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22nd Tokyo International Film Festival Press Conference Report

A press conference was held on September 16th (Wed) at Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. The press conference opened with welcome addresses by Hideyuki Takai (President, UNIJAPAN) and Tom Yoda (Chairman, 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival). Film Festival Ambassador Yoshino Kimura and Green Ambassador Anne also addressed the audience. Special guests were Jinsei Tsuji, director of the film ACACIA, which is one of the entries in the Competition Section, and Antonio Inoki, who played the lead role in the film. They expressed their enthusiasm about participating in TIFF, answered questions, and introduced behind-the-scenes episodes.
It was announced that around 270 films are scheduled to be screened during the Festival Week. Other initiatives, such as the Charity Auction, were also introduced.

For the TIFF lineups, please check the following page,

from the left , Hideyuki Takai (President, UNIJAPAN), Jinsei Tsuji(director of the film ACACIA), Film Festival Ambassador Yoshino Kimura , Green Ambassador Anne , Tom Yoda (Chairman, 22nd TIFF)
2009 TIFF

Excerpts from the participants’ comments at the press conference:
Tom Yoda, Chairman of the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival
We members of the film industry live on Earth, create movies on Earth, and deliver happiness to everyone through those movies; since last year we have been addressing the concept of ecology at TIFF. In terms of the ‘hop, step, and jump’ process, I would say we are in the ‘step’ stage this year, and we will make every effort to step forward and achieve a successful outcome.

Yoshino Kimura, Film Festival Ambassador
I am very honored to be serving in the post of TIFF Ambassador again this year. As a member of the film industry, I pray for the success of the Festival, and hope that I can contribute to the best of my ability.

Anne, Green Ambassador
I am flattered to be a part of such a great event again this year. Ecology is the theme of the Festival, and it is an issue that the world is very concerned about. I hope that many people will become aware of the global environmental issues while enjoying the films to be screened. And at the same time, I want to reflect on how I can personally contribute to make a difference.

Jinsei Tsuji, Director of ACACIA
Responding to the question: “What triggered you to make this film and why did you select Antonio Inoki to play the lead role?”
The reason is quite personal. I have two children, but for certain reasons I can’t live together with my first child. Living with one of them reminds me so much of the other. I wanted to deliver my thoughts for this child through a film that will hopefully last for a century. As for casting, I was looking for someone with a paternal image, someone with the right kind of wrinkles and lines. Just when I was thinking out loud, “someone like Antonio Inoki”, I saw him passing by! I immediately offered him the role.
Message to the audience:
I am usually full of confidence about my films. But this time, because the film was triggered by personal reasons, I don’t feel the same way. It’s not a self-confident work and it isn’t exactly a big work, but I hope that the audience will empathize with what is expressed in it.

Antonio Inoki, lead role actor in ACACIA
Responding to the question: “You play the role of a former pro-wrestler, Sekiji Ishida, known as Daimajin. What was your reaction when the role was offered to you?”
I live on my sensitivities and so I don’t calculate too much. Since I was chosen, I thought maybe a film experience would be good for me. I never really expected this to happen. There’s a saying, ‘In life, the future lies in the dark’, but I rather see it as ‘The future lies in unexpected happenings.’ I live my life always expecting something fun to come by.
Message to the audience:
Films that genuinely reflects people’s lives are very touching. The film overlapped with my own experience of losing my 8-year-old child. People always keep something precious deep in their heart, and when it surfaces, you see the humanity. That was what I had in mind during the shooting. I hope you will enjoy it.

ACACIA (World Premiere) Director: Jinsei Tsuji
The Dark House (International Premiere) Director: Wojtek Smarzowski
Eastern Plays (Asian Premiere) Director: Kamen Kalev
Eight times up (Asian Premiere) Director: Xabi Molia
Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting (World Premiere) Director: Li Fangfang
Manila Skies (World Premiere) Director: Raymond Red
Optical Illusions (Asian Premiere) Director: Cristián Jiménez
Rabia (Asian Premiere) Director: Sebastian Cordero
Road, Movie (Asian Premiere) Director: Dev Benegal
Snowfall in Taipei (World Premiere) Director: Huo Jianqi
Southern District (World Premiere) Director: Juan Carlos Valdivia
Staten Island (International Premiere) Director: James DeMonaco
Stories (International Premiere) Director: Mario Iglesias
Ten Winters (International Premiere) Director: Valerio Mieli
The Trotsky (International Premiere)Director: Jacob Tierney


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