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Gurinder Chadha movie in Tokyo film festival line-up
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Gurinder Chadha movie in Tokyo film festival line-up

Agency News

Tokyo, Oct 27: 'Blinded by the Light', the new movie by Indian-origin director Gurinder Chadha about immigrant life in Britain in the '80s, is among entries from around the world at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival beginning in the Japanese capital on Monday.

The Tokyo festival, the oldest film festival in Japan, is taking place at a time when the country is witnessing the enthronement of the new emperor as well as international sporting events such as the ongoing Rugby World Cup and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

"We plan to make this year's edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival one of remembrance and rediscovery of Japanese cinema and visual culture," says festival director Takeo Hisamatsu. The 32nd edition of the festival is also the first held in the Reiwa Era, the current era of Japan that began on May 1 this year with the crowing of the new emperor.

'Blinded by the Light', the London-based Chadha's new film, is part of the Special Screenings programme of the Tokyo festival. Indian-origin actor Viveik Kalra plays the lead role in the film, which is inspired by a true story.

The coming-of-age drama by the 'Bend it Like Beckham' director tells the story of a British teenager born to Pakistani immigrant parents taking the help of American rock icon Bruce Springsteen's music to tide over the economic and racial tensions in the United Kingdom in the '80s.

'Blinded by the Light' is joined by such films as New Zealand director Waika Taiti's 'Jojo Rabit', which won the People's Choice award at the Toronto festival in September, and American filmmaker Martin Scorsese's new film, 'The Irishman', starring Robert De Nero, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The festival had premiered the Tamil film, 'Sarvam Thaala Mayam' by director-cinematographer Rajiv Menon, last year. Among other Indian films premiered at the Tokyo festival includes 'Lipstick under My Burkha' by Alankrita Shrivastava.

The Tokyo film festival, a major platform for showcasing the best of Asian cinema, is being held from October 28 to November 5. Also among the festival line-up is 'Tora-san, Wish You Were Here’, the 50th installment of the world's longest-running film series, 'Tora-san', starring the same actor. Directed by the 87-year-old Yoji Yamada, who directed nearly all of the 'Tora-san' films, 'Tora-san, Wish You Were Here' is the opening film of the Tokyo festival this year. It tells the story of Tora-san, the friendly drifter who is never lucky in love. "I sometimes feel I should stop making films. But directors like (American actor-director) Clint Eastwood are still making films. Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira and Japanese director Kaneto Shindo shot films until the age of 100, so I have a little way to go," says Yamada. The lead actor of 'Tora-san' films, which ran under the title, 'It's Tough Being a Man', Kiyoshi Atsumi died in 1996, a year after the 49th instalment of the series was released.

Acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's new film, 'Mandano', and the 283-minute science fiction thriller 'The Halt' by Lav Diaz, also from the Philippines, and 'Tezuka's Barbara', a cinematic tribute to the legendary Manga comics creator Osamu Tezuka by his son Macoto Tezuka, are among the other films taking part in the festival. The festival will also see the premiere of the restored version of celebrated Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's 1950 classic 'Rashomon'. (UNI)