Zeffirelli to head Tokyo fest jury

The sixth Tokyo Intl. Film Festival and second Film Market announced Tuesday the films to be screened during the event (Sept. 24 to Oct. 3) but said the final line-up for the various juries is incomplete.

One jury member who has been confirmed is Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, who will head the jury for the international competition.

The fact that his film “Sparrow” will have its world premiere as the closing pic of the festival is considered by organizers to be quite a coup.

German director Wim Wenders will act as head of the Young Cinema Competition, which offers cash prizes to the top three winners for young and first-time directors.

Like last year, the prizes will be valued at 20, 10 and 5 million yen; because of the strong yen, the dollar equivalent has increased to approximately $ 20,000, $ 10,000 and $ 5,000. Last year’s prize-winners were Spanish director Julio Medem for his film “Cows,” Stan Lai of Taiwan for “Peach Blossom Land” and American Tim Robbins for “Bob Roberts,” respectively.

The overall budget for the festival and market has shrunk from about 1 billion yen (almost $ 10 million) to 600 million yen (almost $ 6 million).

Shigeru Okada, executive committee chairman, says that “considering the severe economic climate that Japan is in, 600 million yen is a lot of money.” However organizers have had to cut corners, from using taxis instead of limos to cutting short the film market by one day.

Besides “Sparrow,” other special invitational screenings include Renny Harlin’s “Cliffhanger,” which opens the festival; French mega-hit comedy “Les Visiteurs,” directed by Jean-Marie Poire; Wenders’ “Far Away, So Close”; Chen Kaige’s “Farewell to My Concubine” and eight others.

Entries in the Young Cinema Competition include “Menace II Society” (Allen & Albert Hughes, U.S.), “Rebels of the Neon God” (Tsai Mingliang, Taiwan), “The Cherry Orchard” (Anna Tchernakova, Russia), “A Passing Season” (Gracia Guerejeta , Spain) and 10 others. TIFF received a total of 234 entries from 43 countries for this category.

Thirteen will compete in the international section (which offers no financial awards), including “Last Song” (Shigemichi Sugita,Japan), “The Sacred Night” (Nicolas Kotz, France), “The Vale Abraham” (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal) and “Shadow of Dreams” (Lu Xiaowei, China). A total of 246 entries from 40 countries were originally entered for preliminary judgment.

14 films

Other categories include “Nippon Cinema Now” with fourteen films and “The Best of Asian Film” with 10 screenings.

In conjunction with the festival, several sponsored categories of screenings will also be held: 28 films in the “JACCS Card Tokyo Intl. Fantastic Film Festival ’93,” 16 screenings for the “Kanebo Intl. Women’s Film Week,” 25 films in “Selected Works of Japanese Film Masters” (sponsored by the National Film Center and the Agency for Cultural Affairs), an Ozu retrospective (reviewing 35 of Yasujiro Ozu’s works sponsored by producer/distrib Shochiku), and an exhibition of Hepburn memorabilia called “Remembering Audrey.”

Last year’s festival was attended by about 120,000. Organizers expect this year’s figure to reach 150,000.

Some 223 companies representing 27 countries have signed on for the market.

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