TIFF opens with Perrin's 'Oceans'

Environmental documentary suits festival's green theme

TOKYO -- The 22nd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival opened Saturday at the Roppongi Hills complex where both the TIFFCOM market and most of the screenings will take place.

Prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, and his wife Miyuki – a former actress – walked the green carpet which organizers had laid for the second year to underline the festival’s ecological message.

“And we get to have a new prime minister here every year,” joked one of the festival staff referring to the rapid changes of political leadership that have seen five premiers in five years.

After the suitably star-studded opening ceremony, with plenty of green bowties on display, Jacques Perrin’s visually-stunning documentary, “Oceans,” was the environmentally-themed curtain raiser.

“We still have time to save the world’s oceans,” Perrin told the audiences in the ceremony arena and projected across the theaters in the Roppongi Hills multiplex.   

A screening of controversial documentary “The Cove” about dolphin fishing in Japan -- which was a late addition to the festival program -- has sold out already, for what may be a rare chance to see the film here.

TIFF runs through to October 25, while the TIFFCOM market opens for business from Oct. 20-22.
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