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This competition aims to assemble new works by highly individualistic directors from fall film festivals all over the world. We present a varied collection of filmmakers, from newcomers with unique backgrounds to full-fledged veterans. More importantly, we have made a conscious effort to include films from a wide range of countries. There is no more effective means of understanding the world than cinema. With films from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, including Japan, the competition itself is like a globe. In addition to valuing stimulation and entertainment, we value films that reflect the social conditions and contemporary state of these regions. As the migrant crisis has worsened, there has been an explosion of films dealing with this issue. Needless to say, reality makes a mark on cinema. Can a son of immigrant working in a Paris entertainment district succeed? Can a group of female Italian workers unite in their struggle against a failing factory? Can a Swedish girl from an ethnic minority escape the confines of her world? Can an Iranian couple come to an agreement on having a second child? Can a Filipino drag queen get the death she is hoping for? Can a Romanian journalist maintain his professional ethics? Conflicts between individuals and societies occur everywhere. How intently can film focus on these subjects? How intently can we focus on them? Cinema tests our attitudes toward the world.
Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Director
Asian Future
Asian Future will mark its fourth year since its launch at the 26th TIFF, recognized as a young cinema competition for emerging filmmakers from Asia including Japan and Middle East countries. The past three winners are films from China, Iran and Thailand. The lineup this year includes five world-premiere films and five international-premiere films. Please do not miss the chance to watch future masters from China, Korea and Japan in East Asia, to Israel in the Middle East.
Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director
Japanese Cinema Splash
Japanese Cinema Splash continues to support the burgeoning Japanese independent film scene. Third-time selection Rikiya Imaizumi creates a life and death comedy. Hirobumi Watanabe deepens his unique world. Kenji Yamauchi helms a film version of a comedy play. Kaze Shindo returns after 11 years with a film set in Okinawa. Takeo Kikuchi emerges as a master director after experience as assistant director. The section will feature three talented new directors: Shin Adachi, screenwriter of 100 Yen Love; the rising Yutaro Nakamura, casting new stars; and Yujiro Harumoto with his solid technique. In addition, an out-of-competition special all-night screening will be held, to show the breadth of Japanese indie films.
Special Screenings
Special Screenings section showcases mostly yet-to-be-released films. Many guests from home and abroad take to the stage to boost the festival. The section opens with Stephen Frears' Florence Foster Jenkins, a moving comic drama based on a real-life "legendary" soprano, Madame Florence. Meryl Streep plays this complex role effortlessly and with such presence. The closing film Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow, by an up-and-coming director Yoshitaka Mori, is also based on a true story about a shogi (Japanese chess) player, Satoshi Murayama. Kenichi Matsuyama's performance of the main character is phenomenal. The line-up also includes high-profile films from Cannes, Venice, and Toronto, as well as Japanese films featuring glamorous guests. Be sure not to miss them.
World Focus
World Focus features internationally acclaimed films unreleased in Japan as of August 31, 2016, including award-winning films and work from renowned directors. The lineup has excellent European and American films acclaimed at Cannes, Locarno and Venice. Brazil's Filho, Finland's Kuosmanen, Newton from USA and Argentina's Duprat & Cohn are must-see new talents. New work from Bulgarian TIFF-favorites Grozeva & Valchanov and cinephile-acclaimed Mention-Schaar from France enrich the section. Hřebejk from Czech, Puiu from Romania and Portugal's Rodrigues will show impressive work, as will virtuosi Jacquot and Bonello from France and Seidl from Austria. Don't miss any!
Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Director (Films from Europe & North/South America)
A special lineup of Asian and Middle Eastern films, with two outstanding epic-length works: the four-hour A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY by the late Edward Yang makes its return to TIFF after a quarter century; and eight-hour A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz, winner of the Silver Bear. An amazing experience, only at TIFF, is guaranteed. Excellent films from TIFF regulars, including Hong Sang-soo, Dante Lam and Chung Mong-hong, are also in the lineup. We will hold special screenings in memory of Abbas Kiarostami who had a long relationship with TIFF since And Life Goes on… at the 5th TIFF. May his soul rest in peace.
Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director (Films from Asia and Middle East)
The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents
#03: Colorful Indonesia
TIFF has programmed Indonesian films since the 1980s. This year, CROSSCUT ASIA features mainly works from the new generation of Indonesia in cooperation with the Japan Foundation Asia Center: Ifa Isfansyah, who makes excellent, entertaining films; Angga Dwimas Sasongko, a young filmmaker who has released a string of acclaimed films; Teddy Soeriaatmadja of the Trilogy about Intimacy, which explores the innermost world of human beings by examining sexual desire; and three female directors, Nia Dinata, Kamila Andini and Mouly Surya, who have brought new energy to the Indonesian film industry. In addition, the latest film by TIFF regular Riri Riza, a mid-length Japan-premiere film by Edwin, and a digitally-restored masterpiece by Usmar Ismail will be screened. Enjoy the diversity of wonderful films from Indonesia!
Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director
Co-production by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and TIFF
Asian Omnibus Film Production Series
Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections
The Asian Three-Fold Mirror project brings together three globally acclaimed directors from Asia to co-create omnibus films with a common theme. The first of the omnibus film series, Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections, reflects on the history and culture of the chosen countries, generating new points of light. Under the theme "Living Together in Asia", crew and cast joined forces across national borders to depict the lives of characters who journey between Japan and Cambodia, the Philippines and Malaysia. These works aim to help bring together people in Asia.
Japan Now
Director Lars von Trier once said, "A film should be like a stone in your shoe". Sixty years ago, Yasujiro Ozu observed the rapid development of Japan after the war and predicted the collapse and transformation of Japanese families in Tokyo Story. Filmmakers examine the present in their stories and viewers look for themselves in them.
We still refer to Japan today as the post-war era, even though 70 years have passed. Economic struggles, issues with neighboring countries, unexpected incidents, anxiety about the future, a sense of stagnation felt by young people – all of these are expressed and presented in various ways by filmmakers. We have again selected excellent films that represent Japan in our lineup this year. Each one is "a stone in your shoe" that represents Japanese culture and tells a story about contemporary Japan.
The essential purpose of the Japan Now section is to help people from abroad understand contemporary Japan and to let them feel the appeal of Japan's aesthetics and culture.
But it is not exclusively for people from abroad. There are truths here for Japanese people to reexamine as well.
Kohei Ando
Programming Advisor
Director in Focus: Shunji Iwai
The Japan Now section showcases the excellent films of director Shunji Iwai to the world. Iwai is an extraordinary director who portrays contemporary Japan through the eyes of the younger generation with his own aesthetic, sense of values, and visual beauty. Enjoy his latest work A Bride for Rip Van Winkle and previous films, as well as a panel discussion with guests.
Japanese Classics
One of the biggest benefits of the digital era in films is improved repair and restoration technology. It is now possible to digitize deteriorated original films and restore the color and quality to the highest level. Recently restored versions of masterpieces have been attracting attention at film festivals around the world. Japanese masterpieces that have been restored using the latest technologies will be showcased at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Please enjoy revived masterpieces of your memory and long-lost films in beautiful pictures and sound.
29th TIFF presents Special Night Event at Kabukiza Theatre
Now in its third year, our special evening at the historic Kabukiza Theatre returns with live Benshi narration, featuring the Mad Chatter Ichiro Furutachi as a "contemporary Benshi", and traditional Kabuki performance by Kabuki actor Onoe Kikunosuke.
Many teen-oriented films are screened at film festivals across the globe. For TIFF-Teens in this year's new Youth section, TIFF and KINEKO selected three excellent films from around the world that Japanese teenagers should see. In this program, we want to encourage teen audiences to move another step forward after seeing the films, by joining in post-screening discussions that will provide opportunities for them to share their impressions with each other, and to learn more about issues facing teens around the world.
Of course, our troubles don't end as we get older. But discussing how they feel about films at this formative time, when they're starting to face up to their lives, can be helpful in boosting a teen's confidence.
Each of these works presents a vibrant view of the world and we hope the audiences will find them thought provoking.
Mitsuo Tahira
Programming Adviser
The World of Mamoru Hosoda
Mamoru Hosoda is one of Japan's foremost directors. His animated films, with their distinct Japanese technique and sensibility, tell stories reflecting the realities of Japan, but also transcending national boundaries and moving and inspiring audiences around the world. His maturation and prominence as a director is especially notable in the 10 years since he made The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. His unique take on such themes as romance, marriage, childrearing and family has enabled him to capture increasingly wider audiences, garner awards and earn both critical praise and commercial success. Hosoda has shown how the animated form is still uncharted territory by constantly challenging the status quo. The Tokyo International Film Festival is shining a spotlight on Hosoda's 20-year career, allowing audiences to rediscover how his inventiveness and creative passion have evolved.
Ryusuke Hikawa
Programming Advisor
Film Treasures from UCLA Film & Television Archive
TIFF will present yet another special program featuring American classics, following the "Film Treasures from the Museum of Modern Art" program in 2014 and the "Orson Welles: The Known and the Unknown" program in 2015. This year we have partnered with the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles, located right next to Hollywood and known for its many world-renowned film alumni. The Film Treasures from UCLA Film & Television Archive will bring to Tokyo the restored My Darling Clementine (1946) by John Ford and other American classics dating from the silent era up to the 1980s.
Open-Air Cinema Arena
Tokyo International Film Festival has held various events at Roppongi Hills, and this year, the festival will launch an open-air screening. "Fantastic! Action! Hollywood!" will be screened in 4KHDR. "Best Hits from the 80s" features good old masterpieces - sure to draw tears from the audience! Free screening for everyone. A great opportunity for younger viewers to experience the excellence of the masterwork.
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