NewsAll News

KIFF 2018 Daily Report Day 1: Thursday, October 11

2018/10/11 Report

The countdown clock for the 2018 Kyoto International Film and Art Festival (KIFF) hit zero at 1pm on Thursday October 11 when guests from Japan and around the world walked the red carpet for a crowd of waiting media.

Representatives from the Art section of the film festival were first to appear in front of the cameras, with Kyoto International Film and Art Festival Art Planner Kenta Oka, Miki Makiko Yamamoto, padGALLERY, photographer Yasumasa Yonehara and Bihou Yamauchi each exhibiting their individualism with varied casual dress in front of the historic Nishi-Honganji Buddhist temple. Oka took questions from the waiting press, wearing full Hakama, traditional attire that matched the 14th Century location.

Yoshimoto Kogyo’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was represented next by participants of the Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Troupe, responsible for “everything’s happening at SDG’s Kagetsu!”. Kiyoshi Nishikawa, Yasushi Kawabata and Succhi were joined by Kaoru Nemoto of the United Nations Information Center, whose bright yellow outfit shone in the black and white surroundings of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Five groups from the festival’s “Special Invitation Films” and “TV DIRECTOR’S MOVIE” categories, representing films from around Asia, then walked the red carpet to face the cameras. With 27 journalists from around Asia - including for the first time from Myanmar – the actors and directors answered questions from the assembled press.

Kyoto International Film and Art Festival Executive Committee Vice Chairman Kazuyoshi Okuyama next took the spotlight, accompanied by former pop idol turned actress Miyoko Asada, from their movie “Erika 38.”

The guests were then seated for the Opening Ceremony, which kicked off at the same venue with a traditional performance. Two-dozen geisha chanted a welcome and played shamisen, a perfect fit for the revered, ancient temple.

Legendary director Sadao Nakajima gave the first greeting. He remarked that it is a rare opportunity for the opening ceremony of a film festival to be held in such a historically important location. But he said that it is also fitting, since Kyoto is known as “Japan’s Hollywood” and is where the earliest Japanese films were shot. He also thanked the people of Kyoto for their hospitality, which has made possible to get to the fifth edition of KIFF. Nakajima then officially announced the festival had started.

The mayor of Kyoto City, Daisaku Kadokawa thanked the festival’s organizer, Yoshimoto Kogyo, for doing so much to help the city. He remarked that the combination of a film festival with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, is quite rare. He went on to say that the Japanese government as well as Kyoto itself are working to promote filmmaking in the city.

Film producer Kazuyoshi Okuyama noted that a film festival is often the starting point of new films, and in that regard, with its 5th edition KIFF has developed into a full-fledged festival.

Then the prestigious festival prizes were awarded. The “Most Respect” prize went to the lead actors of the Chinese historical film “Cao Cao & Yang Xiu,” Shang Changrong and Yan Xingpeng, two Peking Opera stars are regarded as national treasures in China.

The Shozo Makino Award, which was established in 1958 to honor the man called “the father of Japanese filmmaking,” went to Yasuo Furuhata. The esteemed director is known for 19 different collaborations with late actor Ken Takakura, including “Poppoya” and “Dearest”.

The Toshiro Mifune Award, named after the iconic star, went to powerhouse actor Koichi Sato. The 57-year-old Sato has acted in over 60 Japanese feature films, as well as a huge number of TV shows and has been showered with accolades, including winning the Japan Academy Award for Best Actor last year. He can add the celebrated Mifune Prize to that now.

The ceremony, closed with was a message from legendary actress Machiko Kyo, who said she would like to have been able to attend the festival, as she remembers filming the 1950 classic “Rashomon” in Kyoto. It was a touching reminder of the city’s rich film history.

That evening the madcap Japanese comedy “A Love Story Bad Enough to Rot Your Ears” screened. Members of the public packed into T Joy Kyoto cinema on a rainy Thursday for the film starring the popular comedy duo Non Style. The stars took the stage ahead of the showing and got warm applause from the crowd. One half of the duo, Akira Yoshida wrote the script, which is a murder mystery on a remote island. He and his comedy partner Yusuke Inoue bantered back and forth at rapid speed, but the director, Keisuke Toyoshima was able to get in a word or two. He joked with his stars, which include Hideaki Murata, about how completely crazy the story is, drawing laughs from the audience. When the film began, the filmmakers moved to the back of the theater, so they could watch as the audience laughed at one scene after another.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
About KIFF