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Tokyo Filmex unveils vast lineup

Festival to bow on Nov. 22 - 30

The ninth Tokyo Filmex fest, which unspools Nov. 22-30, unveiled its lineup on Tuesday, including 10 competition and 12 Special Screenings pics.

The fest opens with “Linha de Passe,” Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas’ drama about a struggling working-class family in Sao Paulo, and closes with “Delta,” Hungarian helmer Kornel Mundruczo’s drama about a brother-sister reunion. Both screened this year at Cannes.

The 10 competition pics reflect the fest’s longtime focus on Middle Eastern, Central Asian and East Asian cinema. They are Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” (Israel), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s “I Want to See” (Lebanon), Yu Guangyi’s “Survival Song” (China), Zhou Yaowu’s “Cucumber” (China), Emily Tang’s “Perfect Life” (China), So Yong Kim’s “Treeless Mountain” (Korea), Derezhan Omirbaev’s “Shuga” (Kazakstan), Abai Kulbai’s “Swift” (Kazakstan), Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Passion” (Japan) and Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s “Non-ko” (Japan).

The competition jury is headed by Teruyo Nogami, script supervisor for helmer Akira Kurosawa for nearly four decades. Rounding out the jury are Korean helmer Song Il-gon, French critic Isabelle Regnier, Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fei and Sao Paulo film fest prexy Leon Cakoff.

Among the highlights in the Special Screenings section are “Welcome to Sao Paulo,” an omnibus made by 18 helmers for the Sao Paulo Film Festival; Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner “Cloud 9,” by Andreas Dresen; Berlinale Special section entry “One Day You’ll Understand,” by Amos Gitai; and Berlin competition entries “Sparrow,” by Johnny To, and “Night and Day,” by Hong Sang-soo.

The fest will present a 12-film retrospective devoted to Koreyoshi Kurahara (1927-2002), a helmer whose innovative work for the Nikkatsu studio in the 1950s and ’60s was later overshadowed by his more commercial pics, including the 1983 megahit dog drama “Antarctica.” The Filmex retrospective will focus on his Nikkatsu years, screening 10 new prints. Another retrospective will focus on the pics of Brazilian helmer Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.

The heavy Brazilian presence this year is part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil.

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