The Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 23-31) has unveiled the first four titles of its Sakura Grand Prix competition.
The four titles are: Italian crime drama And Peace on Earth, directed by Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini; Chinese director Zhang Meng’s family drama The Piano In A Factory; novel adaptation Sketches Of Kaitan City by Japan’s Kazuyoshi Kumakiri; Turkish director Belma Bas’ coming-of-age drama Zephyr.
And Peace on Earth is currently screening as a world premiere in the Venice Days section in Venice. Both The Piano In A Factory and Zephyr will screen as world premieres in Toronto. Sketches Of Kaitan City will screen as a world premiere in Tokyo.
In a break with previous years, TIFF brought in special advisors to boost its competition program’s international reputation.
Recorded Picture Company founder Jeremy Thomas, producer of several Japan-themed films throughout his career including 2010 Venice competition entry 13 Assassins, and former Avex acquisition executive Ken Umehara both assisted in choosing films that will vie for the Sakura Grand Prix. As previously announced, Neil Jordan will head the competition jury.
As part of the Winds of Asia Middle-East section, a special retrospective commemorating the 70th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s birth was also outlined last week.
The full 15-title TIFF competition lineup, jury members and other programs are scheduled to be announced at the end of September.