The 26th annual Tokyo International Film Festival kicked off in style today with a glitzy parade of stars on its now trademark green carpet at Roppongi Hills.
The carpet, green in distinction to the usual red of most extravagant events, represents the festival’s continued efforts for raising awareness of environmental causes. Walking the carpet today were a host of stars both homegrown and from abroad, with a touch of Hollywood royalty to really get the fans excited. Some of the biggest ovations came at the arrival of Japan’s popular young talent. Festival Muse Chiaki Kuriyama, known for playing schoolgirl psychopaths in Battle Royale and Tarantino’s Kill Bill, arrived first followed by actors and Festival Navigators Takumi Saito and Hirona Yamazaki, stars of 13 Assassins and Love For Beginners respectively. K-pop fans got a chance to catch T-ARA singer Hyomin, who has recently turned to acting and was here to support her film Jinx!!!. Mixing it up with the beautiful people were four rubber-suited monsters from the classic Ultraman series. Tsuburaya Productions, the special effects company behind the legendary television show will be having its 50th anniversary this year and will hold a special screening of select episodes for fans during the festival.
The real excitement came with the arrival of the A-listers. Sofia Coppola is hugely popular with the fashion crowd and the director will always have a link to Japan on account of her breakthrough hit Lost in Translation. Coppola is here with her latest film The Bling Ring and she brought along her father Francis Ford Coppola, who also happens to be the film’s producer. Tom Hanks, arguably the biggest star of the event, finally greeted the throng of fans, reporters and photographers to shake hands and sign autographs before making his way inside the theatre where his latest film Captain Phillips officially opened the festival.
By Christopher O’Keeffe