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Competition

Film is a window on the world today, through which we can see its true shape. It is the medium that shows us with the greatest immediacy the vast variety of people on the earth, and how they are all just as human as we are. The works in the Competition Section of the Tokyo International Film Festival were selected with the goal of showing our world in a microcosm. There were three criteria. One was an unswerving focus on depicting humanity: a dramatic film built on keen observation of humankind transcends national borders. The second criterion was diversity: a lineup of all types of works from many different regions will enable viewers to savor the depth of the cinematic experience and the complexity of the world portrayed in cinema. The third was auteurism: we sought films that bear the vivid imprint of the director's character and have a distinctive artistic style. We would like to underscore what we believe to be the most important role of film festivals: supporting the creative minds that are making important films today and building the cinema of tomorrow. The TIFF Competition Section invites submissions from young, emerging directors and seasoned veterans alike, and sets out to make the comparison of finely honed craft and bold, fresh innovation a factor of audience enjoyment.
To sum up a common trait of the highly diverse lineup of 15 films on view: they could all be called portrayals of "people with their backs to the wall." Nobody can remain unmoved by the tides of a society in constant flux. In these films people writhe in the grips of various desperate situations and grasp for any shred of hope as they face problems ranging from familiar financial troubles, to alcohol and drug addiction, conflict with a shadowy, ruthless organization, and a desperate journey of escape accompanied by a prostitute. The man who feels himself aging and orders his coffin ahead of time has his back to the wall, and the old woman left all alone in a deserted village has already fallen through this wall to the land beyond desperation. How will these characters mount counterattacks against the forces that threaten them? How will they convert despair into hope? In short, all of these films are asking, "How will they (or we) live tomorrow?" 15 directors, each overflowing with talent for depiction of humanity's depths and heights, present 15 brilliant cinematic crystallizations of our chaotic world in the TIFF Competition Section.

Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Director

All Films

Special Screenings

Special Screenings is a section to present topical films before theatrical release in Japan.
This year, we have Big Hero 6, the latest Disney animation, to open the section. This charming and truly emotional film has a flavor of Japanese culture and will resonate in the minds of Japanese audiences. It will have its world premiere at TIFF.
The closing film is no less outstanding. Parasyte is based on the landmark Japanese manga and legendary masterpiece with enthusiastic fans around the world. This has been adapted to a complete live-action film by Takashi Yamazaki. This is also the world premiere screening.
In addition to these enticing films, the line-up this year is even more varied than usual. From overseas, we have epic entertainment from the powerhouses of India and Indonesia, masterpieces from Europe, big action films from Hollywood, as well as thoughtprovoking documentaries. From Japan, we have good-quality dramas, anime-based entertaining live-action films, and a group of topical and charming anime.
Films are diverse entertainment and art. Please enjoy these films to your heart's content.

Nobushige Toshima
Programming Director

All Films

Asian Future

Asian Future, established in 2013, is a fresh competition section for first and second features made by upcoming directors in Asia (including Japan and the Middle East). In past incarnations of TIFF, the Young Cinema Competition presented works by exciting new filmmakers from around the globe. Asian Future carries on its spirit by uncovering promising talents and proclaiming their emergence from Tokyo to the world. This year, two prizes will be up for grabs. 10 films, including 9 world premieres, from a broad array of countries will compete for the Best Asian Future Film Award, and in addition the Spirit of Asia Award has been created to provide even more excitement. Don't miss this showcase for the new stars of Asian cinema!

Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director

All Films

The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents CROSSCUT ASIA #01 Thai Fascination

The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents CROSSCUT ASIA, a new series starting this year, focuses on Asian film from various angles including countries, directors, actors, and themes. The subject of its inaugural edition is "Thai Fascination." The period from the late 20th century to the early 21st century saw a blossoming renaissance of Thai cinema that gave us masterpieces such as Nang Nak, The Iron Ladies, Tears of the Black Tiger, and Transistor Love Story. Many unique creators emerged along with their creations, and in 2010, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives became the first film from Southeast Asia to win the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or. Enjoy this richly diverse assortment of eight films representing the amazing evolution of modern Thai cinema! Also not to be missed is a special symposium featuring new leading lights of the Thai film scene.

Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director

All Films

Japanese Cinema Splash

TIFF continues to support independent cinema in a variety of forms. Talented directors present indicators of the current state of Japanese film: an unsparing yet moving documentary from television and film veteran Katsumi Sakaguchi, a charming comedy from the young but accomplished Shuichi Okita, Masaharu Take's superbly realized depiction of a struggling boxer played by Sakura Ando, and an ambitious coming-of-age epic from Shiori Kazama. They are joined by newcomers representing Japan's cinematic future: Takashi Nishihara's fresh take on difficult subject matter, a challenging and twisty tale from Shingo Ouchi, Ryutaro Nakagawa's fierce illustration of ferocious love and hate, and a bold stylistic approach from Shingo Ota that could only be possible in an indie film.

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World Focus

This section assembles films that have not gained distribution in Japan as of August 31st 2014, including award winners at overseas festivals, the latest from renowned directors, and other prominent works. The U.S. and Europe segment features masterpieces from uniquely talented directors that dazzled the world's top international film festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, Venice, and San Sebastian. In addition to works from TIFF favorites Cédric Kahn, Cristián Jiménez, and Ruben Östlund, film fans will be able to experience the insanity of Quentin Dupieux, the shocking shape of love presented by Saverio Costanzo, the maddening absurdity of György Pálfi, the overwhelming artistic touch of Roy Andersson, the richness of Andrei Konchalovsky, and the joyous return of Peter Bogdanovich!

Yoshi Yatabe
Programming Director

Asian Films in the World Focus section have been selected according to two criteria: works that have drawn attention at festivals overseas and in their country of origin, but have yet to find distribution in Japan; and forgotten cinematic treasures that only a dedicated film festival like TIFF can rediscover. In addition to new productions from masters such as Ann Hui and Fruit Chan, a fiveand-a-half-hour epic from internationally renowned virtuoso Lav Diaz, challenging projects from rising talents, and works from the Middle East that are closely woven from their social landscapes, the cinema selection from India and Myanmar gathered under the banner of Discovering Asian Cinema also offers rare perspectives on Asian film history. An eclectic program with something for everyone.

Kenji Ishizaka
Programming Director

All Films


27th TIFF Special Programs and Allied-Events
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KEIRIN.JPThe 27th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
26th Tokyo International Film Festival(2013)