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Tokyo International Film Festival kicks off [China Economic Information Service (Xinhua)]

October 17, 2013


Tokyo International Film Festival kicks off

TOKYO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) kicked off Thursday with a number of Hollywood A- listers in town for the internationally-renown event that will see local and foreign film makers vying for awards and recognition.

Films from as far afield as Iran, Iceland and Georgia as well as homegrown movies will be competing in a variety of categories with the top prize in the international film section known as " Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix" as high as 50,000 U.S. dollars.

For films from Asia and the Middle East, the award for the new "Best Asian Future Film Award" is a cheque cut for 10,000 U.S. dollars.

The nine-day film bonanza got underway Thursday with the screening of the highly-anticipated Hong Kong horror movie "Rigor Mortis" directed by Juno Mak. Mak's feature is competing in the " Asian Future" award section of the festival.

Adding some ritz and glitz to the affair is a slew of Hollywood superstars who are in town for the festival which has been running annually since 1985, including Robert de Niro, Tom Hanks, Francis Ford Coppola and daughter Sofia Coppola.

The festival purports to provide a global platform to showcase new talent and provide inspiration for up-and-coming directors and industry-related maestros.

"Since the very first TIFF in 1985 it has been a platform for talented young filmmakers to win international recognition and find inspiration," the festival's organizers said in an official statement.

This year's chief adjudicator is the revered Chinese director Chen Kaige, who said that while talent and good film making are inextricably linked, an understanding of the world is also important for film makers and this could often be found in younger directors.

"We all understand that good films require talent. Without talent nothing can be done. But sometimes I feel like there is something even more important than the talent, which is a unique personal understanding of the world," the 61-year old Beijing native said.

"Oddly enough most of the time we can only find this kind of unique understanding of the world in the early age of a filmmaker' s career," said the director, whose first groundbreaking movie " Yellow Earth" was released in 1984.

"That's why we want to pay very close attention to young filmmakers' works," said Chen who won the prestigious Palme d'Or award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival for his highly-acclaimed movie "Farewell My Concubine."

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