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Tokyo International Film Festival 2020, Japan

October 31 - November 9

Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan

Prepare yourself to rub shoulders with film stars and to discover top international movies at one of Asia’s most prestigious competitive film events, the annual Tokyo International Film Festival held in October in Japan.

This year in its 33rd edition, the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is an important player in Japan’s film industry and cultural world, and is the only one in the country accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), a Brussels-based organisation that regulates the world’s most important international film celebrations. Launched in 1985, it has over the years grown into one of Asia’s biggest film festivals and aspires to enter the same league as the Venice International Film Festival, the Festival de Cannes, and the Berlinale or Berlin International Film Festival.

Details of the 2020 schedule are not yet known, and the organisers stress that the festival willl only go ahead if the safety of all involved can be assured. The following text is from the 2019 festival and will be updated when further details are to hand. Updates will also appear here.

What to expect at the Tokyo International Film Festival

Over its ten-day duration the festival will screen more than 200 titles this year – including upcoming releases – from all over the world and spanning all kinds of genres, from action, drama, romance and comedy to horror, fantasy, musicals and science fiction.

Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan
Lust in a Karaoke Box directed by Shinya Tamada, one of the Japanese films screened last year

As the festival’s organisers give a platform to new talent, expect both emerging artists and world-renowned directors and actors to attend the events. TIFF also provides a rare opportunity for fans to watch dozens of classic as well as new Japanese films on the silver screen with English subtitles. Last year the festival attracted well over 230,000 film enthusiasts.

If you’re travelling in Japan during this time then you may also be interested in the Setouchi Triennale 2019 and the Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival.

More than 1,800 films were submitted this year from over 100 countries around the world to compete for the Tokyo Grand Prix, the festival’s main award. Other awards this year include the Special Jury Prize, Award for Best Director, Award for Best Actress, Award for Best Actor and Award for Best Artistic Contribution (such as Music, Photography, Script etc.). This year the International Competition Jury will be presided over by the world-renowned Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi (photo below) who shot to stardom in 2000 for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Zhang Ziyi, TIFF 2019, Japan
Chinese star actress Zhang Ziyi is presiding over the International Competition Jury this year

Tokyo International Film Festival 2019 programme

This year’s edition of the festival will open with the world premiere of Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, a comedy by the legendary Japanese director Yoji Tamada. The film marks the 50th title in what is a Guinness World Record for longest film series with the same actor, and is a national favourite in Japan.

Closing the festival will be The Irishman by the iconic film director Martin Scorsese and starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in an epic post-war America saga of organised crime.

For a more physical Japanese experience join Mark Bibby Jackson in Japan Travel: Glamping, Zip-cords and Samurai.

There will also be a special Gala Screening on 31 October of the Japanese film Talking the Pictures by renowned film director Masayuki Suo. Combining comedy, love and action, this title will be awaited as one of the festival’s highlights.

For the full programme, check the latest news updates on the official Tokyo International Film Festival website.

Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan

Location of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2020

As during recent years, the festival’s events will be held in several cinemas across Japan’s capital, with the main venues the Roppongi Hills and EX Theater Roppongi (in Minato city). Despite the formal sounding name, this film festival is very accessible to the wider public, more so than the film festivals in Venice and Cannes.

When is the Tokyo International Film Festival 2019

This year the festival will take place over nine days from 31 October to 9 November.

Hotels in Tokyo

If you are looking to book one of the numerous hotels in Tokyo, or a flight to the Japanese capital, enter your dates in our flight and hotel comparison engine to search hundreds of sites for the best deals:

For further details and enquiries:

Contact the Tokyo International Film Festival via their website or Facebook page.

Cover photo by Dick Thomas Johnson: Matsuyama Kenichi, Higashide Masahiro, Mori Yoshitaka & Meryl Streep at the festival’s opening ceremony in 2016.



October 31
November 9
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Roppongi Hills
6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi
Minato City, Tokyo,106-6108Japan
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