Grand Prix award to help promote fresh talent

TOKYO — The 13th edition of the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival, running Oct. 28- Nov. 5, will feature a record number of world premieres, including the first public unspooling of Arnold Schwarzenegger pic “The Sixth Day.”

The Tokyo fest, Asia’s largest, will screen about 146 films, with “The Sixth Day” opening and “Charlie’s Angels” closing the event.

Schwarzenegger, known as “Shuwa-chan” in Japan, will be on hand for the festivities, as will “Charlie’s Angels” stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as well as Hong Kong film giants Chow Yun-fat and Tony Leung.

Fest has changed its award system this year and will focus on directors who have made three or fewer films. Aimed at helping promising young talent, the Grand Prix award carries a cash prize of ¥10 million ($93,500).

Norton shows ‘Faith’

Among the 16 movies in competition at Tokyo are “The King Is Alive” from director Kristian Levring, Mateo Gil’s “Nobody Knows Anything,” Babak Payami’s “One More Day” and Edward Norton’s “Keeping the Faith.”

“We used to give awards to young directors and overall awards, but this year we wanted to direct our attention to promoting new talent,” said fest spokeswoman Hiroko Usui.

The festival has special sections to showcase new movies in Asia as well special presentations of new Latin American films, Russian animation and British short films.

On the business side, the Tokyo Film Creator’s Forum marks a chance for directors and producers to strike international production and distribution deals. One of the movies that made it to overseas markets from a deal struck at the Tokyo fest is the low-budget but highly acclaimed Japanese pic “Afterlife.”

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