The Closing Night interview was held with the juries and the guests who participated in the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival!
Photography by Tokyo International Film Festival Student PR Team and 27th TIFF Volunteers
“The Days Come”
Director: Romain Goupil
Q: How do you feel about coming to Tokyo, Roppongi and joining the Tokyo International Film Festival? How was Japan?
This was my second time to make a visit to Tokyo. I was so surprised the first time when I visited here because the tradition was very different. But I loved it. The people and all of it. The second time when I was asked to come for the Competition, I became so happy because I was able to stay for 8 days here with my wife. It was so incredible that we only slept 3 hours every day and our only regret was that we couldn’t go to Kyoto. When you come to Tokyo, you notice that there are lots of people and everything goes very fast.
Director: Claudio Noce
Q: What kind of message did you have in mind for the film?
The message is that the history doesn’t change. 20 years ago there were people escaping from a real war. They were trying to find peace and safety and came to Italy escaping from their hometown. Nowadays there are people trying to escape from another kind of war. That is poverty or not being able to live the way you want to live and trying to find something new.
The side message of the movie is about characters. All the characters are trying to find the truth for themselves. It is different for every characters but every one of them is looking for the truth. Because of this, they are trying to redeem themselves.
Q: How do you feel about coming to Tokyo, Roppongi and joining the Tokyo International Film Festival?
I am honored to be here. One of the best things that happened over here was being able to be with the people at the screening and watching my movie with the audience. I was very curious to know how my film will be perceived here in a different country quite far away from Italy and presented on a big screen. I loved talking with the audience and hear what they thought and answering the questions, but there wasn’t enough time. But the real award of the festival was being able to be with all the Japanese audience.
Actor: Adriano Giannini (Played the part of Lorenzo)
Q: What was your hardest challenge for acting this role?
It was difficult because I was playing with some professional actors and those who were not the real actors. Trying to compute yourself with them was difficult because I was from Rome. So the difficulty is to find the way to compute yourself with them and when I found that way it became easy for me.
Q: Did the shooting take long?
It was 5 weeks.
Q: Was it very cold there?
It was cold but it was also good. When you have your feet cold it is good because your eyes always look sobering and the acting looks better.
Q: The forest was very beautiful.
Yes, that part of Italy is beautiful. Italy is not just sun. We have that kind of scenery throughout the northern side.
Q: Who is your hero in the film industry?
There are lots of heroes but the particular one that I have in mind now is Italian and he is Bernardo Bertolucci. He is old now and isn’t making lots of movies but he is my hero.
Director: Petar Valchanov
Q: How do you feel about coming to the TIFF?
We are so happy and feel grateful because we know that Tokyo is one of the best film festivals in the world. We have already been to San Sebastian and Toronto – New World Cinema but for us this would be our first main competition entry and an Asian Premiere. We are also happy because in 2009 another Bulgarian movie won the Grand Prix, Best Director and Best Actor. So this has become a good tradition and we are very thankful for it.
Q: Was this the first time for you to come to Tokyo?
Yes it was my first time in Tokyo and the film festival in Japan. There are many different things when compared to Bulgaria and the county is beautiful. I like Japanese food and think that it is very healthy. It is interesting that there are various elements in the food and are full and rich in taste. I don’t like fish in Bulgaria but it is perfect here.
Q: What is the message that you have in the film?
The message maybe a question. We try to find the answer to the problem, such as what is good and what is bad and who is a criminal and who is not; and how one normal person could become a criminal and the reason why the person chose to do so. Therefore before you judge anyone, you must have such questions in your mind. This is the message of the film.
Q: What kind of movie are you trying to do now?
The next project will be a low budget film again. I will be a producer for this film because it is a very personal project and it would be difficult for me to be a director. There is another film coming, which is a second part of the trilogy following the success of The Lesson. The film will be made with a Bulgarian grant which we won for the first time. We are planning to shoot it at the end of the next year.
The story of the film is about a railway worker who finds million on the tracks, and after he gives the money back to the state, they give him a gift, a present which was a watch, like this one here. But unfortunately the watch was not real. It was a fake. One week later it stops working. He was a railway worker so this becomes a big problem for him. The film will be more of a comedy with an absurd situation. The style will be similar to The Lesson.
Director: Nima Javidi
Q: How do you feel about coming to Japan and joining the Tokyo International Film Festival?
It is great. Your city is very beautiful. I will never forget Tokyo. It was my first time in Japan. I don’t know what the mystery is but I like it. The film festival was great too.
Q: I am impressed with your actress because she is very beautiful.
She is Negar Javaherian. She is one of the most famous actress in Iran. You are right, she is beautiful.
Q: What was the theme for your film? When you started writing your script what did you have in mind?
Five or six years ago, me and my friends, we went to a trip in a country. There was a couple amongst my friends who had a new born baby. One morning they decided to go for a walk.
I was asked to join them but I told them that I was tired and stayed behind with the newborn. The baby was sleeping. After a while, I started to wonder why the baby didn’t wake up.
So I made noises and fortunately the baby woke up. But after that the memory of baby stayed with me. I thought what it could have been like if the accident happened. So this story for the film came from that memory. It took 11 months to write the script and 71 days to complete shooting. I believe that writing script is the most important part of making movies.
“River of Exploding Durians”
Director: Edmund Yeo
Q: How do you feel about coming to Japan and joining the film festival?
It is really great and wonderful because I was based in Tokyo for the last five years so it felt like a homecoming for me. My Japanese has improved. “Kon-nichi-wa Edmund Yeo desu, Malaysia kara kima-shita. Haretsu suru Durian no kawa-no kioku no so-kantoku desu!”
Q: For the film, what kind of message did you have in mind for the audience?
I think it has more to do with our relationship with history. How history is constantly repeating itself. We need to be aware of the past so that we can deal with the future. So it is a cover page story of these two people, Hui Ling and Ming.
Q: What was the hardest challenge for you to shoot the film?
Everything about it was hot! Well I had to work in a short schedule and had to finish the film in 17 days. We had a very small budget so the crew was small and the cast was very small as well. But it was fun. We worked very much like a family. It was painful and tiring but it was fun.
“Above the Clouds”
Actor: Pepe Smith
Q: How do you feel about coming to Tokyo and joining the Tokyo International Film Festival?
I am speechless. It was amazing! Every day was all Tokyo International Film Festival for me. This was my very first acting in the film and therefore I am speechless. Thank you so much. I will tell my friends in Philippines about this. “Kio-tsukete-ne” (Take care!).
“The Last Reel”
Director: Sotho Kulikar
Q: How did you feel about this film festival?
My only comment is that it can only be from my heart. It is such an amazing and prestigious film festival. Everything is so moving and very deep. It is full of energy. It is the film festival that is connected to the people all over Asia and the world. The festival has very good spirit and is very optimistic and is full of hope. And the part that I like the most is the fact that gives the chance to the new generation to express their stories. I think that is wonderful. For me the spirit of film festival is more than a word that I can express.
Part I (Members of the International Competition Jury & Festival Navigator)