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TOKYO, Nov. 2, 2016 (Antara/Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet) --

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) screened more than 200 films, highlighting the work of two iconic directors, Mamoru HOSODA and Shunji IWAI, as well as hosting an exciting lineup of talk events featuring them in discussion with special guests from October 25 to November 3, 2016, at Roppongi Hills and other venues in Tokyo.





This year's Animation Focus shined a spotlight on Mamoru HOSODA, the brilliantly inventive director whose "Summer Wars" (2009) and "Wolf Children" (2012) were local and international hits, and whose latest masterpiece, "The Boy and the Beast" (2015), became the highest-grossing Japanese box-office film in 2015. TIFF screened 10 of Hosoda's works from his 20-year career.

Film and animation lovers who came to watch the October 26 screening of Hosoda's "Wolf Children" were in for a special treat: Both Hosoda and Hirokazu KORE-EDA, director of "Nobody Knows" and "Our Little Sister," took the stage after the film for a free-flowing conversation about the interesting parallels and similarities in their works, such as the absence of father figures, strong maternal figures and the theme of family.

On October 29, after the screenings of Daisuke "Dice" TSUTSUMI's Oscar-nominated "The Dam Keeper" and "Moom," he talked with Hosoda about their encounter several years ago that resulted in Tsutsumi's big decision to leave his position at Pixar. Tsutsumi said with a laugh, "If my work doesn't go well, it might be Mr. Hosoda who's to blame as he was the one who told me 'you are better suited to being a director than the art director!'"

In this year's Japan Now section, the Director in Focus was internationally acclaimed creator Shunji IWAI. From his "Love Letter" (1995), which put him on the world stage, to his latest masterpiece, "A Bride for Rip Van Winkle" (2016), Iwai's films have continued to be in a class all their own.

On October 28, following TIFF's sold-out screening of "Love Letter," Iwai appeared with his leading lady, Miho NAKAYAMA. Nakayama, who played both leads in the film, recalled, "I was really a bit concerned about whether I would be able to differentiate the roles. I suggested changing one of the character's hairstyles, at least. But the director said, 'Don't,' and I felt even more concerned. But once we started shooting, I felt more confident."

Later on the same day, Iwai again took to the stage with his "Swallowtail Butterfly" star, Chara, and was greeted by prolonged applause. Chara recalls, "Swallowtail was a great experience and I loved making it. My life changed completely. It was the starting point of many stories for us." Iwai nodded in agreement. "I was so happy to work together," he said.

Source: Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF)

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