Tokyo, Oct 31 (efe-epa).- The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) opened Saturday with an unusual format, in which only the audience award will be awarded, and with the aim of refilling the theaters and revitalize an industry hurt by COVID-19.
The pandemic has left a bittersweet taste in the 33rd edition of the festival, with a limited red carpet for television cameras and photographers, who had to capture the image of attendees posing separated from each other by protective screens, although without masks.
This 2020 sample has more Asian flavor than ever due to the pandemic, which led Japan to impose a tourist migration ban and restrictions such as compliance with 14 days of quarantine that have made it difficult for non-Japanese directors and interpreters to attend.
The Malaysian filmmaker Edmund Yeo, winner of the Best Director award at the 2017 TIFF, was one of those who chose to travel in advance to the country to complete the two weeks of confinement and be present.
“At a time when film festivals are suffering, I am very happy and happy to see that the TIFF continues. I think it is very inspiring for us and other countries,” he said during his time on the red carpet of the event, broadcast live.
Yeo participates in the TIFF with the drama “Malu” in the Tokyo Premiere 2020 section, specially created for this year’s festival to replace the official section and which brings to Japan seven premieres in Asia and more than twenty worldwide.
The festival opened with the screening of the Japanese boxing film “Underdog” and the closing one will be another Japanese film, “Hokusai,” about the life of the author of “The Great Wave of Kanagawa.”
In addition to the premiere section, the Tokyo International Film Festival has a category of special screenings, in which the Brazilian-American co-production “Abe” by Fernando Grostein Andrade; and a Japanese animation section focused on the films of the “Pokémon” franchise.
To supplement sessions with regular directors and actors after the screening of films, and that this year will not be carried out in a generalized way due to attendance problems, the TIFF has organized a series of online conversations with figures of Asian cinema, which they have dubbed “Asia Lounge.”
The section is coordinated by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda and viewers will be able to ask questions in real time.
Among the participants will be Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Cambodian producer Rithy Panh, the Chinese director Jia Zhangke or the South Korean actress Kim Bora. EFE-EPA