Section in Brief

Section in Brief

High-profile films competing for the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix

Quality films are mirrors that reflect their times, and the addition of their directors' unique qualities elevate them to the status of works of art that exude charm and universality. A famous director once said "film is a battleground," but it is an artist's lot to constantly do battle with the times and systematic forces, as well as their own desire to express themselves. Their honor as artists is ostensibly dependent on the degree to which they can break down pre-existing values. For the Competition section for this year's festival, we have selected 15 films that stand out due to the distinct personalities of their makers. The theme running through them all is "resistance".
Women who support people resisting political regimes, a family that attempts a hopeless resistance against an autocratic state, and young people who resist the values of the older generation. Additionally, as well as a film about a policeman who puts his body on the line to resist the contradictions of a nation undergoing rapid development, there is also another that attempts to breathe new life into the world of comedy. A fable about women singing like gods on an island in apocalyptic times, a fantastical story that depicts horses and humans on an equal basis... Viewers will be stunned by these directors who take on completely liberated modes of expression. A Japanese film that addresses sex, divinity, and cause and effect head-on is a form of resistance against the current situation in filmmaking in this country, and the ambitiousness of trying to make a Japanese film that is more like a European film could be described as a resistance against accepted logic.
This year's TIFF Competition supports filmmakers who suggest ways of breaking through the status quo and going beyond it, and endeavor to show the way to the future of cinema through their stories, or perhaps their directing methodology, or to go one step further, their ways of life.

Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Director

All Films

Premiere screenings of films that have not been released in Japan

Special Screenings is a category comprised of advance viewings of highly anticipated films scheduled for theatrical release.
This year's Opening Film is CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. It is based on the true story of a U.S. freighter that was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, and is an incredibly tense work. However, it is also a deeply moving drama, as most films based on true stories tend to be. As it is almost a solo vehicle for Hanks, we hope you will savor his performance.
Our Closing Film is The Kiyosu Conference, the latest from director Koki Mitani. Featuring an all-star cast including Koji Yakusho and Yo Oizumi, it is another work based on a true story about the search for a successor to warlord Nobunaga Oda, and it would be fair to say that it is an epic in grand style that mixes just the right amount of humor with historical fact. It also happens to be the first Japanese film to close the festival in several years.
As well as the two films mentioned above, we have managed to assemble a wide variety of films from animated works to live action, family films, and grand prix winners at festivals overseas. Please enjoy our exciting lineup.

Nobushige Toshima
Programming Director

All Films

A showcase up-and-coming Asian directors

Our inaugural category "Asian Future" is a fresh new competition section for first or second features made in Asia (including Japan and the Middle East) by up-and-coming directors. At past festivals, there was the Young Cinema Competition for promising filmmakers from around the world. Asian Future revives the spirit of Young Cinema, and introduces young talent from across the globe in Tokyo. In selecting the lineup, as the category is for debut and sophomore works from Asia, we presumed that most entries would be small-scale independent films. However, when they actually started coming in, we were astonished once again by the diversity of Asian cinema. In particular, we made many discoveries, such as the fact that it is not rare for rookie filmmakers to be put in charge of large-scale productions, and that many of them clearly possess their own unique vision despite their tender years. The eight films we have chosen for you to see exhibit the diversity and richness of exactly the kind of Asian films we have described above. Who will be the winner of the groundbreaking, first-ever Best Asian Future Film Award?

Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director

All Films

Independent Japanese films making a splash on the world stage

Japanese Cinema Splash carries on the spirit of the former Japanese Eyes section in supporting Japanese independent film. It actively introduces powerful works that arrive on the scene with a transoceanic “splash,” and directors who exhibit abundant talent. This year we have assembled a balanced collection of works from different generations: three features from debut filmmakers, two from up-and-coming directors attempting to take their craft to the next level, and three from skilled and experienced directors entering productive phases in their careers. They also span a diverse array of genres, including a serious drama, a fresh-faced coming-of-age story, a doomed romance, and a new style of comedy. Don't miss out on experiencing the effervescent charm and burgeoning vitality of Japanese independent film!

English subtitles supported by
Coca-Cola(Japan)Company, Limited

All Films

Must-see films that were acclaimed at various international film festivals

World Focus is a revamped category that brings together our former Winds of Asia-Middle East and WORLD CINEMA sections. Covering global trends in film for 2013, it presents films that made a mark at international film festivals, became huge hits in their country of origin, and new works from noted directors. As a rule, these works must not be scheduled for release in Japan as of August 31, 2013. Every year, more and more films are gaining distribution as a result of festival screenings, and our aim for World Focus is to create more opportunities for that to happen.
We have put together an unmissable selection for this year that includes talked-about works from festivals such as Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Venice, and San Sebastian, a combat action film from a veteran Hong Kong director, and a Chinese coming-of-age tale that was a huge box office success and the directorial debut of a renowned actress. We will also introduce a trilogy from an Austrian filmmaking genius, and show a special program highlighting the recent resurgence of Taiwanese cinema. Take this chance to focus on the cutting edge of world film.

Kenji Ishizaka
Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Directors

All Films

Special Programs and Allied-Events Lineup

Bunka-Cho (Agency for Cultural Affairs) supports, in various ways, the advancement of Japanese cinema, a fascinating composite art as well as an efficient tool to promote Japanese culture worldwide. As part of such efforts, Bunka-Cho holds the "Bunka-Cho Film Week" during the period of the Tokyo International Film Festival. It considers films from multiple angles and provides opportunities for many people from every walk of life to participate in the film festival. This year, at the 10th occasion of the Bunka-Cho Film Week, the following events will be held: an awards presentation ceremony to commend excellent documentaries and individuals who have supported Japanese films for many years and commemorative screenings for prize winners, as well as a symposium ("MOVIE CAMPUS") with various people from the film industry and the related screenings.

All Films

Favored from young to old as well as amongst families, the Minato Screening celebrates its 5th year as the co-host program of Minato City Committee, founded in order to enhance opportunities for Minato residents to enjoy image culture and to promote affluent community renovation by working with TIFF. 6 films out of 11 will be presented in Live Voiceover Screenings for children unable to read subtitles where voice actors/actresses dub on site, creating realism similar to theater play and concerts. An event prior to the screenings will be held at the GRIPS Sokairo Hall. The Minato Screening will be enjoyable for the whole family!

All Films

Special Programs and Allied-Events Lineup more info⇒

  • Environmental Activities
  • Guest Appearance List (by Date)
  • CineGrid
  • Tokyo Creative Weeks 2013
  • Message from Chen Kaige

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  • KEIRIN.JP
    The 26th Tokyo International Film Festival
    will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.
  • TIFF HISTORY
  • 25th Tokyo International Film Festival(2012)