The 24th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held its opening ceremonies on Saturday at the Roppongi entertainment district in Tokyo. Japan’s annual film fest will run for a week and will feature 200 films from around the globe.
TIFF’s opening salvo dubbed as the Green Carpet and Opening Ceremony was attended by no less than Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. With the film fest especially dedicated to help victims of the March 11 disaster, Japan’s premier took the opportunity to express gratitude for the worldwide generosity and sympathy that the country received in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Referring to the festivities, Noda said that “films have the power to create memories and leave positive impressions.”
Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) who also attended the opening night underscored the importance of government activities in support of the film industry and expressed his hope for the film industry to continue making films that ‘cross over age and gender boundaries’.
Two films kicked off the festivities – “The Three Musketeers” which stars Milla Jovovich who walked over the green carpet made of recycled materials in keeping with the film fest’s ecological theme, and “1911” by Jackie Chan.
TIFF’s organizers led by its chairman, Tatsumi “Tom” Yoda, related that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami nearly halted the holding of the film fest this year. They, however, felt the need to push through with the festival to help support victims of the Tohoku region affected by the massive disaster. The TIFF created the TIFF Arigato Project which receives donations along with kind messages for the victims.
The TIFF will also have a special screening program on October 25 in Sendai, which coastal areas were severely devastated by the tumultuous tsunami.