The 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival opened on Saturday, with international celebrities including Sigourney Weaver among those who walked the green Carpet.

This year’s TIFF is themed ‘Action for Earth,’ and the much-touted eco-carpet was made from 23,000 recycled plastic drink bottles, highlighting the organizers’ intent to host the most environmentally friendly event possible.

A total of 270 films will be screened in Tokyo, from directors from all over the world. Highlights include a Special Presentation of James Cameron’s Avatar, and the first Japanese showing of the controversial movie The Cove. The festival’s ecology theme is being continued with the themes Sea and Sky; the opening movie was the incredible Oceans, directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (representing the sea) and the closing film is scheduled to be the animation Up to signify the sky.


Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama officially opened the event with a short speech, accompanied by his wife Miyuki. A large number of international actors, directors and producers are currently in Tokyo, including special delegations from China and Germany for their countries’ own respective mini film festivals. The festival atomsphere was buzzing, and the whole Roppongi area was awash with hundreds of photographers, journalists, TV crews and of course countless movie fans.

Actors Sigourney Weaver and  Sam Worthington were well received as they walked on stage at the arena area of Roppongi Hills. Their arrival in Japan is a huge event, as the long awaited Avatar is becoming the most dicussed movie on the internet. Lucky science fiction fans will be able to catch the exclusive screening on Saturday night.

Just a few days in, the 2009 Tokyo International Film Festival is set to be the biggest – and greenest yet held in Japan.


For internet coverage of the star-studded opening, check out the official TIFF website, which also features information on all upcoming films.


All Photos: © Weekender