Event to include retro of Tapiovaara, Okamoto
TOKYO — Kim Sung-Su’s Korean war-and-blood costumer “Musa, The Warrior,” starring Zhang Ziyi (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Rush Hour 2”) will open the second edition of the Tokyo Filmex, which will take place Nov. 18-26.
Nanni Moretti’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Son’s Room” will close the fest before being distributed locally by Warner Bros.
Filmex opens on the heels of the popular Pusan Intl. Film Festival in Korea and only two weeks after the wrap of this year’s Tokyo Intl. Film Festival.
Launched last year as a sidebar event focusing on promising Asian directors, this year’s event will unspool 10 features in competition. In addition there will be six special screenings and an eight film retrospective of Finnish director Nyrki Tapiovaara (1911-40) and Japan’s Kihachi Okamoto.
Among the films competing for the relatively modest grand prix of 1 million yen ($8,400) in cash and the jury award in the form of $8,400 in Kodak film stock are three Korean, two Iranian, two Chinese films and one work each from Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. Song Il-Gon’s “Flower Island,” one of the Korean participants, was screened in Venice this year. Four of the competing entries have already secured Japanese distribution.
Taiwan’s controversial director Hou Hsiao-Hsien will head a five member jury also including Ulrich Gregor, longtime director of the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum of New Cinema section before retiring earlier this year.
Fest is designed to give arthouse directors an opportunity to show their product in Japan beyond mainstream events.
The tiny festival is co-sponsored by Takeshi Kitano’s production and distribution outfit Office Kitano; Japan’s second largest daily, the Asahi Shimbun; and Asahi National Broadcasting, among others.