Tokyo International Film Festival: Experience Global Cinema from October 23!

The much-anticipated Tokyo International Film Festival starts on October 23, showcasing a diverse array of films from around the world. Tickets are now available for purchase, offering cinephiles a chance to experience the magic of cinema. From October 23 to November 1, 2023, a staggering 219 films will be shown on cinema screens in the Marunouchi, Hibiya, Ginza, and Yurakucho areas. In this article, we will delve into some of the festival’s most thrilling highlights.

What is the Tokyo International Film Festival?

Official poster featuring Tokyo Station and Marunouchi area skyscrapers in the background ©2023 TIFF

Celebrating its 36th year, the Tokyo International Film Festival stands as an esteemed event recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), akin to illustrious counterparts such as the Cannes International Film Festival and the Venice International Film Festival. With most films at the festival featuring Japanese or English subtitles, it ensures a delightful experience for audiences, allowing them to enjoy this year’s highlights alongside timeless classics—an integral charm of this global cinematic celebration.

Don’t miss the director’s stage greeting! (2022, directed by Emir Baigazin from Kazakhstan

Highlights of TIFF (1): A Global Cinematic Journey in One Place!

One of the festival’s unique offerings is the “Animation” section, providing a platform for the latest Japanese films in the “Nippon Cinema Now” category. The festival boasts an extensive selection of Asian films, constituting over 60% of the total screenings. Attendees can also engage in numerous talk events and discussions with Japanese filmmakers, fostering a vibrant exchange between artists and the public.

(left) “Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light,” a captivating animated film by a Czech director ©2023 nutprodukcia. All rights reserved. Web design by Malina Studio. (Right) “Deep Sea Restaurant” (Deep Sea), a Chinese animated film featuring Japanese and English subtitles ©2023 October Media. All Rights Reserved.

Additionally, as part of the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the birth of Japanese cinema master Yasujiro Ozu, the festival will screen 35 of his films, most of them directed by Ozu himself.

A must-see masterpiece! Ozu’s “Tokyo Story” will be presented in a pristine 4K digital restoration! “Tokyo Story” 4K Digitally Restored Version, ©1953/2017 Shochiku Co.

And the Winner Is…!

In the highly anticipated “Competition Section,” 15 films will captivate audiences, vying for recognition from viewers. The festivalgoers themselves have a say in the matter, with an “Audience Award” allowing them to cast their votes for their favorite film. The Tokyo Grand Prix winner and the Audience Award recipient, determined by the jury, will be screened once more on November 1, marking the grand finale of this cinematic extravaganza.

“The Persian Version,” partially staged as a musical, weaves the tale of an Iranian mother and daughter stranded due to the Islamic Revolution. (©Yiget Eken. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

Don’t miss this opportunity to dive into a world of cinematic brilliance. Join us at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where cultures collide, stories come alive, and the magic of movies knows no bounds!

Period: October 23 – November 1, 2023
Venue: Hibiya, Yurakucho, Marunouchi, Ginza area
Official YouTube:
Official Instagram:
Tokyo International Film Festival Guide
Japanese page:
English page:

TIFF Highlights (2): Related and Concurrent Events

Amidst the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), a bunch of exciting events await attendees. Among the standout attractions are the delectable “Ajiwai Festa” (October 27-29) and the vibrant “Nihonbashi/Kyobashi Festival Oedo Kakki Parade” (October 29), both set to grace Hibiya-Naka-Dori Street and Marunouchi-Naka-Dori Street.

“Ajiwai Festa” (2021)

A Cinematic Experience under the Stars!

An unmissable event is the “The 36th Tokyo International Film Festival @ Hibiya Step Square Outdoor Screening 2023.” Here, film enthusiasts can revel in the magic of cinema with the unique blend of “Open Air x Large LED Screen.” Imagine watching timeless classics such as “Casablanca,” “The Bodyguard,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “The Matrix,” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” spanning decades of cinematic excellence, all for free! With approximately 160 seats available (reservations required for some seats during nighttime showings), attendees can relish these masterpieces in the enchanting ambiance of the open air. Gather your friends and family and join us for an unforgettable cinematic experience!

Open-air screening in front of Tokyo Midtown Hibiya (2022)
The 36th Tokyo International Film Festival @ Hibiya Step Square Outdoor Screening 2023

Period: Tuesday, October 24 – Wednesday, November 1
Venue: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya Hibiya Step Plaza (1-1-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
The schedule can be viewed here: