Blue Skies over a Red Carpet at Kyoto International Film and Art Festival 2019
The sun broke through the clouds to illuminate the red carpet on Thursday October 17, 2019, as the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival (KIFF) kicked off in front of waiting media at Nishi Hongwanji Temple.
It is the 6th event since Yoshimoto Kogyo revived and built upon the historic Kyoto Film Festival, also adding arts in to the event, and the red carpet saw representatives from both the Art and Film sections of the festival appear in front of the cameras.
Kazuyoshi Okuyama welcomed the return of the event and spoke to media from across Asia who gathered for the lavish ceremony. Geisha were on hand to accompany each guest in beautiful white make-up and kimonos, walking alongside guests including Executive Committee Honorary Chairman and legendary film director Sadao Nakajima, Kyoto International Film and Art Festival Executive Committee Chairman Ichiya Nakamura and Mayuko.
Actor Kiichi Nakai, this year’s recipient of the Toshiro Mifune award, the acting prize named for the great Japanese actor, walked the carpet solo. He talked extensively to the media, at first discussing his admiration for renowned Mifune. “Mifune embodied the Japanese fighting spirit like John Wayne did the cowboy spirit in the US,” he said.
He noted Mifune’s presence overwhelmed his fans. “People would even ask him if he was born in the Edo era,” Nakai related, his admiration for his predecessor clear.
Nakai then got involved in a back and forth with the media and guests, discussing his experience in Myanmar with Mari Midorikawa, a Yoshimoto comedian and actress who was brought to Myanmar under Yoshimoto’s program of placing Japanese comedians in Southeast Asian countries. She’s lived there for a year. Kiichi acted in the remake of the renowned film “The Burmese Harp” by legendary director Kon Ichikawa in 1985. Ichikawa remade his own film from 1956, the first one being in black and white and second color. The two discussed a desire for him to meet up with Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, which Midorikawa suggested she could arrange, to Nakai’s delight.
The red carpet is the beginning of this year’s 4-day event, held in venues right across Kyoto.
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