have live screenings, but we are proud that we still can continue to host film shows like these two upcoming ones," Nakazawa said.

The Consulate General chose to partner with KPU since the school provides Japanese language classes, and Richmond was selected for the showing because of the Japanese Canadian roots in the city.

"We felt it was important to hold a Japanese cultural event in a place where Japanese Canadians have a strong connection and can join such an event," said Nakazawa.

The second free showing of Dad's Lunch Box will be held at KPU's Surrey campus on Nov. 17. The Consulate General is hoping to promote Japanese culture in the city after seeing many learn about Japanese culture for the first time at this summer's Surrey Fusion Festival.

Watch Dad's Lunch Box for free at KPU Richmond by Lansdowne Centre at room 2550 B. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the showing will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Seating is first come first serve and no registration is required. Masks are strongly encouraged.

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