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Film based on novel by AV actress Mana Sakura in competition at Tokyo fest

"The Lowlife"
“The Lowlife” will screen in the competition at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival

TOKYO (TR) – The 30th incarnation of the Tokyo International Film Festival will feature two Japanese titles in the competition section, including a film that is based on a novel by popular porn starlet Mana Sakura, organizers announced on Tuesday.

Directed by Takahisa Zeze, “The Lowlife” document the day-to-day struggles of three adult video (AV) actresses and their relationships with families and friends. Publisher Kadokawa released the novel that formed the base of the film last year.

“In the past, the AV industry was outside most people’s lives, but now it’s closer to us, so I thought it was a good thing that I could depict these women as normal people,” said Zeze. “I always create a film hoping that even one person will enjoy and value it, including the positioning of adult films.”

Extending between October 25 and November 3, TIFF will screen more than 200 films at the Roppongi Hills complex, EX Theater Roppongi and other locations in the metropolis. Opening the festival will be “Fullmetal Alchemist,” a film directed by Fumihiko Sori that is based on the manga series of the same name.

Five-member jury

U.S. actor and filmmaker Tommy Lee Jones will lead the five-member jury. The competition section also features “AQÉRAT (We the Dead),” the story of a woman who turns to human trafficking to make ends meet by Edmund Yeo. The other Japanese film in the section is “Tremble All You Want,” a romantic comedy featuring Japanese actress Mayu Matsuoka.

The “Asian Future” section features 10 films from up-and-coming directors in Asia and the Middle East. Meanwhile, the “Japanese Cinema Splash” section includes nine films by young Japanese helmers, including Daigo Matsui (“Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops”) and Hikaru Toda (“Of Love & Law”).

“An Inconvenient Sequel”

Closing the festival will be “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a documentary directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk that chronicles former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s battle with climate change.

“I think what’s most important for film festival are the encounters and exchanges with people and films from around the world,” Zeze said. “I believe movies are freedom, so I hope this festival will serve as a protector of freedom.”