The Tokyo International Film Festival has enlisted celebrated producer Jeremy Thomas and seasoned Japanese buyer Ken Umehara to the film selection panel for its 23rd annual event which takes place Oct 23-31.

Thomas, the UK Oscar winner who heads Recorded Picture Company and HanWay Films, will act as executive advisor to the festival and the programme, while Umehara, who is senior acquisitions director at Avex Entertainment, will act as advisor for programming. They join TIFF chairman Tom Yoda, Yoshi Yatabe, competition programming director, and Kenji Ishazaka who is programming director for the Winds Of Asia and the Middle East sections.

“We have brought Jeremy and Ken on board to open the doors to higher quality films and stronger talent,” explained Yoda in Berlin yesterday. “Tokyo is changing and getting stronger films. They don’t have to be world premieres, but we want to raise the profile of the lineup.”