Tokyo Film Fest and Market Dates Split by Enthronement Ceremony of Japan's New Emperor

Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Crown Prince Naruhito

The TIFFCOM market will finish before the fest opens on Oct. 28, due to events related to the ascension of Crown Prince Naruhito.

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced its dates for 2019, with the event running from Oct 28. to Nov. 5. It will not overlap with its market, which will be held from Oct. 22-24 this year.

With Emperor Akihito set to abdicate on April 30, becoming the first Japanese emperor to do so in more than two centuries, his son Crown Prince Naruhito will be ceremonially enthroned on Oct. 22.

To avoid clashing with the ceremony and associated events, which will bring large numbers of guests from overseas and strain Tokyo's hotel capacity, TIFF has pushed back the start of the event. The TIFFCOM market was unable to shift its dates, according to a fest spokesperson, and will now open on the day of the Enthronement Ceremony.

"We didn't want to separate the events, but couldn't avoid it this year as we've been told it will be very difficult to get hotel rooms for our foreign guests that week, which will be very busy," said the TIFF spokesperson.

Some market attendees may skip the fest this year and the American Film Market will start the day after TIFF closes.

Last year, TIFF attracted 236,657 visitors, up 17 percent on 2017, by expanding its scope with various related cultural events, according to the festival. The 2018 edition was somewhat lacking in both domestic and international star power.

“While continuing our existing programs, as part of new initiatives, the 31st TIFF hosted a new highlight event, the Gala Screening, in the middle of the festival period for the first time, making it more festive. We also established a new award for Best Director in the Japanese Cinema Splash section, to encourage new talent," said festival director Takeo Hisamatsu.

TIFF will be held at the Roppongi Hills complex and other nearby venues, while TIFFCOM will spend its third year at Sunshine City Convention Center in Ikebukuro.