Tokyo International Film Festival Going Green

Next weekend will see a green carpet rolled out for the first time at the opening day of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which is to commence October 18th. The green carpet is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles and aims to convey the message of "Ecology = Preservation of Earth's Environment." (Research and trials were conducted in order to ensure the safety and durability of the carpet.)

The Earth Grand Prix, a new award, will be given for the first time to the best new film dealing with nature, the environment and ecology. Sponsored by Toyota, Special Partner of the film festival, the award winning film will be given a specially designed trophy. There will also be some fun and easy-to-understand conferences and other events on the environment and ecology are also scheduled. Participation if free!

The official poster of the 21st TIFF features a green earth and the new motto of TIFF "Action! for Earth!" This is the newly launched slogan of TIFF to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.The new chairman of TIFF, Tatsumi Yoda, explained the rationale behind the new green motto:

We make films, but the Earth made us. Action! for Earth" Our home planet Earth is abundant with Green, and is the only planet with pure water in the universe. We filmmakers can produce and create films by solely relying on this beautiful planet, and Earth and films are dependent on each other. Filmmakers and the industry should have ardent interest in preserving and protecting this beautiful planet, and it is our responsibility to advocate and voice out in order to raise awareness on the importance of the Earth's environment through films.

We like that the Natural TIFF, a new section of the festival program, is also launched this year. Thirty new and vintage films screened in this section aim to examine global environmental issues by looking into relations between men and nature, seen from a range of different angles. There are a number of screenings each day in this category at both festival venues in Roppongi Hills (Toho Cinema) and in Shibuya (Bunkamura), two of Tokyo's trendy inner-city hubs.

Screenings include the following films: Saving Luna, Earth and An Inconvenient Truth. The following films will have their world premier: Ashes from the Sky, Blue Symphony, and Silent Color Silent Voice.

TIFF Lineup

(Photo from Silent Voice, Silent Color, a documentary about the daily life of Akiko and Kinsei Ishigaki on the island of Iriomote and their efforts to preserve the legacy of traditional weaving and dying using the gifts of nature.)

TIFF has been running for 21 years and it is one of Asia's largest international film festivals. TIFF now aspires to be amongst four best film festivals of the world, competing with Cannes, Venice and Berlin. By going green TIFF is a forerunner in the film industry and hopefully many other film festivals will follow TIFF's example.

Written by Alena Eckelmann at

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