Tokyo film festival names competition lineup

The organizers of the upcoming 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) on Friday announced eight more titles that will be competing for the coveted Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix.

The eight-day festival - one of the largest and most important on the movie calendar - is scheduled to open at the Roppongi Hills complex on October 23, with a total of 15 films in the running for best picture.

The eight that were announced on Friday include the French movie Sarah's Key, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and starring Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie, which has the French title Elle s'appelait Sarah, is based on an internationally best-selling novel about a Jewish girl captured by the Nazis in Paris in 1942.

Spanish director Ivan Noel's Primary! will also be competing, along with Intimate Grammar, an Israeli entry from Nir Bergman. Flamingo No. 13, by Iranian director Hamid Reza Aligholian, is a spectacular portrayal of the life of a man obsessed with illegally hunting flamingoes.

The lineup includes two multi-national entries, the Romania-Serbia-Austria collaboration If the Seed Doesn't Die, directed by Sinisa Dragin, and The Invisible Eye, by Diego Lerman, which has its roots in Argentina, France and Spain.

Beautiful Boy, by American director Shawn Ku, stars Michael Sheen, while one of the favorites for the top award will be the film adaptation of Graham Greene's masterpiece Brighton Rock, by Rowan Joffe.

Organizers had previously announced three other titles that will be competing. And Peace on Earth is an Italian film jointly directed by Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini of Italy, Zephyr is the work of Turkish director Belma Bas and Japan's entry is titled Sketches of Kaitan City and was directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri.

The remaining entries will be named on September 30.

This year's festival will also include a retrospective of the films of Bruce Lee, the Hong Kong actor credited with making kung fu movies popular, while award-winning Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan has been named president of the jury. Jordan won an Oscar for The Crying Game, and his second film, Company of Wolves, was selected for the first year of the TIFF competition section in 1985.

In total, 743 films from 81 countries and regions were screened last year, with the Sakura Grand Prix won by Kamen Kalev for Eastern Plays.

TIFF was first held in 1985 and was initially staged every two years. That was changed in 1991 and it has been held every autumn since. In Asia, it competes with other movie festivals in Hong Kong and Pusan as the biggest and most influential film event.


Tokyo International Film Festival, October 23-31

Venues: Main venue at Roppongi Hills but at other theaters and halls across Tokyo.

Further information: +81 3 4505 8686 (between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from October 1 to 31.)

Website: http://www.tiff-jp.net/pre/2010/en/

JR

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