Dialogue of Cultures film fest in Tokyo cancelled

Event's first edition nixed by earthquake, tsunami

LONDON — The first edition of an international film festival due to take place in Tokyo early April has been cancelled following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday.

The Dialogue of Cultures Film Festival, dedicated to exploring the impact of globalization through film, was due to run in Tokyo April 7-11.

Backed by Kazakh producers Boris Cherdabayev and Aliya Uvalzhanova and programmed by Moscow-based producer Anna Katchko, the fest is due to play in a different continent each year with France scheduled as the location for 2012.

Katchko, who is working on historic epic “Myn Bala,” said the fest is a very personal adventure for her. She has moved from country to country so her own life has been a dialogue between cultures, traditions and religions.

She added that organisers hoped to confirm later this month whether the fest would unspool at a later date in Tokyo.

Fest’s first edition was due to showcase 10 features and documentaries, each one from a different part of the world: Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, South and North Korea, Japan, the U.S., Israel, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates and the U.K.

Cherdabayev said the fest aimed to show films that explored “how their protagonists cope with different traditions, cultures, ways of thinking and behaving, how modern people survive once they are placed in a new environment.”

He added: “In a world where the borders between countries are fast disappearing, how far should we go to preserve our unique cultural tradition and religious views? We can survive only by living together, by being tolerant.”