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The curtain has risen on the largest international film festival in Asia — the 31st Tokyo International Film Festival!

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The 31st Tokyo International Film Festival began Thursday, October 25th, 2018, in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. Directors and performers of the films screened during the festival made their appearances on the red carpet. Film Festival Ambassador Mayu Matsuoka, having made her big break with her performance in Shoplifters (which won this year’s Palme d’Or—the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival), is one actress to look out for. She addressed and excited the fans that had gathered, saying, “I’m honored to be appointed Ambassador of the Tokyo International Film Festival, which I so look forward to every year. Let’s have a great time!”

Kicking off the opening with a special screening of A Star is Born, actress Shinobu Terajima made her entrance in chic attire, as a special supporter of the film. About it, Ms. Terajima commented, “Lady Gaga (who plays the lead role) has an intense presence, and I’ve heard that she made connections between herself and the part as she prepared for the role. My image of Ms. Gaga up to now has been completely swept away.” Actor Koji Yakusho also appeared, dressed in a tuxedo. Mr. Yakusho, featured as part of this year’s Japan Now category, which selects a number of productions that represent the Japan of today, from the unique perspective of the film festival, spoke in earnest: “This year’s feature made me realize that my acting career is turning 40 years old. I’m very thankful when I think of how I can enjoy watching the films I’ve been involved in, while fondly remembering the staff and cast.”

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