The Kyoto International Film And Art Festival Announces Line-up for 3rd Edition
The Kyoto International Film And Art Festival (KIFF) is pleased to reveal details of its third edition, set to take place from October 13th to 16th in locations around the beautiful ancient capital of Japan. A unique film festival built upon the traditions of Kyoto, where Japanese film-making first began, KIFF is dedicated to showcasing Movies, Art, and Everything Else.
At a packed press conference at Yoshimoto Gion Kagetsu, luminaries of Japanese cinema joined top city officials to announce the theme of this year’s festival. A deep passion and respect for the history and culture of Kyoto permeated through the room as Mayor of Kyoto Daisaku Kadokawa took to the stage dressed in kimono, in keeping with many of those in attendance. This year the theme of the festival is “Kyoto Up Up” with the official poster designed to show that Kyoto is again rising up.
Mr. Kadokawa announced that KIFF is an important part of a new movement recognizing modern Kyoto. “I would like to leverage the charming culture of Kyoto and Japan to the fullest. The Ministry of Culture would relocate to Kyoto in the near future because the city has the power to spread culture to the rest of the world. In 2020, new cultural activities would begin in Kyoto as well,” said Mr. Kadokawa.
Organization Committee Honorary President Sadao Nakajima, who has been involved in the movie industry since 1959, stated “I want Kyoto to be the center of the movie scene and to work on developing the industry from Kyoto for the rest of my life.”
This year the festival will hold its opening ceremony at Kyoto’s famous Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site completed in 1626. A spiritual location that holds a special place in the hearts of Kyoto’s resident’s, Nijo Castle will host the opening ceremony on October 13th, during which the first of the two major awards of The Kyoto International Film And Art Festival will be announced. The Shozo Makino Award, founded in 1958 in honor of Kyoto-born filmmaker Shozo Makino, is awarded to filmmakers who contributed to the development of Japanese cinema.
The Toshiro Mifune Award, given to the actor who is most likely to make international impact on the film industry, will be awarded at the closing ceremony on October 16th. The importance of actor Toshiro Mifune will be highlighted especially this year, with the Japanese premiere of “Mifune: The Last Samurai” revealed as the opening film. A documentary by Steven Okazaki, the film features interviews with Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese as it looks at the role Toshiro Mifune had on popularizing Samuari movies and the impact his work had internationally.
The 3rd Kyoto International Film And Art Festival will feature four different programs of silent movies, the origin of modern cinema. 7 movies by the great Charlie Chaplin will be screened at KIFF, from “The Kid” (1921) through to “Limelight” (1952), well in to the era of the “talkies.” “You will be surprised to see that 100 years ago in the U.S., something like this was filmed,” said Yoneo Ota, Professor at the Osaka University of Arts.
By comparison, KIFF will screen two early works by one of the masters of Japanese cinema, Yasujiro Ozu, from the silent movie age. “A Straightforward Boy” (1929) and “The Lady and the Beard” (1931) will be screened, the latter of which will be a World Premiere of the recently discovered full length work. A Short Comedy Selection of other long-lost shorts, and a Toy Film Selection of silent movies made for toy projectors in the Taisho and Showa eras will also take place at KIFF this year.
In the Art section of the festival, a car theme will run throughout the exhibitions this year. “Kintoki” cars, shiny vehicles with neon lights from which baked sweet potatoes are sold will be touring Kyoto. Created by art unit Yotta, winners of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art, the cars will visit the venues of KIFF.
At Kyoto City Hall Square a huge exhibit by Hideo Nagai titled “B-Project ‘Heso de Nageru’” shows a real car being back-dropped in a suplex move by a giant wrestler.
Nishi Hongan-ji temple, founded in 1591, will also host exhibitions this year as part of KIFF. The monk training facility is usualy closed to the public, but this year it will open only for the period of the festival. It will host Shinsuke Kawahara’s “Planet of Rabbits” a series he created using cardboard boxes, folding screens, balloons and animated movies. French artist Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s “Dark Science” installation will be on show at the venue. Set to Billie Holiday’s “Gloomy Sunday,” the installation features 20 light bulbs synchronized to increase in brightness as Holiday sings.
“Kyoto is the origin of culture” said Festival Producer Kazuyoshi Okuyama to a warm reception at the press conference September 6th. “Last year the festival was like a teenager, expressing itself without control. This year the festival is in the phase which is more responsible and mature enough to be considered a true international film festival.”
The Kyoto International Film And Art Festival (KIFF) takes place October 13th to 16th in Kyoto. For more information: http://2016.kiff.kyoto.jp