At a press conference at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, chairman Tatsumi “Tom” Yoda said that festival is seeking to reach the next level. “We are enthused about making the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival even more powerful to meet high expectations,” he said.
The festival’s run between October 20 and 28 will feature over 300 films at theaters in the Roppongi entertainment district and other areas.
This year, TIFF received a total of 1,332 titles — roughly double the figure from five years ago — from 91 countries and regions. Five world premieres will be included among the 15 entries in the main competition, including helmer Tetsuaki Matsue’s “Flashback Memories 3D,” in which a didgeridoo musician rehabilitates a brain dysfunction, the Chinese family drama “Feng Shui,” Wang Jing’s story of struggles in a working-class household, and Michael J. Rix’s “Accession,” in which a South African man copes with being HIV positive.
Heading the jury will be Roger Corman, the producer and director of over 500 films, many of which were low-budget, B-movie efforts.
Kicking off the event in the “Special Screenings” section will be the world premiere of the James Cameron-produced 3D pic “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.” Ridley Scott’s “Japan in a Day,” a crowd-sourced pic that chronicles the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, is slotted as a special opener. Closing the fest will be Robert Lorenz’s “Trouble with the Curve,” a baseball pic in which Clint Eastwood portrays a baseball scout reuniting with his daughter.
The “Japanese Eyes” section will feature eight local pics, including “Chasing Santa Claus,” helmer Hiroki Iwabuchi’s documentary about the first Christmas in Sendai following the devastation of last year’s earthquake, and Tomomi Ishiyama’s “Last Days of Summer,” the story of a junior-high school girl coming of age in a mountain village.
The “Natural TIFF” section showcases films with environmental themes, such as “Trashed,” a look at how the food chain is being impacted by pollution.
TIFF will also feature footage from the latest James Bond pic “Skyfall,” which marks 50 years for the franchise.
Hideyuki Takai, the president of organizer UNIJAPAN, said that film festivals are a valuable forum for international cultural exchange. “I hope that films and film festivals will continue to promote greater global exchange of culture, business and exchanges between filmmakers,” said the president.