The 35th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) kicked off with its first life-size red carpet in three years.
At the Takarazuka Theatre, in the new main area of the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Ginza festival, relocated last year from Roppongi, the president of the jury of the international competition and American director Julie Taymor spoke from the red carpet: “It’s an amazing time now that – since the Covid – you’re able to have many more international guests, which is so critical at a time in the world that is so divisive.
TIFF was only able to accommodate eight foreign guests last year, due to Covid restrictions, but has invited over 100 international guests this year – still no return to pre-pandemic numbers but deemed encouraging by the organizers and the industry. Shozo Ichiyama, programming director of TIFF, said Filter that many cast and crew paid for their own travel and accommodation, “despite our budget limitations”.
Taymor added: “We are travelers and in that way movies inspire empathy in us and that’s what we need now – tremendous empathy. We live other people’s lives and we become them for a time and that hopefully makes this world a saner place.
The American filmmaker was joined by other members of the jury at today’s event (October 24) which included Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung and Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues.
Other notable figures on the red carpet were Japanese filmmaker Yukisada Isao, who will chair the jury for the Amazon Prime Video Take One award; Thai producer and Asian Future jury member Soros Sukhum; Japanese director Hiroki Ryuichi, who has three films in the festival’s gala selection; and filmmaker Faishi Matsunaga, whose romantic drama Self-centered plays competitively, alongside its stars Ryohei Suzuki and Hio Miyazawa.
The festival opened with the world premiere of Japanese POW drama by Takahisa Zeze Fragments of the Last Will with director and actress Ninomiya Kazunari on hand to present the feature film.
“Even in difficult circumstances, people don’t lose hope,” Zeze said of what he hoped his film would convey in a time of Covid and war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian doc added
From October 24 to November 2, TIFF is scheduled to screen 111 films across its nine main sections.
Recently Added Organizers Freedom On Fire: Ukraine’s fight for freedomEvgeny Afineevsky’s documentary about the Russian invasion and the position of the Ukrainians against it, which will be screened in the World Focus – Special Screening section.
A total of 169 titles will be screened during the festival including outdoor screenings from TIFF and the National Film Archive collaborative project.
The festival will end on November 2 with LivingBritish adaptation by director Oliver Hermanus of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 Japanese drama Ikiru with a revised screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro and starring Bill Nighy.
TIFF will also present the Kurosawa Akira Award on October 29 to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose Bardo, false chronicle of a handful of truthsstars in the Gala selection, and Koji Fukada, who is to have a TIFF Lounge conversation with Tsai Ming-Liang whose 30 years of cinema are honored at the festival.
This year’s lifetime achievement award will be presented at the closing ceremony to Nogami Teruyo, who has worked with Kurosawa for 50 years in a variety of roles, including continuity assistant, production manager and director. assistant producer on films such as Rashomon and Seven Samurai. She will receive her award at the closing ceremony on November 2.