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Tokyo plots Asian focus

Incoming Tokyo International Film Festival director general Yasushi Shiina says he will keep Tokyo’s green carpet theme, but that he is also looking for new initiatives and ways to improve the programme.

“I want to focus on Japanese films including animations. Japanese animation right now is one strong kind of content that appeals to foreign countries. Secondly, we want to be number one of the Asian markets, which means we will need to find and bring in strong content and focus on Asian films. We also want to focus on the quality of the competition and have films that appeal to movie fans as well as the general public,” he said.

Commenting on the aging cinema-going population in Japan, he added: “We want young people to come to festival. For that purpose, we will announce new events to bring youth to the cinemas.”

Meanwhile, outgoing chairman of TIFF Tom Yoda was presented with a Letter of Appreciation at the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s Asian Film Awards. The letter congratulated Yoda on a successful tenure during which he consolidated the festival and market as well as established the fest on the international stage with its ecologically focused green carpet initiatives and relationship-building between festivals.

Yoda has been travelling with in-coming TIFF director general Shiina since Berlin introducing him to festival heads.

o want to focus on the quality of the competition and have films that appeal to movie fans as well as the general public,” he said.

Commenting on the aging cinema-going population in Japan, he said, “We have to create fans of young people in the long-term. So we want young people to come to festival. For that purpose, we will announce new events to bring youth to the cinemas.”

Shiina says he expects support from the Tokyo government: “We need more support. The city is a candidate for holding the 2020 Olympics and that could be very good for us.”

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