The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) today unveiled the lineups in all sections, as well as announcing the jury members and highlights of this year’s 32nd edition.
From left: NAKASHIMA, YAMADA, TEZKA, ADACHI ©2019 TIFF
At a press conference at Roppongi Academyhills Tower Hall in Tokyo, Festival Chairman Hiroyasu ANDO and Festival Director Takeo HISAMATSU delivered opening remarks and discussed the festival’s focus on Japan. Festival Muse Alice Hirose appeared on video, and wished audiences a “fateful encounter or two with a wonderful film” during the festival.
TIFF’s programing directors then took the stage to introduce the lineup for each section of the festival.
In the Competition section, 14 films* were selected from among 1,804 titles from 115 countries and regions. Representing the two Japanese titles in this main competitive section, director Shin ADACHI from A Beloved Wife, and director Macoto TEZKA from Tezuka’s Barbara, were welcomed on stage and made remarks.
This year’s International Competition Jury members were also announced. Actress ZHANG Ziyi (China) will serve as Jury President, alongside producer Bill GERBER (USA), actor and producer Julie GAYET (France), director Michael NOER (Denmark), and director Ryuichi HIROKI (Japan).
Acclaimed playwright and screenplay writer Kazuki NAKASHIMA, co-writer of Promare, one of the films in the Japanese Animation section, greeted the audience after the lineup of the section was announced. He will appear at TIFF talk sessions with special guests following his related screenings, Promare and the Ultra Q series.
At the end of the press conference, director Yoji YAMADA from 32nd TIFF’s Opening Film, Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, appeared on stage as a special guest and made remarks.
During the 9-day celebration, 170 films will be screened and unique film-related events will be held every day at the festival venues, including stage appearances, Q&A sessions and symposia featuring celebrated guests from around the world.
The 32nd TIFF will take place October 28 to November 5, 2019 at Roppongi Hills, EX Theater Roppongi, Hibiya Step Square and other venues in Tokyo.
Quotes from Press Conference Guests
–Yoji YAMADA, Director, Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, Opening Film
I feel like I spent 50 years making this film. If I may say so, I’m very proud of this film. I saw the finished film and I was very moved by it. Some people asked me if I used CG to recreate Tora-san. We remastered the prints from 40 or 50 years ago, and they look exactly like a new print. That’s the beauty of digital. While editing, until the very end of the process, I was second- and third-guessing myself. But it was fun, and I enjoyed editing very much. I don’t think other directors have done this, spending 50 years on a series. I never switched the actors, they aged along with the films. When I was writing the screenplay and directing, there were a lot of things I didn’t quite figure out until the editing process. Akira Kurosawa always said that films are combination of cuts, and magic brings them together. Maybe I felt a little of that magic as well. If Kiyoshi Atsumi was here to see it, I think he might say, “Yamada-san, you did a good job.”
–Macoto TEZKA, Director, Tezuka’s Barbara, Competition Section
All the films I’ve created recently have been shown in TIFF, but this is my first Competition selection, so I’m very excited. Among my father’s works, this was a uniquely Osamu-like manga. I found that my father’s story and my own sensitivity fused together really well. [Because the story is controversial] I offered the two protagonists’ roles to several actors, but many were reluctant to take them on. So I’m grateful to Goro Inagaki and Fumi Nikaido. They really inhabited the characters with their entire physical and mental beings.
–Kazuki NAKASHIMA, Screenplay writer, Promare, Japanese Animation Section
Promare opened in theaters 4 months ago, but it’s still incredibly popular, thanks to crazy, devoted fans. I’m so happy it will be shown at this international film festival, so everyone can enjoy participating in the screening, shouting and cheering along with the film’s characters. While the animation looks very simple, it isn’t. It respects the past, but it’s using the latest technology. I also did a screenplay for the Ultraman Max series, and with 4K projection, we’ll be able to see everything up close. I’m honored that my work is going to be screened.
–Shin ADACHI, Director, A Beloved Wife, Competition Section
I was happy to be selected, but I was also surprised. It’s only my second film, and since it’s a comedy, I wasn’t sure if it could be a Competition film.