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27th Tokyo film fest to look to Asia, feature animation

'Big Hero 6'
Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6’
TOKYO (TR) – Organizers for the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival on Tuesday announced plans to promote Asian films and support animation during its nine-day run in October.

“In order for us to increase the level of recognition and penetration of the festival there are a number of special events that are in store,” said chairman Yasushi Shiina at a press conference at the Roppongi Hills complex, the main screening venue for TIFF in Minato Ward.

TIFF, which extends between October 23 and 31, will be working with the Japan Foundation on a number of projects, including the Asian Three-Fold Mirror, a co-production venture between Japan and other Asian countries, and Crosscut Asia, a film showcase that this year will highlight productions from Thailand.

Also promoting film in the region is “The Spirit of Asia Award,” which will be presented to an up-and-coming director participating in the fest’s “Asian Future” section.

TIFF will also attempt to expand its reach by collaborating with the World Cosplay Summit, Able & Partners Tokyo Designers Week, the 4th Japan Student Film Festival and the Kinder Film Festival.

Assisting in this regard will be Yasushi Akimoto, the producer of idol group AKB48 who is serving as the executive producer of the film festival.

“In many aspects, he is supporting us greatly,” said Shima. “We have been able to use his wisdom.”

Kicking off TIFF will be Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” the studio’s follow-up to the smash hit “Frozen.” Closing the fest will be “Parasyte,” director Takashi Yamazaki’s live-action adaptation of the sci-fi manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki.

As the opening film shows, animation is a focus of the festival. “The World of Hideaki Anno” will feature 50 works by animator Hideaki Anno, the creator of the “Evangelion” series at Toho Cinemas Nihonbashi in Chuo Ward.

Anno said that over his more than three-decade career his style for creating has not been changed, and that he is pleased to have the opportunity to look back in time.

“Everything is a challenge,” the director said. “All of my works are unforgettable, and good memories as a director don’t remain but hard experiences led to build my creativity.”

The lineup for TIFF will be announced on September 30.