Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, director general of the TokyoInternational Film Festival, has announced the launch of the Akira KurosawaPrize, to be awarded for the first time at this year's 17th TIFF (October 23 -31).

The prize, worth US $100,000, will be given to anoutstanding director or producer, Japanese or foreign. An internationalcommittee of film professionals, headed by Kadokawa, will make the selection,which Kadokawa will announce at the festival closing ceremony. 'The focuswill be on the entire career, rather than a single film, 'a TIFF spokesmanexplained. The recipient will come to Tokyo for the presentation, which will beheld during the closing ceremony.

Kadokawa also confirmed that this year's festival will beheld at Roppongi Hills, a new shopping, entertainment and business complex indowntown Tokyo, in addition to the Bunkamura complex in Tokyo's Shibuyacomplex, which has long been the main festival venue.

Another innovation will be the launch of the TokyoInternational Entertainment Market (TIEM) 2004, to be held at the NipponConvention Centre (also called Makuhari Messe) from October 22 to 24, and TokyoInternational Film & Contents Mart (TIFCOM 2004), to be held at RoppongiHills from October 25 to 27.

The former will focus on comics, animation, games and filmsfor both industry buyers and the general public, the later will focus onlive-action films, animation, computer graphics and character products forindustry professionals. Sellers and buyers will be both Japanese and foreign.

There will also be markets for digital contents (TokyoContent Market) and music (Tokyo Asia Music Market) held during the festival.

This year TIFF will be held for nine days from October 23 to31 under the sponsorship of the Tokyo International Foundation for thePromotion of Screen Image Culture. In addition to such festival fixtures as thecompetition, special screenings and Winds of Asia section, there will beseveral new features: satellite screenings of TIFF films in venues aroundJapan, an International Web Image Festival that will present films online, withawards, including an Online Movie Grand Prix, for the best, and X-Tokyo, thetentative name for what TIFF describes as a 'new project' focusing ona theme or director. 'This will be an annual section adding a new,different flavour to the festival,' explained the spokesman. 'Wehaven't decided the content for this year yet, but we want to make it somethingout of the ordinary.'