©2022 TIFF From left: Imaizumi, Hashimoto, Fukunaga, Matsunaga
The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) today unveiled the full lineup and other highlights of its 35th edition in a press conference held at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, one of the festival’s main venues.
The 35th TIFF will feature physical screenings and a variety of related events in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area of Tokyo, from October 24 to November 2, 2022. For the first time in three years, the 10-day festival will open with a Red Carpet event.
Festival Chairman ANDO Hiroyasu delivered opening remarks at the conference, outlining several enhancements that are being made to this year’s post-pandemic edition, including an expansion of venues that has enabled an increase in the number of films being shown, enhanced collaborations with local businesses, and new ventures to accommodate a larger number of overseas visitors. (Please see further remarks below.)
TIFFCOM Managing Director KURIHASHI Mikiya then discussed TIFFCOM 2022, the affiliated marketplace for film and TV, which will run online during TIFF, from October 25 to 27. Along with hosting a record number of exhibitors, TIFFCOM will feature an expansive lineup of talks and webinars, and the Gap Financing program.
Renowned theater, opera, and film director Julie Taymor, who will serve as the President of the International Competition Jury at the 35th TIFF, sent a message that was shared with the audience (see below). Her fellow jurors will be cinematographer YANAGIJIMA Katsumi, actor Shim Eun-kyung, director João Pedro Rodrigues and Former Director of the Institut Français du Japon Marie-Christine de Navacelle.
The 35th TIFF Festival Ambassador HASHIMOTO Ai then took to the stage and shared her thoughts on serving in the position for the second year, and on the important role cinema plays internationally (more below).
Following an introduction of TIFF Opening Film Fragments of the Last Will (by director ZEZE Takahisa) and Closing Film Living (by director Oliver Hermanus), TIFF Programming Director ICHIYAMA Shozo greeted the audience and shared highlights of the Competition, Gala Selection, and other sections. The Competition section includes 15 films*, eight of them world premieres, selected from among 1,695 titles from 107 countries and regions.
→*The full list of Competition titles.
Three Japanese directors whose work will be in the Competition section then appeared to make remarks about their selection: IMAIZUMI Rikiya (by the window), FUKUNAGA Takeshi (Mountain Woman), and MATSUNAGA Daishi (Egoist). (See below for comments.)
Senior Programmer ISHIZAKA Kenji introduced the Asian Future section lineup and provided highlights of the 10 films from emerging filmmakers in Israel, Iran, Turkey, China, India, and Japan, all of whom will be eligible for awards. He noted that many current films are expressing tumultuous situations, wide-ranging minority issues, and the consideration of what is happiness for humankind.
→*The full lineup of Asian Future section.
Japanese Animation Programming Advisor FUJITSU Ryota provided an overview of the section, which will focus on Creating Worlds with Animation. It will feature three recent Japanese animation works, as well as four films in a retrospective section called Animation and Tokyo, looking at how the city has been depicted in animated works. There will also be seminar events, which will be available on streaming.
→*The full lineup of the Japanese Animation section.
There will be a TIFF Lounge featuring talk sessions between leading auteurs from Asia and beyond, co-presented for the third year by The Japan Foundation and TIFF. There will also be panel events related to the Super Sentai tokusatsu franchise, Special Talk Sessions by creative force KAWAMURA Genki, and a TIFF Teens anniversary session with the leading auteurs who have served as mentors for the past five years. In conjunction with the screening of Maryna Er Gorbach’s Klondike (Ukraine, Turkey), in the World Focus section, TIFF will be collecting contributions for the Ukraine at the theaters.
During the 10 days of the festival, TIFF will host screenings, stage appearances and Q&A sessions featuring guests from around the world.
The 35th TIFF will be held from October 24 to November 2, 2022 in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area and other venues in Tokyo.
Quotes from Press Conference Guests
—Message from Julie Taymor, President of the International Competition Jury, 35th TIFF
The arts are the beacon that bring us out of the chaos, leading the way. In a darkened theater the images flickering before us draw us both deeply into and also out of ourselves, our isolated and single selves. Hold onto the film theaters, the palaces that bring us together to cross the boundaries of what we don’t know at all, what we think we know and what we have personally experienced. Become the lives and loves of others and let them inspire and torment you. It is a thrilling honor to come to Japan to preside over the International Competition Jury for the 35th TIFF.
—Hashimoto Ai, Festival Ambassador, 35th TIFF
I did not expect to have the pleasure of serving as ambassador for two consecutive years. I’m both appreciative and honored, and I feel responsible to fulfill the role as best I can. I realize that passion for cinema is not enough, but I need to think about how I can contribute to helping revive the film industry in Japan, as well as issues such as power harassment and the labor situation. The older generation worked really hard to create this national asset, Japanese cinema history. The younger generation may feel there’s a gap between us, but I think it’s very important that we listen to each other. The younger generation needs to improve our communication skills so that we can create great movies and contribute to the development of cinema. We need to unite through art to make the world a better place for everyone.
—Imaizumi Rikiya, Director of Competition film by the window
I was first invited to TIFF’s Japanese Cinema Splash section in 2013 with my film Sad Tea
, and I was first invited to the Competition section in 2018 with Just Only Love
. I’m really excited to be here this year. I’m honored to be included with films from all around the world. I had wanted to work with actor INAGAKI Goro for a long time, and I wanted to make a love story. I like telling stories about people who aren’t usually noticed, people who can’t express their emotions.
—Fukunaga Takeshi Director of Competition film Mountain Woman
I’m really honored to participate in TIFF for the first time. I’ve been living outside Japan for a long time, so never had a chance to be here before. But I know how prestigious this festival is and I’m really excited. I chose to make a film based on 18th century folklore because I was impressed by both the story and the location. Festivals provide a venue for us to watch films and events, as well as communicating with others in the industry, and I’m really looking forward to that.
—Matsunaga Daishi, Director of Competition film Egoist
I took part in TIFF’s Asian Three-Fold Mirror omnibus project in 2018, and was also included in the Japan Now section with Pieta in the Toilet
. I’m really honored to be selected for the Competition section this time, especially since it’s a section that includes work from around the world. My film is based on a novel that has a really inspiring story. I’m excited about the audience reaction, since this will be the world premiere.
Quotes from the TIFF Chairman, Programming Director
—Ando Hiroyasu, Chairman, 35th TIFF
For the past three years, we’ve been struggling due to COVID-19, although we did manage to have partially physical events. We will continue to take all necessary precautions as we return to a fully physical event this year. I’d like to emphasize three points, beginning with the addition of venues, leading to the enhancement of quality and number of films. We have added three more screens in the festival area, enabling us to increase the number of films by 30%, to 110 films. We will also feature a range of interesting events, and we’ve been strengthening our ties with the local communities. We have developed close collaborations with several corporations, as well as with Chiyoda City and the local Ginza business association. In the nearby Kyobashi area, we will also be collaborating with the National Film Archive of Japan, as well as cohosting several screenings with the Tokyo Filmex film festival.
For the first time in 14 years, we are reviving the Kurosawa Akira Award to celebrate the contributions of exceptional young filmmakers. Mr. Kurosawa is one of the most internationally renowned auteurs and I want this award to become the symbol of interaction between Japan and the international community.
We also have four initiatives to develop new talent: the Amazon Prime Video Take One Award, which we’ll be giving for the second year; Youth section’s film creation workshops, TIFF 2022: Teens Meet Cinema, which we’ve been holding for the past five years; a special section on African films, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Nara International Film Festival, which have been supporting and nurturing African filmmakers; and finally, we are contributing to the further reconstruction of the Fukushima area through workshops with junior high and high school students.
Lastly, the 35th TIFF will strengthen exchanges among international cineastes. There have been restrictions to entering Japan for the past several years due to COVID-19, but we’re expecting many international guests this year, and we’re implementing a new accreditation system to encourage attendance. For those who are able to come from abroad, we will be hosting a new TIFF Lounge, providing a space for people to gather, to watch TIFF Talks and to have exciting interchanges.
—Ichiyama Shozo, Programming Director, 35th TIFF
Our Competition section includes work by filmmakers in Chile, Tunisia, Spain, North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Iran, and for the first time, from Vietnam, as well as from Japan. In the Gala Selection, we’ve been able to include a range of brand-new films that will surely be on the Oscar shortlist for next year. We also have included, for the first time ever, three films by a single director, Japan’s HIROKI Ryuichi. In Nippon Cinema Now, which we launched last year to help support more Japanese films going abroad, the Director in Focus will be AOYAMA Shinji, who served as a TIFF jury member last year, and sadly passed away in March 2022. I hope the Aoyama films we’re showing will be inspiring to younger filmmakers. We’ll also be showing restored works from the Directors Company. In our World Focus section, we will feature five programs in cooperation with the Latin Beat Film Festival, and a sidebar devoted to Tsai Ming-liang, in a joint initiative with Tokyo Filmex. He will be coming to Tokyo for this. Please enjoy watching all these titles on the big screen during TIFF.
During a Q&A session
at the end of the press conference, the three Japanese directors in the Competition section and TIFF Ambassador Hashimoto Ai were asked about the issue of harassment in the film industry, currently a topic received a lot of coverage. “When I was young, it was like being in the military,” noted Imaizumi. “People were shouting on sets and everyone was working around the clock. Maybe it’s not a generational issue, but there have been improvements.”
“I haven’t had much experience on Japanese film sets,” said Fukunaga, “but I’ve heard stories of the hierarchical environment, and I think that situation needs to be changed. We’re still far from an ideal state, but we have to strive to that end.”
Said Matsunaga, “I started creating films in my own way, so I didn’t really follow tradition. When I worked with crews overseas, I was surprised how they weren’t working such long hours, and they would address each other by name. I want to implement that type of thing in my own filmmaking.”
Commented Hashimoto, “I can’t really speak for other actors. I have an opportunity to speak up if I have the lead role. People take the time to listen to me then, even if things don’t go my way. But they treat others differently. I would like to try to help the younger people on the set to communicate, and help the older people to let go of certain traditions.”
TIFF Chairman Ando Hiroyasu and Programming Director Ichiyama Shozo were asked about TIFF’s ongoing commitment to gender balance. Ando noted that TIFF had become the first Asian film festival to sign the Gender Parity Pledge last year. “We have a commitment to gender parity. Our staff is well balanced, with 48 women, 57% of the total. As for the directors in this year’s lineup, out of 110 films, 14 women. Just 12% of the total. But we are not selecting based on gender.”
Ichiyama added: “Three of the 15 films in the Competition section are directed by women. We made an effort to balance the jury, and we have three female and two male jury members.”
35th Tokyo International Film Festival
Date: October 24 (Mon.) – November 2 (Wed.), 2022
Venues: Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area
Organized by: Unijapan
TIFFCOM ONLINE 2022 tiffcom.jp
Date: October 25 (Tue.) – 27 (Thu.)