Kyoto International Film and Art Festival

The freshly rebranded Kyoto International Film and Art Festival has released its full lineup of content, revealing a focus on Kyoto’s filmmaking past, along with an eclectic mix of modern film and art from Japan’s premier city of culture.

Kyoto is the home of cinema in Japan; it’s where the country’s first films were made and home to the jidai-geki, the period samurai drama, from the golden age of Japanese cinema in the 50’s and 60’s up until recent years when the popularity of the genre has fallen into decline.

With an aim to reintroduce the city’s film heritage to the younger generation and promote Japanese films to an international audience, the festival has been revamped to include film, art, culture and entertainment spread across four days. Marking the new-look event, a new award has been introduced: The Toshiro Mifune Award, named after the famed actor and star of the first Japanese film to really make an impact on the West with a win at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, Rashomon. Mifune’s son Shiro will be present and sitting on the jury to present the award to an upcoming, internationally-minded actor.

Alongside showings of a couple of Mifune classics, cinema’s past will be honored with a silent film section featuring the work of Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle and Japanese silent comedy legend Torajiro Saito. A selection of films from Hollywood great Clint Eastwood, who is being honored with an award, will also be featured along with new Japanese works from Kyoto and beyond.

Film isn’t the only reason for a visit this year as the festival is also pushing an impressive lineup of art exhibitions and workshops, to be held in locations around the city. Kyoto’s Museum of Culture will present Chie Matsui’s ‘Purusha,’ a series of films based on classic Swiss children’s story Heidi, while artist Satoru Tamura will exhibit his latest work, the enormous ‘Love Machine’ at Kyoto Station. Workshops will educate visitors on traditional art and handicrafts, providing the opportunity to experience everything from candle painting to chalk manicure.

Kyoto International Film and Art Festival takes place October 16th – 19th.
Check the website for full lineup details
Main image: flickr/ Malcolm Browne

-Christopher O’Keeffe

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