Tokyo fest opens with ‘The Three Musketeers,’ Noda offers thanks for Tohoku support

Wim Wenders and his wife Donata at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Wim Wenders and his wife Donata at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

TOKYO (TR) – Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was among those in attendance on Saturday in the Roppongi entertainment district of Tokyo for the opening night of the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival, a week-long event that will feature more than 200 films.

Just outside one of the main screening theaters, biz luminaries strode along the ceremonial “green carpet” — a symbol of the fest’s ecological theme — laid upon Keyakizaka-dori at the Roppongi Hills complex in Minato Ward as the assembled crowd snapped photos and sought autographs.

Two pics kicked off the proceedings, helmer Paul W.S. Anderson’s “The Three Musketeers,” an adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel, and “1911,” a historical war drama starring Jackie Chan.

Heading the jury will be producer Edward Pressman. For the main competition, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix and $50,000 will be sought by 15 films, five of which will be world premieres at TIFF, including helmer Shuichi Okita’s drama “The Woodsman and the Rain,” and Du Jiayi’s “Kora,” a Chinese coming-of-age drama about a boy traveling to Tibet.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda offered gratitude for the world’s outpouring of kindness following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March. He also expressed a keen interest in films, with “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” being a favorite. “Films have the power to create memories and leave positive impressions,” Noda said.

Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), expressed the importance of government activities in supporting the film industry. “It is the business of METI to see that the outstanding output of the Japanese film industry is purchased and watched by people around the world,” the minister said, “and to make the extra effort to offer support. I hope those involved in the film industry will continue to cooperate and make more films that cross over age and gender boundaries.”

TIFF chairman Tatsumi “Tom” Yoda said that the earthquake caused considerable debate about whether to hold the festival this year, but organizers felt saw an opportunity to lend support to the disaster-hit Tohoku area. The TIFF Arigato Project will collect donations and send positive messages to the victims. A special screening will be held on October 25 in Sendai, whose coastal area suffered extensive damage due to the tsunami.

As previously reported, TIFF will pay tribute to legendary actress Kyoko Kagawa, who made her name alongside such helmers as Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, and Yasujiro Ozu.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the festival has included an environmental mandate. Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles will be provided, films with themes related to environmental conservation will be screened, and filmmakers and celebrities, including director Wim Wenders (“Pina”), actress Milla Jovovich (“Musketeers”), actress Meisa Kuroki (“The Wings of the Kirin”), and actor Koji Yakusho (“Woodsman”), walked over a green carpet composed of recycled materials during last night’s festivities.

The closing film, slated for October 31, will be Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball,” a baseball pic in which Brad Pitt portrays Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.

Cast from 'Kora' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Cast from ‘Kora’ at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Cast from 'Sleepwalker' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Cast from ‘Sleepwalker’ at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Cast from 'The Wings of the Kirin' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Cast from ‘The Wings of the Kirin’ at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Sonia Sui of 'Make Up' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Sonia Sui of ‘Make Up’ at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Cast from 'The Woodsman and the Rain' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Cast from ‘The Woodsman and the Rain’ at the opening ceremonies

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

Zhang Xinyu of 'No Liar, No Cry' at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

Zhang Xinyu of ‘No Liar, No Cry’ at the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo International Film Festival

(Photo by Tokyo Reporter, October 22, 2011)

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Written by on October 23, 2011. Filed under National,Photo Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry.

One Response to Tokyo fest opens with ‘The Three Musketeers,’ Noda offers thanks for Tohoku support

  1. Pingback: France’s ‘Untouchable’ takes Sakura prize at Tokyo International Film Fest | The Tokyo Reporter - "All the News That's Fit to Squint"

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