The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has unveiled the line-up for this year’s edition (Oct 17-25), including the last-minute addition of controversial documentary The Cove, which chronicles the annual dolphin hunt in the Japanese town of Taiji.

TIFF also announced that it will open with the world premiere of Jacques Perrins’ documentary Oceans and close with Pixar’s Up.

The 15-film competition section includes five world premieres: Jinsei Tsuji’s Acacia (Japan), Li Fangfang’s Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting (China), Huo Jianqi’s Snowfall In Taipei (Taiwan), Raymond Red’s Manila Skies (Philippines) and Juan Carlos Valdivia’s Southern District (Bolivia).

The remaining films are either international or Asian premieres. The international premieres include Wojtek Smarzowski’s The Dark House (Poland), James DeMonaco’s Staten Island (US), Mario Iglesias’ Stories (Spain), Valerio Mieli’s Ten Winters (Italy-Russia) and Jacob Tierny’s The Trotsky (Canada).

The Asian premieres are: Kame Kalev’s Eastern Plays (Bulgaria), Xabi Molia’s Eight Times Up (France), Cristián Jiménez’ Optical Illusions (Chile-Portugal-France), Sebastian Cordero’s Rabia (Spain-Colombia) and Dev Benegal’s Road Movie (India-US).

The Sakura Grand Prix carries a cash award of $50,000, halved from last year.

As previously reported on, the competition jury will be headed by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. He is joined by actress Mieko Harada, director-actor Jerzy Skolimowski, cinematographer Caroline Champetier, Korean actor Yoo Ji-tae and Athénée Français cultural center director Masamichi Matsumoto.

The 21-film special screenings section offers Japan premieres of upcoming releases. Titles include: world premieres of Isshin Inudo’s Zero Focus and Haruki Kadokawa’s The Laughing Policeman, along with Synecdoche, [Rec 2] and Drag Me To Hell. There will also be a presentation of 16 minutes from James Cameron’s Avatar, featuring specially selected footage not revealed previously.

The Winds Of Asia  programme offers 20 titles from across the continent, featuring a memorial tribute to late Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad, a retrospective onHong Kong director Ann Hui and a program of modern Egyptian cinema.

The eight-film Japanese Eyes program (down from 21 titles last year) will screen world premieres of local cinema with a new emphasis on independent productions. Other programs include Natural TIFF and World Cinema.

TIFF is the centerpiece of the 18-event Japan International Contents Festival (CoFesta). Events span from September 24 to October 29 and include the Tokyo Game Show (Sept 24-27), Tokyo Asia Music Market (Oct 19-23), the TIFFCOM contents market (Oct 20-22) and Tokyo Project Gathering (Oct 19-22).