• Films
  • Main sections / Programming Directors and Advisors
    Main sections /
    Programming Directors
    and Advisors
TIFF’s Main Sections
TIFF will show a variety of excellent films from around the world under nine main sections.

TIFF’s principal section and the highlight of the film festival, Competition showcases feature films that were completed after January 2018. Sixteen films from around the world will be selected for screening at the festival. The International Competition Jury of five international cineastes will award the Tokyo Grand Prix, Special Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Artistic Contribution and Best Screenplay Award. The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony.

Asian Future

“From Asia to the World and to the future!” Asian Future will showcase films by emerging directors who have directed up to three feature films. Outstanding works from the Asian region, which includes Japan and the Middle East, will be selected for the festival. Members of some films’ staff and casts will be invited to participate in festival events and industry networking sessions. “Best Asian Future Film Award” and “The Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center” will be awarded to the winners.

Japanese Cinema Splash

Japanese Cinema Splash promotes the best in Japanese independent films to a world audience. The section showcases exceptionally unique, creative and challenging films from the evolving Japanese film industry, regardless of the stage of the directors’ careers. The selected films will be actively promoted not only to the general public but also to international film festival programmers, press and film buyers from overseas.

Special Screenings

Special Screenings shows high-profile films, both domestic and international, that have not been released in Japan. The glamorous Opening, Closing and Gala screenings are a part of this line-up. Many of the invited guests associated with the films will attend the celebrations, including the Carpet welcome, and make stage appearances.。

Japan Now

Japan Now employs a unique perspective in selecting a group of prominent Japanese films released over the past year. These films will provide an overview of Japanese cinema today as well as a multifaceted perspective into contemporary Japan and its aesthetics and culture. This year, Japan Now will include a special focus on one of Japan’s most established and internationally recognized actors, Koji Yakusho.

World Focus

World Focus showcases internationally acclaimed films by noted directors that have recently been completed but not yet released in Japan. The section features films that have created a sensation on the international film festival circuit. This year’s World Focus will also include a special focus on Israeli films. More than half of the films screened in the World Focus were later released at theaters in Japan.

The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents CROSSCUT ASIA #05 Soundtrip to Southeast Asia

The Japan Foundation Asia Center’s CROSSCUT ASIA series showcases Asian films with a focus on particular countries, directors or themes. Countries featured in the past were Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Last year’s focus was on a wide variety of works by young Southeast Asian filmmakers. For this year’s 5th edition, CROSSCUT ASIA will present “Soundtrip to Southeast Asia” featuring films showcasing a rich variety of musical genres, including Filipino rap and Thai popular band music. The films will show historical and present-day Southeast Asia, and will offer audiences the experience of traveling to each location and feel the passage of time and eras.

Japanese Classics

Japanese Classics features digitally restored classic Japanese films and provides an opportunity to reflect on the many masterpieces of Japanese film.

Youth (TIFF Children / TIFF Teens)

TIFF Youth provides opportunities for the young generation to experience the wonders of cinema. In the TIFF 2018: Teens Meet Cinema workshop, participating junior high school students made films together within a limited amount of time. Their impressive work will be shown on the screen during the festival. TIFF Children will be showing silent classics with live performances. Children and their parents alike are sure to enjoy the events. TIFF Teens, focusing on high school generation’s characters and themes, will spotlight films that have been specially selected from around the world. By offering the experience of seeing the power and beauty of cinema on the big screen, and the joy of experiencing the vast world that cinema projects, TIFF believes that it can help cultivate a new generation of avid cinemagoers.

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Programming Directors and Advisors
Competition Programming Director

Yoshihiko Yatabe

Yatabe entered the film distribution and advertising business after working for the Industrial Bank of Japan (currently Mizuho Bank). He also has produced documentaries and managed the Festival du Film Français au Japon. Joining TIFF in 2002, he oversaw the Programming Division and served as Programming Director for the Japanese Eyes section (17-25th TIFF) and Japanese Cinema Splash (26th TIFF). In 2007, he assumed the position of Competition Programming Director for TIFF.

Yoshi Yatabe
Asian Future Programming Director

Kenji Ishizaka

Ishizaka began researching and critiquing Asian and documentary films after majoring in film studies in Waseda University’s Graduate School. He planned and managed an Asia Middle-East Film Festival Series from 1990 to 2007 for the Japan Foundation. He has been a Programming Director of TIFF since its 20th edition in 2007. He concurrently holds the position of professor and dean of Japan Institute of the Moving Image. He has written several books, including “Amidst the Sea of Documentary: Dialogues with Tsuchimoto Noriaki,” published by Gendai Shokan.

Kenji Ishizaka
Japan Now Programming Advisor

Kohei Ando

Ando, who in his youth worked with Shuji Terayama, is known for his refined and creative expressivity as a filmmaker. He is a global pioneer in incorporating Hi-vision techniques into filmmaking. His films have received numerous awards, including the Silver Maile Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the International Electronic Cinema Festival in Montreux. His works are included in the collections of major art museums and film libraries in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and elsewhere. In both 2001 and 2005, Ando retrospectives were held in Paris. He is also a professor emeritus at Waseda University.

Kohei Ando
TIFF Teens Programming Advisor

Mitsuo Tahira

In 1992, Tahira organized the first international film festival for children in Japan, "Kinder Film Festival". Since 1994, he's been involved in the festival as the producer and festival director. In 2015, changing the festival name to "KINEKO International Children's Film Festival" and, moving the venue to Futakotamagawa, Tokyo, he made it grow into the largest international children's film festival in Japan. He is also aiming for greater development of children's film by cooperating with children's film festivals worldwide, since 2016 spreading Japanese films in the world and since this year focusing on creating a network between Japanese creators and members of children's film festivals from abroad.

Mitsuo Tahira
Animation Focus Programming Advisor

Ryusuke Hikawa

Hikawa is an animation and special effects researcher, as well as a professor in the Graduate School of Global Japanes Studies, Meiji University. He graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology. Hikawa has served as a jury member at the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Mainichi Film Awards and as a selection member of the Film Merit Category, The Bunka-Cho Film Awards. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan. For the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, he conducted a survey on special effects in Japan and wrote the “Guide to Japanese Animation: Robot Animation.” He recently authored “Hosoda Mamoru no sekai-kibou to kiseki wo umu anime-shon” (The World of Hosoda Mamoru: Animation Generating Hope and Miracles).

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