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“Passionate suggestions for future of TIFF.” by Alejandro González Iňárritu, the President of Jury.

22nd Tokyo International Film Festival brought the curtain down with Eastern Plays winning three awards. Alejandro González Iňárritu, the President of the International Competition Jury came on the stage at the end of the Awardees Press Conference and made a general statement by expressing the reason why he selected Eastern Plays as the winner of the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix and the meaning the film festival holds.

Alejandro González Iňárritu, the President of the International Competition Jury

The proposal that I made was not to behave as a censor and “make a choice by examining” but to watch the film in the same perspective as the audience. A film that strikes a sympathetic chord in the guts or a film that you can release your feelings to; a film the truly remains in my mind and a thought-provoking film. Easter Plays was exactly such a film for me “

When the press asked for the reason, ”Why the choice of the award was centralized on one film? “ or “Was there a debate held on whether to divide the award with other films?” He answered that, “By no means the other films were pale in comparison with this one, but Eastern Plays was pretty much the film which was eminent. Amongst the five awards that we were presenting, four of the awards were determined by an unanimous decision.”

“This is an allegorical story about the ship which sailed the Atlantic Ocean, setting out for the land on the opposite shore, even though they were making a steady progress until part of the way, but ultimately they never reach the land. Eastern Plays was the only one that made it to the opposite shore properly. The theme that the director wanted to show in the film functioned properly. And its expression leads to the beauty. I believe that to show the reality of the film, you can’t just simply capture the reality as it is, but must show the truth of the matter as well.

“Eastern Plays depict the complex reality which surrounds the youth while indicating the final glow of life and that the hope still remains. I believe that the leading actor, Christo Christov, will be glad somewhere in heaven,” he explained about the reason for his choice of Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix.

Eastern Play, Director Kamen Kalev

President of the International Competition Jury, Alejandro González Iňárritu said, “This is what I thought while reflecting on the 15 films that I saw within the ten days,” and began to make suggestions regarding to the future of the Tokyo International Film Festival and the situation of the Film Industry and the Film Festivals.

“I must admit that the situation that surrounds the film scenes is becoming more and more desperate. The reason is obviously due to the economical problems. The only types of film making that are still continuing are film making with extremeness or gigantic project which is funded with large sum of money or minor film is made with desperate budget. In addition to the economic crisis, people’s morals and art itself is facing danger because of the franchised blockbuster films, the so called hero films or violence films. The only resistance movements against the declining film scenes are the film festivals. Won’t you agree that the period in which the festival is held is the only time that is
worth while.? I feel pity for the audience because the only time you can appreciate the films, that are truly worthy, are when it is exhibited for the temporary duration of time
Films are not extension of television. There are too many films that are created by the makers who worry about the ratings and box office revenues. I believe that film should be a tool to communicate the human emotions. The film festival is a place to seek for the solution of such problems. The problem solving shouldn’t be merely done in the span of 7 or 10 days. They should screen the award winning film for one month or two months. The recognition of the film should spread with word-of-mouth communication. I would like TIFF to be a role model figure to lead such an effort. That is the role of the film festival.”

Because Alejandro González Iňárritu, President of the International Competition Jury, has been creating the films that closes in to the true nature of human being, namely 21 Grams and Babel, his message is passionate, tough and honest. With afterglow that overwhelmed the press and the photographers, the film festival came to an end.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by JKA.
21st Tokyo International Film Festival(2008)