“Love Mooning,” a drama by veteran Japanese director Manda Kunitoshi, has been set as the opening film of Tokyo Filmex. The festival announced the line-up for its 21st edition on Thursday.
Filmex, which has long specialized in Asian art films and usually starts in late November, will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 7 this year. It will be operated in partnership with the Tokyo International Film Festival, whose dates are Oct.31-Nov. 9.
“Love Mooning,” charts the troubled romance between the head of a mental health clinic and one of his patients. Manda also chairs the festival’s five-person jury.
The closing film will be Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven,” a 2019 Cannes selection about a director, played by Suleiman himself, who finds himself comically trapped in Palestine even when he is in New York and Paris. Suleiman is also the subject of the festival’s Filmmaker in Focus section, which will present three of his earlier films.
The twelve-film competition will focus on work by up-and-coming directors from Japan and Asia, including Nora Martirosyan’s “Should The Wind Drop,” another Cannes invitee, Hilal Baydarov’s ”In Between Dying,” which screened in competition at Venice, and Shahram Mokri’s “Careless Crime,” a selection of Venice’s Orizzonti section.
Among the four Japanese films in the section is Sato Takuma’s “Any Crybabies Around,” which had its world premiere at just-ended San Sebastian festival.
In addition to the opening and closing films, the 13-film Special Screening section features a 4K restoration of David Cronenberg’s 1996 “Crash,” Amos Gitai’s ensemble drama “Laila in Haifa,” a Venice competition selection, Rithy Panh’s “Irradiated,” best documentary winner at Berlin, and Hong Sang-soo’s “The Woman Who Ran,” best director winner at Berlin.