TOKYO -- The 20th annual Tokyo International Film Festival kicks off with an opening reception today and begins in earnest Saturday night with a red-carpet event that officially launches the nine-day event.
The opening film, the premiere of Shochiku/Universal Japan co-production "Midnight Eagle", tells the story of a stealth bomber that goes missing in the mountains of northern Japan. Directed by Izuru Narushim and starring Takao Osawa
, Yuko Takeuchi
and Hiroshi Tamaki
, it was made with the help of the Japanese military.
The closing film, "Silk", is a collaborative venture of Japan, Italy and Canada. Directed by Francois Girard
, "Silk" is the story of a married silk trader who is drawn to a mysterious Japanese woman from a nobleman's court. Set in Japan and based on a novel by Alessandro Baricco
, it stars Keira Knightley
, Michael Pitt, Miki Nakatani
and Koji Yakusho.
A jury of six, led by Alan Ladd Jr., will select the winner of the festival's main competition, the $50,000 Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, as well as a $20,000 Special Jury Prize.