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Tokyo Film Festival 2019 Opens With Distinctly Asian Focus

29 October 2019

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Tokyo Film Festival 2019 Opens With Distinctly Asian Focus

Chinese star Zhang Ziyi, president of the jury, said that watching the competition films “will be a very special prenatal education” for her unborn child.

Stars from Japan and Asia, along with a sprinkling of Europeans, walked the red carpet for the opening of the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival on Monday, 28 October.

Veteran director Yoji Yamada and the cast of his Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, the reboot of the much-loved franchise that opened proceedings, was the center of attention for much of the assembled media at the event held in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills. The 88-year-old Yamada paused to sign autographs and have photos taken with fans, in between fielding questions from the press.

Fellow octogenarian director Nobuhiko Obayashi, whose films are being showcased at the fest, rode the red carpet in a wheelchair, as did his producer wife Kyoko. Obayashi has terminal cancer but his mischievous sense of humor appears undiminished. Asked by the event host how audiences should enjoy his latest production, Labyrinth of Cinema, he quipped in English, “It’s a movie.”

The festival runs until 5 November in central Tokyo.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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