The 21st century seems to carry the weight of an ethnocentric form of globalisation favourable to the expansion of the Western American culture in the world. The Oscars and their subtle or less subtle political messages, together with their backstage gossip and onstage glamour, result in a wide amount of contents to be published in the media, social networks and blogs all over the world.

In this context, it seems important to underline how other regions or countries contribute to the world of Cinema. In the case of Japan, we might have heard about Hayao Miyazaki or even Yasujiro Ozu, one of the founding fathers of Japanese cinema. Ozu's 'Tokyo Monogatari' (Tokyo Story), did not require an expensive budget or the latest technologies to reproduce on screen a form of art that focuses on the most fundamental issues of human existence.

Beyond Hollywood... The Japanese Academy Awards will distinguish, this Friday, 27th February, the best Japanese movies and actors of 2014. The final nominations for the 38th Japanese Academy Prize in the best picture category are:

  • The Eternal Zero
  • Paper Moon
  • Little House
  • A Samurai's Chronicle
  • Cape Nostalgia

This seems like an excellent opportunity to raise awareness to a more diverse media coverage about cinema and other forms of art. We all know about Hollywood, but we rarely have the chance to read more about films coming from non-English speaking countries. In fact, movies from other regions can become an important tool to understand different cultures and lifestyles, and also learn other languages.

This edition of the Japanese Academy Prize is not without controversy, as one of the nominated movies for best picture, 'The Eternal Zero', presents a fictional account of a World War II Kamikaze pilot, in which its mission is glorified in this movie, therefore, championing a nationalist message to the Japanese public. This also depicts the current political trends in Japan, as an emerging nationalist rhetoric is often seen as a solution to deal with the current challenges that Tokyo is facing.

There are many windows to be opened in Western media, in order to give us a more comprehensive view of what is happening around the world. Beyond Hollywood, this Friday, other windows will be opened on the 38th Japanese Academy Prize.