If there’s an overarching theme to the New York Japan CineFest, aside from Japanese-inspired shorts by U.S.-based filmmakers, maybe it’s the unanswered questions we never thought to ask. Whatever happened to Kurosawa’s eighth samurai? Do dolphins take to choreographed dance? Is food porn the way to a girl’s heart? The seven live-action and animated short films collected here might offer some artistic enlightenment, or at least some insight into the modern experience of being Japanese in America. Some work through mysticism, such as Kosuke Furukawa’s noirish Uguisu, in which a Brooklyn waitress has a spiritual encounter with two mysterious patrons, or Into the New World, by Haruhito Naka, where our heroine searches New York for her missing boyfriend, who has been kidnapped by “God.” The filmmakers will be on hand for discussion following the screening.

Fri., June 8, 6:30 p.m., 2012