25 Oct – The 36th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has recently begun its 10-day run on 23 October with a glamorous array of filmmakers, stars and soon-to-be stars gracing the red carpet.
Significantly expanding on past editions in innumerable ways, this year's TIFF, running from 23 October - 1 November at venues in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area of Tokyo, will feature 219 screenings, Q&A sessions, symposia, master classes, TIFF Lounge talk sessions and an enormous array of events.
Fifteen titles are competing for the Tokyo Grand Prix in the International Competition, drawn from 1,942 submissions from 114 countries and regions, up from last year's 1,695 submissions.
Among the international luminaries seen at the red carpet were Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou, who is at the festival to screen his early-2023 hit "Full River Red", as well as to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and to host a masterclass; and acclaimed Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung, who will screen his Cannes Best Director Award-winning "The Pot-Au-Feu", as well as conduct a masterclass, and brought along one of his stars, Benoit Magimel.
Many Japanese celebrities also appeared at the event, including 36th TIFF Festival Navigator Momoko Ando, accompanied by her father, actor Okuda Eiji and fashion designer Koshino Junko, who dressed them both for this year's TIFF poster image; prolific Japanese director Yamazaki Takashi, with his "Godzilla Minus One" stars Kamiki Ryunosuke and Hamabe Minami. The festival's Closing Film commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beloved monster.
Director Gu Xiaogang, Leo Wu, and Jiang Qinqin at the festival's red carpet
Zhang Yimou was also seen at the event to be honoured with Lifetime Award
Also on hand was cult director Miike Takashi with his new film "Lumberjack the Monster" in the Gala Selection, along with his stars Kamenashi Kazuya and Nanao; auteur Tsukamoto Shinya, in the Gala Selection with the final title in his antiwar trilogy, "Shadow of Fire", winner of the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the 80th Venice Film Festival.
Competition section filmmakers and their stars were out in force, including "Gondola" director Veit Helmer and actor Nino Soselia from Germany/Georgia; "Dwelling by the West Lake" director Gu Xiaogang, who will also be receiving the Kurosawa Akira Award later in the festival, along with actors Wu Lei and Jiang Qinqin; and "A Long Shot" director Gao Peng with actors Zu Feng and Zhou Zhengjie.
In the Asian Future section, Malaysia-Singapore co-production "La Luna" was represented by director Raihan M. Halim.
"La Luna" is represented by director Raihan M. Halim (left)
The members of the International Competition jury appeared last on the Red Carpet: Jury President Wim Wenders, Albert Serra, Kunizane Mizue, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc and Zhao Tao.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nidhimuts Yasutoshi expressed, "We believe that, through the Tokyo International Film Festival, Japanese and Asian talents will be able to expand their audiences. We're expecting wonderful things from this year's festival."
36th TIFF Festival Navigator Momoko Ando, a director herself, noted, "The festival has invited people from all over the world, they're bringing wonderful films, and over the next 10 days, we will all share in their visions. Everything in film is evolving, from technology to distribution, but the thing that never changes is the core value of cinema. I think we'll be shining a light on the future over these next 10 days, and I hope you'll all have a great festival."
Cinema Online, 25 October 2023