Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will open with a full red carpet for the first time in three years as the event looks to bounce back from two relatively subdued editions held during the pandemic.
Fest chairman Hiroyasu Ando said at a line-up press conference that he expected around 100 overseas guests and participants to attend. A very limited number of visitors made the trip for the last two events.
Japan’s government has kept tighter restrictions on its borders for longer than most other countries and a daily limit of 50,000 inbound travellers currently remains in place. Further loosening is expected by the time the fest unspools, with a parliamentary discussion on border controls set for tomorrow.
TIFF will also revive the Kurosawa Akira Award, given to filmmakers for contributions to global cinema, after a hiatus of 14 years. Previous recipients include Steven Spielberg, Yamada Yoji and Chen Kaige.
Kurosawa is “not only Japan’s most famous filmmaker,” but also “a symbol of the connections between the film industries of Japan and the rest of the world,” said Ando, explaining why the award had been revived.
Screenings of 110 films, up by around a third on last year, selected from nearly 1,700 entries, will take place around the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Ginza-Marunouchi area, which it relocated to last year after a long stretch at the Roppongi Hills complex.
Asia and the Middle-East enjoys strong representation in the competition, with 10 of the 15 selected films, eight of which are world premieres, either hailing from the region or being co-productions with countries from that part of the world.
Jury president Julie Taymor will be joined by Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung, Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues, France’s Marie-Christine de Navacelle and local cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima.
The gala selection will feature 16 movies from around the globe, including the Japanese premieres of Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling and David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, along with the previously announced opener of Takahisa Zeze’s Fragments of the Last Will and closing film Oliver Hermanus’s Living.
Ten films from around Asia and Middle-East, all world premieres, will screen in the Asian Future category for up-and-coming directors, while anime will again be celebrated with a mix of new and classic works.
Actress Ai Hashimoto will serve as festival ambassador for the second consecutive year.
“If I may be so bold as to state my hopes for the festival, it would be that it become a beacon of light for all fervent film lovers who are compelled to make films despite the dire situations they face, and who strive to change the situation if even a little while nevertheless choosing to carry on making films,” said Hashimoto.
TIFF Lounge events during the fest, which will also welcome back overseas guests, will include sessions featuring directors Tsai Ming-liang, Koji Fukada and Milcho Manchevski. Meanwhile Genki Kawamura — producer of anime megahit Your Name whose directorial debut A Hundred Flowers is currently in theaters — will appear in two special talk sessions.
TIFF will run from Oct. 24 to Nov.2, with the TIFFCOM content market taking place online from Oct. 25 to 27.