Fest to open with 'Uncle Boonmee'

TOKYO — The Tokyo Filmex fest has unveiled the lineup for its 11th edition, which will unspool Nov. 21-28 in Tokyo.

Opening the fest will be “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” Thai helmer Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner. Weerasethakul will also serve on the competition jury.

Closing the fest will be “Poetry,” Korean helmer Lee Chang-dong’s Cannes fest best screenplay award winner.

Like these pics, many of the 10 competition and 11 Special Screening titles are selections from Cannes, Venice, Pusan, Toronto and other major fests.

Among the outliers in the competition are “The Stool Pigeon,” the Dante Lam police actioner that bowed in Hong Kong in August, and Nobuteru Uchida’s romantic drama “Love Addiction,” which is still in post.

The competition jury will be chaired by Ulrich Gregor, the founder of the Berlin fest’s International Forum of New Cinema. In addition to Weerasethakul, other jury members are Chinese helmer Ning Ying, Japanese scripter Akane Shiratori and Hong Kong film fest artistic director Li Cheuk-To.

A highlight of the Special Screenings section is Kaidan Horror Classics, a program of four new short shockers presented in collaboration with pubcaster NHK. Among the makers are horrormeister Masayuki Ochiai, international cult fav Shinya Tsukamoto, Korean-Japanese helmer Lee Sang-il and indie maestro Hirokazu Kore’eda. Fans are also expected to flock to “Cold Fish,” Sion Sono’s serial killer thriller that preemed at Venice this year.

As it does every year, Filmex features a retro of Japanese classics, this time the 1950s pics of the Shochiku studio. Among the highlights are five new subbed prints of pics by Minoru Shibuya, a helmer highly regarded at home for his humanistic dramas set in contemporary Japanese society, but little known abroad. Also featured are pics by Golden Age masters Yasujiro Ozu and Keisuke Kinoshita. Fourteen pics will be screened during the fest and 11 afterwards at Shochiku’s Togeki Theater.

Another retro will be devoted to the work of Israeli helmer Amos Gitai with three pics screening during and 10 after the fest at two Tokyo venues.

One new program this year is Next Masters Tokyo 2010, which will bring 20 young helmers from Asia to network, watch pics, attend lectures with senior helmers, producers, sales agents and fest programmers and, hopefully, lay the groundwork for their next pic.

Among the lecturers are Taiwanese helmer Hou Hsiao Hsien, producer Simon Field, The Match Factory world sales exec Michael Webber and Berlinale Talent Campus program manager Matthijs Wouter Knol.

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