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Japanese also winners at home

As well as downing the South Africans in London over the weekend, the Japanese have been backing themselves in the early rounds of announcements out of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF).

The festival’s local offer includes a horror retrospective from directors Hideo Nakata (The Ring), Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Shimizu (whose The Grudge was produced by Rob Tapert).

There’s also a retrospective devoted to the world of Gundam, a anime franchise that’s been running for 36 years (and counting). First screened in 1979, Yoshiyuki Tomino’s manga has spawned one of Japan’s most successful anime franchises. The TIFF selection includes TV programmes, theatrical releases, animation and short films.

It’s fair to say there are more Kiwis in the Japanese rugby world cup squad than are likely to be selected for TIFF, but Baltasar Kormákur’s Kiwi-themed Everest (pictured above), produced by Tim Bevan, is one of the Special Presentation titles named for Tokyo.

Looking around the region, TIFF continues its Crosscut Asia programme strand with a focus on Philippine cinema and the work of Cannes winner Brillante Mendoza in particular.

The festival has yet to announce its programme for its partnership with the Shanghai IFF which saw 27 Japanese titles play Shanghai in June.

The 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will run 22 – 31 October. The full programme announcement is due 29 September.

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