TOKYO FILMeX Competition films (12 films)

This year’s TOKYO FILMeX Competition will present 12 new films by the best emerging filmmakers in Asia. The Jury that consists of five international film professionals will judge the films in this program, and the following prizes will be announced at the award ceremony in the evening of November 7th.
All films in this section will screen with English subtitles.
(★=Feature film directorial debut)

Should the Wind Drop ★

France, Armenia, Belgium / 2020 / 100 min
Director:Nora MARTIROSYAN

Nagorno-Karabakh is a district that shares a border with Armenia and claims independence from Azerbaijan. The film follows a French technician who investigates an airport that was destroyed in the war and rebuilt after the ceasefire. Selected for Cannes 2020, this is Nora MARTIROSYAN’s feature directorial debut.

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In Between Dying

Azerbaijan, Mexico, USA / 2020 / 88 min
Director: Hilal BAYDAROV

This is the second dramatic feature film by Hilal BAYDAROV, an up-and-coming Azerbaijani filmmaker who trained under TARR Bela. Set during a day’s journey depicted against the desolate Central Asian landscape, the film follows the protagonist as he is chased by the shadow of death wherever he goes and throws various mysteries at the viewer. Screened in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.

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Careless Crime

Iran / 2020 / 139 min
Director:Shahram MOKRI

In 1979, on the eve of the Iranian Revolution, movie theaters were burned down by mobs rejecting Western culture. Forty years later, four men hatch a plan to burn down movie theaters…. An intelligent adaptation of an outlandish idea, this is director MOKRI’s forth film. Screened in the Orizzonti section at the Venice International Film Festival.

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Yellow Cat

Kazakhstan, France / 2020 / 90 min
Director:Adilkhan YELZHANOV

Set in the steppes of Kazakhstan, a comedic portrayal of an ex-con’s struggle to escape the underground world and open a cinema. This is the latest film from the brilliant filmmaker Adilkhan YELZHANOV, whose many works have been consistently selected by international film festivals. Screened in the Orizzonti section at the Venice International Film Festival.

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Milestone

India / 2020 / 98 min
Director:Ivan AYR

Set in north Indian, the film depicts the anguish of a veteran truck driver who works to compensate his wife’s family for her death while suffering from severe back pain. Screened in the Orizzonti section at the Venice International Film Festival, this is the second film by director Ivan AYR, whose debut film “Soni” (2018) was highly acclaimed.

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Aswang ★

the Philippines / 2019 / 85 min
Director:Alyx Ayn ARUMPAC

This documentary follows the struggles of those who suffer under a policy set by the Duterte regime, which gives police the right to shoot drug patients and dealers on sight. The title is taken from the name of a monster in Philippine folklore. Screed at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

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The Silent Forest ★

Taiwan / 2020 / 104 min
Director:KO Chen-Nien

A boy who has transferred to a school for students with disability witnesses a “game” on a school bus. This is just the beginning of a brutal reality. Based on a real incident that occurred in Taiwan, this film is the directorial debut of director KO Chen-nien. Screened as the opening film at the Taipei Film Festival.

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The Best is Yet to Come ★

China / 2020 / 115 min
Director:WANG Jing

Based on a real-life newspaper reporter who sounded the alarm on many social issues, this film follows the rags to riches story of a young man who matures as a reporter. This is the directorial debut of WANG Jing, who has been assistant director to JIA Zhang-ke since “A Touch of Sin” (2013). Screened in the Orizzonti section at the Venice International Film Festival.

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Any Crybabies Around ?

Japan / 2020 / 108 min
Director:SATO Takuma

SATO Takuma’s theatrical debut film depicts the struggles of a man who works to preserve the traditional culture of “Namahage” on the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture as he tries to regain the bond with his family that he lost due to his past mistakes. The film stars NAKANO Taiga and YOSHIOKA Riho. It had its world premiere in competition at the San Sebastián Film Festival.

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The Blue Danube

Japan / 2020 / 105 min
Director:IKEDA Akira

In a fictional town where war with the neighboring town across the river is ingrained into everyday life, people experience moments of happiness and hardship. Wrapped in a unique sense of humor, this is the fourth feature length film by IKEDA Akira, whose “Anatomy of a Paper Clip” (2013) was highly acclaimed.

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A Balance

Japan / 2020 / 152 min
Director:HARUMOTO Yujiro

Documentary director Yuko investigates the suicide of a high school girl. As Yuko gets closer to the truth of the case, her father, who runs a cram school, exposes a shocking revelation… This is the second film directed by HARUMOTO Yuijro, following his debut film, “Going the Distance” (2016). Starring TAKIUCHI Kumi, MITSUISHI Ken, KAWAI Yuumi, and UMEDA Masahiro.

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OKINAWA SANTOS

Japan / 2020 / 90 min
Director: MATSUBAYASHI Yoju

The long-awaited new documentary from MATSUBAYASHI Yoju of “The Horses of Fukushima” (2013). During World War II, many Japanese people immigrants in Santos, Brazil, were forced to move to another place. MATSUBAYASHI draws attention to the fact that 60% of the migrants were from Okinawa. Based on testimonies from interviewees, this film reveals the hidden historical relationship between Okinawa and Brazil.

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