The festival, set to run October 23 to November 1, will feature 15 titles in its main Competition section led by Japan and China, which each have three films in the selection.
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From China are crime drama A Long Shot from debut feature director Gao Peng; Snow Leopard by late Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, which premiered at Venice; and Dwelling By The West Lake by Gu Xiaogang, who will receive TIFF’s honorary Kurosawa Akira Award at the festival.
Opening Ceremony :: 36th Tokyo International Film Festival | 36th TIFF
From Japan comes (Ab)normal Desire from Kishi Yoshiyuki, known for 2017’s Wildnerness; A Foggy Paradise by debut feature director Kotsuji Yohei; and Who Were We? by Tomina Tetsuya, whose Blue Wind Blows premiered at Berlinale’s Generation Kplus in 2018.
Also set to world premiere in Tokyo is Russian historical drama Air by Venice Silver Lion-winning director Alexey German Jr. (Paper Soldier), and Filipino director Sheron Dayoc’s The Gospel of the Beast.
Further titles include US feature The Persian Version by Maryam Keshavarz, which won the audience award and screenwriting award when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year; Felipe Gálvez’s Chilean crime drama The Settlers, which won the Fipresci prize when it debuted in Un Certain Regard at Cannes; and Tatami by Zahra Amir Ebrahimi and Guy Nattiv, which premiered at Venice and is the first feature to be co-directed by Iranian and Israeli directors.
(Ab)normal Desire directed by Kishi Yoshiyuki. Inagaki Goro and Aragaki Yui break new ground in this film adaptation of the bestselling novel by Asai Ryo. The film depicts what is crucial for survival in this world alongside burning passion and incentive.
The Asian Future competition, for rising Asian filmmakers who have directed up to three features, comprises 10 world premieres from across the region.
Titles include Hong Kong’s Fly Me To The Moon, which marks the feature debut of Sasha Chuk and is produced by renowned filmmaker Stanley Kwan. It previously swept the awards at the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).
Also in the running is Singapore-Malaysia co-production La Luna by M. Raihan Halim, which is set to roll out across Asia from November; and Japanese revenge drama Tatsumi by Shoji Hiroshi, who was at TIFF in 2015 with award-winner Ken And Kazu.
‘Dwelling By The West Lake’ directed by Gu Xiaogang. Source: Hangzhou Enlightenment Films
Gala and World Focus
The 14 titles in TIFF’s Gala Selection include the Asian premiere of Andrew Haigh’s UK drama All Of Us Are Strangers, starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, and based on a Japanese novel by Taichi Yamada.
Further titles in the section include Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days and Godzilla Minus One, which were previously set at the festival’s opening and closing films respectively.German filmmakerWendersis also set to head this year’s jury and will world premiere his short filmSomebody Comes Into the Lightat the festival. He will also lead a tribute to Japanese cinema icon Yasujiro Ozu, who will be the subject of a major retrospective 120 years after his birth.
Gala will also include Chinese features Full River Red by Zhang Yimou and The Movie Emperor by Ning Hao, which premiered at Toronto and is set as the closing film at Busan next month, as well as Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Venice award-winner Poor Things and Tran Anh Hung’s Cannes award-winner Pot Au Feu.
Wenders will also be present in the World Focus strand with his documentary Anselm among the 10 features in that section, which also includes Chinese director Liu Jiayin’s All Ears, Lila Aviles’ Totem, Giddens Ko’s Miss Shampoo and Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s 20,000 Species of Bees.
Closing Ceremony Live | 36th Tokyo International Film Festival | 36th TIFF
At a press conference held at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, one of the festival’s main venues, festival chairman Hiroyasu Andooutlined developments for the upcoming edition. This included an expansion of the number of films in the lineup, from 174 in 2022 to 219 this year, and a five-fold increase in international guests, from 104 to around 600 following a relaxation in pandemic restrictions. He also cited the launch of a programne aimed at reaching both Japanese and foreign students studying film in Japan.
A special programme will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Italian directorFranco Zeffirelli, screening remastered versions of La Traviata and Callas Forever and a restored version of Sparrow.
Leading Hong Kong star Tony Leung will present a masterclass following the screening of Wong Kar Wai’s 2046, for which Leung won numerous awards.
Some 11 titles are included in the renamed Nippon Cinema Now strand, led by Neo Sora’s documentary Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus, featuring the last concert performance of the Oscar-winning composer and musician, which premiered at Venice.
The section also include four films by Japan’s Jojo Hideo, who is this year’s director in focus atTIFF. The titles comprise Twilight Cinema Blues, Believers, Love Nonetheless and On The Edge Of Their Seats.
TIFFCOM, the festival’s affiliated content market, will return for its first physical edition since the pandemic from October 25-27. The 20th edition of the industry platform will take place at the new Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center Hamamatsucho Building, closer to TIFF’s venues, and feature expanded space for overseas exhibitors, the new Tokyo Story Market, a lineup of talks and events, and the 4th Tokyo Gap-Financing Market programme.
TIFF 2023 Competition
* World premiere
(Ab)normal Desire (Japan)* Dir Kishi Yoshiyuki
Air (Russia)* Dir Alexey German Jr.
Blind At Heart (Ger-Switz-Lux) Dir Barbara Albert
Dwelling By The West Lake (China)* Dir Gu Xiaogang