CAPTAIN PHILLIPS To Open The Tokyo International Film Festival

The Tokyo International Film Festival, which shares an acronym with its Toronto counterpart and begins just a month later, made some initial announcements today. 

The opening film of the festival will be Paul Greengrass' latest, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks; it's based on the true story of the hijacking of an American ship by Somali pirates. Closing the festival is writer-director Koki Mitani's The Kiyosu Conferance, a historical epic based on the director's own novel. Mitani's other films include Welcome Back Mr. McDonald, Suite Dreams, and A Ghost of a Chance

This year's 'Festival Muse,' a kind of unspecific role basically acting to drum up publicity amongst the public, is actress Kuriyama Chiaki. She first came to international attention after memorable roles in Battle Royale and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill; she's also appeared in Miike Takashi's Yokai Daisenso and Sono Shion's Exte.

Now in its 26th year, some minor changes have been made to the festival's lineup, though they seem pretty superficial. Alongside the Competition and Special Screenings will be a new category, 'Asian Future,' intended to showcase up and coming directors, and 'World Focus,' which will feature works that have been successful in other international film festivals but which have not yet been released in Japan. 

Most interesting is the new 'Japanese Cinema Splash' section, which will promote unique and interesting Japanese independent films at home and abroad. This section will aim to feature animation, something that has been missing in the past. The festival will run from October 17-25. 
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