Actresses Irene Jacob, Fumi Nikaido and Kiki Sugino hit the red carpet at the festival in Japan, which opened with Hiroshi Chono ‘s At Home.

The revamped Kyoto International Film and Art Festival opened yesterday (Oct 16) with a red carpet parade of stars that included actresses Irene Jacob (Three Colours: Red), Fumi Nikaido (Why Don’t You Play In Hell?) and actress/filmmaker Kiki Sugino (Kyoto Elegy).

The festival’s opening ceremony took place at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo in the ancient city’s geisha district, with traditional dance performances.

Executive producer of the fest Kazuyoshi Okuyama - also recently appointed head of Yoshimoto Kogyo’s newly launch production/distribution arm Katsu-do Co. - said at the opening that he was thrilled to hold the fest in the city where films were first introduced to Japan.

Mixing international cinema and art events, the festival will screen 48 new and classic films until Oct 19. They include Buster Keaton films such as The Butcher Boy (1917), Japanese comedian Torajiro Saito films such as Dynamite Bride (1934), and the world premiere of Hiroshi Chono’s At Home.

The fest also runs the Creator’s Factory, which supports up-and-coming filmmakers’ work. Started in the Yoshimoto-affiliated Okinawa International Movie Festival two years ago, the program helped produce Kyoto Elegy, which Sugino directed.

Previously announced Most Respect Award for renowned actors and directors this year goes to Clint Eastwood who said in September upon the announcement: “It’s especially gratifying to be recognized by the film community of Kyoto.

“The support you’ve given us over the years is much appreciated, and though we’re currently in post-production on American Sniper, we wanted to send along our sincerest thanks for this wonderful tribute.”

Yoshimoto Gion Kagetsu is the fest’s main venue with events taking place around the city in 15 venues including Kyoto City University of Arts Gallery, Kyoto City Hall Square, the Museum of Kyoto, and Kyoto Station Building.