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Meryl Streep at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival
Meryl Streep at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the rare film festivals that is planning to go ahead with a physical edition during the coronavirus pandemic, will hold its 33rd edition from October 31 through November 9, 2020.

TIFF plans to carry out physical screenings in Tokyo theaters, as well as to host symposia and international guest talks online.

In a statement, the festival acknowledged, “holding a film festival in the same way as in previous years is very challenging due to such difficulties as restrictions on international travel and the necessity of taking thorough measures against infection.”

Therefore, we have created a special section for the 33rd TIFF that goes beyond the boundaries of our usual competitive sections. The Tokyo Premiere 2020 will combine our international Competition, Asian Future and Japanese Cinema Splash sections into one lineup. Instead of bestowing the usual awards, TIFF will give one Audience Award for all the films nominated in this limited section, allowing us to shine a spotlight on the importance of our audiences. (For more details, please see the outline of the section below. Details on the festival’s other sections will be announced at a later date.)

Additionally, we have established a new selection committee this year, which will allow TIFF to benefit from the knowledge, diversity and wide-ranging backgrounds of outside experts.

This year’s TIFF will also see us deepening our ties with Tokyo FILMeX, which is traditionally held also in late autumn. We will be forming a relationship similar to that between the Cannes Film Festival and Directors’ Fortnight, with the latter held independently within the framework of the Cannes Film Festival. We expect this synergy between our two festivals to also strengthen solidarity in the film industry.

Of course, one absolute condition of holding the 33rd TIFF is that we can guarantee the safety of our audiences, filmmakers and staff. Therefore, if this condition cannot be met as the pandemic situation continues to transition in the future, we will pursue various options, including postponement or cancelation. We appreciate your understanding about any changes that may occur.

Focusing on world and Asian premieres, Tokyo Premiere 2020 will showcase about 30 films from across the globe, by both veterans and emerging directors.

Committee members are Kohei Ando (Emeritus Professor at Waseda University), Shozo Ichiyama (Producer), Kenji Ishizaka (TIFF Senior Programmer), Yuka Kimbara (Journalist), Yuko Sekiguchi (Journalist) and Yoshi Yatabe (TIFF Senior Programmer).

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