2021.10.05 [Updates]
YOSHIDA Keisuke Appears to Discuss His Thoughts on Being Named Director in Focus of Nippon Cinema Now

A press conference highlighting the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF)’s Nippon Cinema Now section, followed by a screening of distinctive director YOSHIDA Keisuke‘s current box-office hit, Intolerance, was held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) on October 5, 2021.
ANDO Hiroyasu, Chairman of the 34th TIFF discussed the festival’s highlights, including the first move of the main venue in 17 years, as well as several themes guiding this year’s TIFF, such as the strengthening of the festival’s international character by holding the Conversation Series at Asia Lounge, the emphasis on SDGs, including gender parity, and transcending borders.
Also appearing was 34th TIFF’s newly appointed Programming Director ICHIYAMA Shozo, who discussed Yoshida’s selection for the renamed and expanded Nippon Cinema Now section.
The 34th TIFF will be held from October 30 to November 8, 2021 at our new main venues in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Ginza area, and other venues in Tokyo.
Quotes from the Press Conference
– Ando Hiroyasu, Chairman of the 34th TIFF
Starting from last year, TIFF and TOKYO FILMeX began strengthening collaborative efforts. In the style of, for example, the Cannes Film Festival, which has such concurrent events as the International Critic’s Week, we began running simultaneously. But let me emphasize that this stronger collaboration does not mean that the two films festival are going to be merged. They will continue running separately, each retaining their own special character. We did not ask Mr. Ichiyama to be our new programming director so that he would make TIFF into another FILMeX, but because we appreciate his eye for cinema as well as his international film industry network.
– Ichiyama Shozo, 34th TIFF Programming Director
Nippon Cinema Now is a section devoted to the year’s most accomplished Japanese films, and we select them with the goal of providing a springboard for international attention. One of the reasons we decided to select Mr. Yoshida as the Director in Focus is that his work demonstrates elevated filmmaking and we felt he hasn’t yet been properly recognized outside of Japan. Another reason is that Intolerance is really a masterpiece, representing the best of this year’s Japanese film. After this showcase at TIFF, we hope he will start receiving a lot more international exposure.
– Yoshida Keisuke, Director in Focus, Nippon Cinema Now section
I started my career working on films by TSUKAMOTO Shinya, and when you work for a long time and so closely with a genius like that, you’re always riddled with anxiety about your own films, and whether you can be the type of filmmaker who is ‘chosen.’ But after making several films, I’ve received my own praise and been encouraged. Receiving greater international attention through TIFF may bring me closer to Mr. Tsukamoto’s level, if only a little.
On a personal level, people often come to me and say they love my films, but my films don’t really get selected. So I thought it could be empty compliments. But by being selected as TIFF’s Nippon Cinema Now Director in Focus, I would hope to have them leave thinking, “Indeed, this filmmaker deserves to be chosen”. As a whole festival, although we still don’t know the COVID-19 situation, I do hope it brings audiences the sense of a brighter future through films when they come to the festival. And also, I hope TIFF shines as a beacon of hope for the younger generation of filmmakers today

Guest profile
Yoshida Keisuke, Director

Born in 1975. Yoshida started making self-financed films when he was enrolled in the Tokyo Visual Arts school and participated in Tsukamoto Shinya’s productions as a lighting technician. In 2006, his self-financed film Raw Summer earned him the Fantastic Off-Theatre Competition Grand Prize at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. In 2008, he made the film Café Isobe, adapted from his own novel of the same title. Other works include Tsukue no Nakami (2007), Sankaku (2010), The Workhorse & the Bigmouth (2013), My Little Sweet Pea (2013), Silver Spoon (2014), Himeanole (2016), Thicker Than Water (2018), Come On Irene (2018) and Blue (2021).
Nippon Cinema Now Section Lineup for the 34th TIFF

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