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‘Black’ to bow at Tokyo fest

17 pics to compete in Intl Fest; Kurosawa to receive tribute

TOKYO — Organizers for the budget-pressed Tokyo Intl. Film Festival unveiled the lineup for the Oct. 31-Nov. 8 event, which will be highlighted by the first public screening of the Brad Pitt starrer “Meet Joe Black.”

Due to government cuts and difficulties in getting sponsor support, the budget for the 11th edition of the Tokyo film fest is at 400 million yen ($2.96 million), which is $1.1 million less than last year’s festival.

There are 17 films in the international competition this year, and organizers said they have done away with a separate competition called “Young Cinema,” which gave awards to upstart directors. The young directors’ category has been combined into the international competition as one prize category.

British producer Jeremy Thomas will head the international jury, which also includes director Idrissa Ouedraogo, director Ademir Kenovic and Chinese actress Liu Xiao-Qing.

Among the films vying for the top honors are Zhang Yang’s “Spicy Love Soup,” Francois Girard’s “The Red Violin,” Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and Chris Eyre’s “Smoke Signals.”

As a tribute to recently departed film great Akira Kurosawa, all 30 films from the internationally acclaimed Japanese director will be unrolled at the Tokyo festival. However, the tight budget prevented organizers from making fresh prints of Kurosawa’s films with English subtitles, leaving the non-Japanese speaking audience out in the cold.

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