The Tokyo International Film Festival (October 20-28) has announced that François Girard's Silk will be the closing film of this year's 20th edition.

The $26m Canadian-Italian-Japanese co-production stars Michael Pitt, Keira Knightley, Koji Yakusho, Alfred Molina, Miki Nakatani and newcomer Sei Ashina, who won the part through an audition of 800 hopefuls. Famed musician Ryuichi Sakamoto composed the music.

Based on the best-selling novel by Italian author Alessandro Baricco, the story follows a nineteenth-century French silkworm merchant (Pitt) who travels to Japan when his supply of the valuable insects is hit by disease. Much of the drama and romance takes place in Japan during an era when it was closed to outsiders.

Girard's The Red Violin won the Best Artistic Contribution Award at the 11th edition of TIFF in 1998.

Silk will have its world premiere on September 11 in the Special Presentations section at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 6-15).

Silk receives a limited theatrical release in the US on September 14 through Picturehouse Entertainment and opens theatrically on September 28 in Canada through distributor Alliance Atlantis. Japanese distributor Asmik Ace has the film tentatively slated for a New Year's 2008 release.

TIFF previously announced that Izuru Narushima's $10m action thriller Midnight Eagle will open the festival.