'Maid in Manhattan' Director Wayne Wang to Head Tokyo Filmex Jury

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Wayne Wang

The future of the festival, which focuses on Asian art house film, was in doubt after Takeshi Kitano quit his own company, which founded and managed the event.

Wayne Wang, the Hong Kong-born and U.S.-based director, will head the jury of the 18th edition of Tokyo Filmex, the art house festival that is set to run Nov. 17-25.

Wang, known for Smoke (1995), Maid in Manhattan (2002) and The Joy Luck Club (2003), will be joined by Indonesian filmmaker Mouly Surya, Japanese art director Ed Tsuwaki and two more members yet to be unveiled.

The future of the fest appeared to be in doubt earlier this year when it was announced that Takeshi "Beat" Kitano would quit Office Kitano, the agency and film company he founded. Office Kitano launched Filmex in 2000 and had managed the festival, which focuses on Asian art house cinema.

Wang directed Kitano in the 2016 Japanese thriller While the Women Are Sleeping.

The opening film for the upcoming festival will be Hotel by the River from Korean director Hong Sang-soo, while Cannes Palme d’Or contender Ash Is Purest White from China's Jia Zhang-ke will bring it to a close.

The competition includes Long Days Journey Into Night from China's Bi Gan, which screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes; Thai helmer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng's Manta Ray and Chinese director Pema Tseden's Jinpa, which both took prizes at Venice; and Chinese helmer Ho Wi Ding's Cities of Last Things, a winner at Toronto.

The filmmaker in focus this year will be Iranian Amir Naderi, who has shot movies in Japan and will also be the subject of a showcase at the Tokyo International Film Festival later this month.

Filmex will take place at Yurakucho Asahi Hall and other central Tokyo venues.