Full Lineup Unveiled for 36th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF)

Festival Chairman ANDO Hiroyasu delivered opening remarks at the conference, outlining a range of enhancements that are being made to this year’s edition, including an expansion of the number of films in the lineup, a five-fold increase in international guests, special screenings and events dedicated to Ozu, strengthened collaboration with other countries/regions in Asia, and the launch of a program aimed at reaching both Japanese and foreign students studying film in Japan. (See full press release for more in the link below.)

TIFFCOM Managing Director KURIHASHI Mikiya then discussed TIFFCOM 2023, the TIFF’s affiliated marketplace, which will be marking its 20th edition and the first to be held physically since 2019, due to Covid. Running from October 25 to 27 at the new Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center Hamamatsucho Building, TIFFCOM will now be located closer to TIFF’s venues, and feature expanded space for overseas exhibitors, the new TOKYO Story Market, an expansive lineup of talks and events, and the 4th annual Tokyo Gap-Financing Market program.

Internationally acclaimed German filmmaker, writer and photographer Wim Wenders, who will serve as the President of the International Competition Jury at the 36th TIFF, sent a message that was shared with the audience (See full press release for his message). His fellow jurors will be Spanish filmmaker Albert Serra, Chinese actress and producer Zhao Tao, Vietnamese producer Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, and Japanese producer KUNIZANE Mizue.

The 36th TIFF Festival Navigator ANDO Momoko then took to the stage, wearing the same outfit that she posed in (with her father, actor OKUDA Eiji) for the TIFF poster, and shared her thoughts on serving in the position, which was previously called the Festival Ambassador. (See full press release for more in the link below).

Following an introduction to TIFF Opening Film Perfect Days (by Wim Wenders) and Closing Film Godzilla Minus One (by YAMAZAKI Takashi), TIFF Programming Director ICHIYAMA Shozo greeted the audience and shared highlights of the festival’s nine sections, including the Competition, Gala Selection, Nippon Cinema Now and others. The Competition includes 15 films*, ten of them world premieres, selected from among 1,942 titles from 114 countries and regions.

(*See the full release for the full list of Competition titles.)

Two Japanese directors whose work will be world premiered in the TIFF Competition section then joined Ichiyama on stage to make remarks about their selection: KOTSUJI Yohei (A Foggy Paradise) and TOMINA Tetsuya (Who Were We?). (See full release for comments.)

Senior Programmer ISHIZAKA Kenji introduced the Asian Future section lineup and provided highlights of the 10 films from emerging filmmakers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Israel, Thailand, Turkey and Japan, all of whom are receiving their world premieres and will be eligible for awards. He noted that three of the films were directed by women, and nearly all the titles focus on families grappling with modern life, reflecting deep insights into the areas in which they live.

Animation Programming Advisor FUJITSU Ryota provided an overview of the revitalized Animation section, which will now include internationally acclaimed animated works as well as Japanese titles. It will feature seven recent Japanese masterworks, as well as five films from overseas, including two from China. There will also be seminars on the Portrayal of Youth and the Possibilities of Animated Expression.

*Please refer to TIFF’s official website for the full lineup of the Animation section.

For the fourth year, TIFF and The Japan Foundation will be co-presenting the popular TIFF Lounge talk sessions, featuring leading auteurs from Asia and beyond. This year’s participants include Zhang Yimou, Tran Anh Hung, Yamada Yoji, Yang Yonghi, and the two recipients of the Kurosawa Akira Award, Mouly Surya and Gu Xiaogang. Among the many other event highlights will be a masterclass with Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung; a Kering’s Women In Motion event; an Ozu Yasujiro “Shoulders of Giants” symposium with Jia Zhangke, KUROSAWA Kiyoshi and Kelly Reichardt; a discussion between TAKASAKI Takuma, the screenwriter of TIFF Opening Film Perfect Days and filmmaker Kawamura Genki, who produced Kore-eda’s latest film, Monster; and a TIFF Roundtable highlighting the Female Gaze on Film Journalism, with international practitioners.

The 36th TIFF will be held from October 23 to November 1, 2023 in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area and other venues in Tokyo.

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