Updated: Nov 16, 2019
The 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival kicked off with its the red carpet at Roppongi Hills. This year's line-up consisted of 181 films and its filmmakers and stars were ready to walk in their fashionably best. 2019's event was started by festival muse Alice Hirose who appeared in two festival films the previous year. Hirose commented on the pleasant weather and hoped the variety of films could offer something to all viewers.
The festival had a a distinct Asian focus with films from Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Indonesia well represented. Of course European countries contributed films from Spain, France, Italy, Denmark and Norway, among others. Fans also turned it in droves hoping to get autographs or selfies from their favorite stars.
Some of those stars included 2019 Jury President, Zhang Ziyi who also had a special 20th anniversary screening of her cinematic debut film "The Road Home" which was directed by legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou. The competion jury also included Japanese filmmaker Ryuichi Hiroki (800 Two Lap Runners), Danish Film Director Michael Noer (Before The Frost), Producer Bill Gerber (A Star Is Born) and French actress and producer Julie Gayet.
Academy Award winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander appeared with her Japanese co-star, Naoki Kobayashi and director Wash Westmoreland, representing the Netflix Original Film "Earthquake Bird," which will also have a special screening before debuting on the streaming service. The film was shot entirely in Japan and produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free production company. Vikander was wearing a custom Louis Vuitton dress.
Japanese actor Kōji Yakusho appeared with his Wings Over Everest producer Terence Chang (Mission: Impossible 2) and director Fay Wu. The China-Japan joint production marks Wu's directorial debut.
Acclaimed musician and producer Haroumi Hosono (Yellow Magic Orchestra) represented his documentary "No Smoking" based on his life in the Japanese music industry and was joined on the red carpet by director Taketoshi Sado and cast members Kiko and Yuka Mizuhara.
American Airlines is one of the main sponsors of the event and brought in brand ambassador MIYAVI to walk the red carpet while Hong Kong Stars Aaron Kwok and Miriam Yeung represented their film "i'm livin' it."
Of course this is Japan, so two anticipated screenings were for Japanese films "A Beloved Wife" starring Asami Mizukawa and Gaku Hamada with direction from Shin Adachi and "Tora-san, Welcome Back" with director Yoji Yamada and stars Chieko Baisho, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Kumiko Goto, GIn Maeda, Mari Natsuki and Ruriko Asaoka making appearances at tonight's opening event. The aforementioned film marks the 50th in the film series which also holds the Guiness Record for the longest running film series starring a single actor, the late Kiyoshi Atsumi.
The Tokyo International Film Festival runs until November 5th at Roppongi Hills and other venues.