Tokyo [Japan], November 2 (ANI): The 33rd edition of Tokyo International Film Festival started with the representatives of the global film community including Robert De Niro, Christopher Nolan and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux, who graced the event with series of video messages wishing the festival well amid the challenges of COVID-19.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, local film figures turned out in force for the opening ceremony.
Nolan, via video, said: "The fact that in these challenging times you've found a way to honour and enjoy watching films on the big screen is a source of inspiration to myself and other filmmakers around the world."
The event has been possible with Japan's relative containment of COVID-19 allowing organisers to stage an event of this level with an in-person program.
The Tokyo festival will screen 138 films this year, down from 180 in 2019. The selection also has been streamlined, with the new "Tokyo Premiere" section replacing the usual competition section and two other strands. For the first time in its history, the festival will award just one prize -- an audience award -- a response to the infeasibility of assembling an international jury within Japan, as per The Holywood Reporter.
Following the Tokyo government's guidance, which allowed cinemas nationwide to resume operating at full capacity on September 19, the Tokyo festival will screen its selection with no reductions on seating capacity. Festivalgoers' temperatures will be taken at the door, masks will be required and food will be banned in the theater -- but drinks are allowed. The event says it is expecting many, if not most, screenings to sell out.
The festival opened with Masaharu Take's boxing drama 'Underdog', starring Mirai Moriyama, Takumi Kitamura and Ryo Katsuji, and it will close November 9 with the world premiere of director Hajime Hashimoto's 'Hokusai', a biopic of the great Japanese ukiyo-e painter and printmaker. (ANI)