27TH TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL : DISNEY’S BIG HERO 6, THE WORLD OF HIDEAKI ANNO & A SPECIAL FOCUS ON ANIMATION
27TH TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL : DISNEY’S BIG HERO 6, THE WORLD OF HIDEAKI ANNO & A SPECIAL FOCUS ON ANIMATION
As one of the largest international film festivals throughout Asia, in its 27th edition, ‘Tokyo International Film Festival’ (TIFF) is getting bigger. Spreading Japan’s cultural signature in world animation genre, held around the Roppongi hills arena and expand to Nihonbashi’s TOHO and Kabukiza Theatre, this year’s festival will be packed with special events. From much talked about epic entertainment to rarely notable works all over the world, the festival will open with the world premiere of Disney and Marvel Comics’ ‘Big Hero 6’, which will be attended by John Lasseter and the duo directors, Don Hall and Chris Williams.
To accentuate this animation theme, the festival will also present their most highlighted retrospective event ‘The World of Hideaki Anno’, Japanese animation pioneer behind his great works from Daicon Films’ ‘Ultraman’ to ‘Evangelion’ huge phenomenon, and as well, the father of ‘Super Mario Bros’, ‘Donkey Kong’, ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and Nintendo Game Producer, Shigeru Miyamoto in the 3D premiere of ‘Pikmin’, a famous videogames character in its first short animation films.
The affiliated film market, TIFFCOM, which was held a few days before the festival in Grand Pacific Le Daiba this year also give a strong underline of this focus over a Japan Content Showcase, a multi-content market of music, films and animations packed with film summit, seminars and movie screenings in TOHO Cinema Mediage Aqua City.
And in the recognition to the finest world filmmakers, TIFF has launched the special award named ‘The Samurai Award’ to commend achievements of filmmaker who continues to create gorundbreaking films that carve out a path to a new era. The first recipients of the award are Japanese cinema all-rounder Takeshi Kitano and beyond his very distinctive style of filmmaking, American director Tim Burton.
About Hideaki Anno
Born in 1960 in Ube City, Yamaguchi prefecture, after became a member of Daicon Film, a group of amateur filmmakers while studied at Osaka University of Arts, Hideaki Anno started his carreer in Tokyo for the television anime series ‘The Super Dimension Fortress Macross’ (1982). In 1984, he animated the character ‘The God Warrior’ in Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Nausicaă of the Valley of the Wind’. Became an effect an mecha designer after participated in ‘Royal Space Force – The Wings of Honnĕamise’ (1987), Anno made his debut as animation director in ‘Gunbuster’ (1988).
The benchmark of his carreer then established in 1995 with ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ TV series, and even the theatrical version that became a social phenomenon two years after. Worked in many project from TV animation and live action label of Studio Ghibli, Anno founded Khara and took position of managing director. There, he released the ‘Evangelion’ theatrical series since 2007 as original writer, screenwriter, executive producer and director. This special feature event is not only be the first, but also will take the audience of the festival to experience the full and greater picture of his animation works through the screening of more than 50 Anno’s works including rare shorts, TV anime, TV adverts and other promotional videos.
Focus on Animation in Special Screenings
With the lineups that focuses on animation, the festival will open and close with the world premieres of two of this year’s hottest film that have a strong connection with world of animation. The opening film is Walt Disney Animation Studio and inspired from Marvel Comics’ character ‘Big Hero 6’, and for the closing, a long awaited manga-adaptation ‘Parasyte’. Unlike previous years, the ‘Special Screenings’ section of the festival will also filled up with animation films.
In those lineups, there will be an asian/world premiere of Shinji Aramaki’s latest installment of the popular franchise ‘Appleseed Alpha’, ‘Garm Wars The Last Druid’ from Mamuro Oshii (‘Ghost In The Shell’), the 3D Japan animation ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Attack on Titan – The First Part’ and ‘The Next Generation – Patlabor – episode 10’, the latest episode of the series that will feature the special footage to the upcoming live-action ‘Patlabor’ next year.
The other films to fill this section are the Japan premiere of ‘The Expendables 3’ and Gareth Evans’ ‘The Raid 2 : Berandal (Gokudo)’, Jon Favreau’s foodporn comedy ‘Chef’, French reteamed of ‘The Intouchables’ directors and Omar Sy in ‘Samba’, Atom Egoyan’s ‘Devil’s Knot’ starred Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, and Jean Pierre Jeunet’s ‘The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivet’.
For the asian/world premiere of Japan films, there will be ‘A Courtesan with Flowered Skin’, Japanese adult cinematic poetry based on the award-winning 2006 adult novel by Ayako Miyagi, their christmas blockbuster ‘Miracle : Devil Claus’ Love and Magic’ (Isshin Inudo, dir.), and ‘Until The Day Comes’ (Sejiro Koyama, dir.).
Also in this category, the most successfull Bollywood blockbuster of all time ‘Dhoom 3’ in its Japan premiere that will be attended by Aamir Khan, and two documentaries, Martin Scorsese’s ‘The 50 Year Argument’, about the challenges of the influential publication behind The New York Review of Books, and ‘Cathedral of Culture’, a documentary of six startling question about cathedral buildings and their souls, each directed by Wim Wenders, Robert Redford, Michael Madsen, Michael Glawogger, Margreth Olin & Karim Ainouz.
Added with special programs, the section of Special Screenings will have some world’s classics with additional touch, 1981 Oscar winner ‘Chariots of Fire’, ‘Honjitsu Tadaima Tanjo’, 1979’s Japan WWII drama, James Dean’s ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ in 4K Digitally Restored Version, Singapore’s Eric Khoo’s animated adaptation of manga classic ‘Tatsumi’ (Jury Special Program), english dubbed-version of ‘Doraemon : Stand By Me‘, ‘The Next Generation – Patlabor – episode 0-7’, Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ that will packed together with cultural events in ‘Special Night Event at Kabukiza Theatre’, and Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ to commemorate the special selection of Seven Directors in Japan by TIFF consists of Eiichiro Hasumi, Takashi Miike, Tetsuya Nakashima, Keishi Otomo, Sang Il-lee, Takashi Yamazaki and Daihachi Yoshida.
The last highlighted part of this section includes two special presentations from the upcoming Keiichi Hara’s ‘Miss Hokusai’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ that also will be attended by Burton in the festival’s allied retrospective project, ‘The World of Tim Burton’.
The Festival’s Competition Section
Like in the previous years, the Competition section of the festival brings together excellent works around the world. As a pleasure of knowing the world is the pleasure of watching films, this year’s selection was based on the keywords of ‘diversity and creativity’, where diversity means gathering together various types of films, and creativity that was pointed to the individual characteristics of the directors that are displayed in each films.
And the nominees will be selected by the festival’s jury ; director of Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, James Gunn (president of the jury), John H. Lee (director of Korean’s high grossing romance ‘A Moment to Remember’), director Robert Luketic (‘Legally Blonde’ and the upcoming Expendables spin-off ‘The Expendabelles’), Singaporean arthouse director Eric Khoo, Japan’s new wave director Hiroshi Shinagawa that has just had his own retrospective program in the recently first edition of ‘Kyoto International Film and Art Festival’), and Debbie McWilliams, a female casting director behind James Bond franchise and as well some notable films from ‘An American Werewolf in London’ to ‘Henry V’).
The films in the competition section are ‘1001 Grams’ (Bent Hamer, Norway-Germany-France), ‘The Days Come’ (Romain Goupil, France), ‘The Connection’ (Cédric Jimenez, France – Belgium), ‘Heaven Knows What’ (Joshua & Benny Safdie, USA – France), ‘Ice Forest’ (Claudio Noce, Italy), ‘Melbourne’ (Nima Javidi, Iran), ‘The Lesson‘ (Kristina Grozeva & Petar Valchanov, Bulgaria – Greece), ‘The Mighty Angel’ (Wojtek Smarzowksi, Poland), ‘Les Hongos’ (Oscar Ruiz Navia, Colombia-France-Germany-Argentina), ‘Nabat’ (Elchin Musaglou, Azerbajian), ‘Pale Moon’ (Daiihachi Yoshida, Japan), ‘Ruined Heart : Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore’ (Khavn De La Cruz, Phillipine – Germany), ‘River of Exploding Durians’ (Edmund Yeo, Malaysia), ‘Test’ (Alexander Koft, Russia), and ‘River Road’ (Li Ruijun, China).
World Focus Section
The ‘World Focus‘ section will be filled with award winning movies at major international film festivals, and latest excellent, unusual works and masterpieces by great masters which are not scheduled to be released in Japan anytime soon.
In this section there are ‘Corn Island’ (George Ovashvili, Georgia-Czech-France-Germany-Kazakhstan-Hungary), ‘Freefall’ (György Pálfi, Hungary-France-Korea), ‘Flowers’ (Jon Garaňo & Jose Maria Goenaga, Spain), ‘Misunderstood’ (Asia Argento, Italy – France), ‘Force Majeure’ (Ruben Ӧstlund, Sweden-Denmark-France-Norway), ‘A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence’ (Roy Andersson, Sweden-Norway-France-Germany), ‘The Postman’s White Nights’ (Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia), ‘Voice Over’ (Cristian Jiménez, Chile-France-Canada), ‘Reality’ (Quentin Dupleux, France – Belgium), ‘Wild Life’ (Cédric Kahn, France), ‘She’s Funny That Way’ (Peter Bogdanovich, US), ‘The Face of the Ash’ (Shakhwan Idrees, Kurdistan – Iran), ‘Station of the Cross’ (Dietrich Brüggemann, Germany), ‘The Golden Era’ (Ann Hui, China – Hong Kong), ‘Self Made’ (Shira Geffen, Israel), ‘Late Spring’ (Cho Keun-hyeun, Korea), ‘Sivas’ (Kaan Müjdeci, Turkey – Germany), ‘The Midnight After’ (Fruit Chan, Hong Kong), and ‘Partners in Crime’ (Chang Jung-chi, Taiwan).
In the additional programs in this section titled ‘Discovering Asian Cinema’, there will also be ‘Song of Apu’ (Kaushik Ganguly, 2013, Bengali), a real life story inspired by Subir Banerjee, the child actor played the iconic role of Apu in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’ and ‘Tender are the Feet’ (Maung Wunna, 1972) from Myanmar.
Asian Future & Japanese Cinema Splash Sections
Tokyo International Film Festival has always supported young asian filmmakers through these sections / categories. While the ‘Asian Future’, in its second year is an Asian Young Cinema Competition for first or second feature films made in Asia including Japan and Middle East by up-and-coming directors, will also compete to win additional award ‘The Spirit of Asia Award’ established by the Japan Foundation this year, ‘Japanese Cinema Splash’ will showcase exceptionally unique, creative and challenging films from the growing Japanese film industry, regardless of the stage of the director’s carreers in making a splash on the world stage.
10 films that will be competing for ‘Asian Future Film Award’ are ‘Above the Clouds’ (Pepe Diokno, Phillipines – France), ‘As You Were’ (Liao Jekai, Singapore), ‘As the Swallow Got Thirsty’ (Muhammet Cakiral, Turkey), ‘Borderless’ (Amirhossein Asgari, Iran), ‘In the Absence of the Sun / Selamat Pagi, Malam’ (Lucky Kuswandi, Indonesia), ‘Made in China’ (Kim Dong-hoo, Korea), ‘Kyoto Elegy’ (Kiki Sugino, Japan), ‘North by Northeast’ (Zhang Bingjian, China), ‘The Last Reel’ (Sotho Kulikar, Cambodia), and a rare Malay sci-fi ‘Nova : Terbaik dari Langit’ (Nik Amir Mustapha, Malaysia), about a child and his four friends on a journey to capture the UFO experience in film.
In ‘Japanese Cinema Splash’, there will be ‘August in Tokyo’ (Ryutaro Nakagawa), ‘Starting Over’ (Takashi Nishihara), ‘Fragile’ (Shingo Ota), ‘Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday’ (Shuichi Okita), ‘Unknown Town’ (Shingo Ohuchi), ‘Chokolietta’ (Kazama Shiori), ‘100 Yen Love’ (Masaharu Take) and ‘Walking with My Mother’ (Katsumi Sakaguchi), about a 78 year old mother and her son struggled after losing their loved ones.
Crosscut Asia Section : Thai Fascination
Being the new section that marked the first collaboration of TIFF and the Japan Foundation Asia Center, the first ‘Crosscut Asia’ program this year aimed the notable works in Thailand Cinema. Named ‘Thai Fascination’, the program features Thai movies from major blockbusters to indies, historical drama to horror, and also including campus films.
The films that will be shown in this first edition of ‘Crosscut Asia’ Thai Fascination are ‘Timeline’ (Nonzee Nimibutr), ‘The Songs of Rice’ (Uruphong Raksasad), ‘Concrete Clouds’ (Lee Chatametikool), ‘The Teacher’s Diary’ (Nithiwat Tharatorn), ‘Last Summer’ (Kittithat Tangsirikit, Sittisiri Mongkolsiri, Saranyoo Jiralak), ‘Sun & Sunrise’ (Kittikorn Liawsirikul), ‘Tang Wong’ (Kongdej Jaturanrasmee), and ‘46’ (Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit). (dan)