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History  1st Tokyo International Film Festival  Lineup

TIFF became the first international film festival to be held in Japan, filling a significant gap in the world cinema calendar. The festival opened with Akira Kurosawa's "Ran," one of 140 films screened during the festival's duration. Messages to the festival sent by prominent film industry members from around the world demonstrated the level of expectation that people held for this event.

Shibuya became a movie town overnight. On the festival's first day, a parade was held on its streets. Showcase events were held every day at the special outdoor stage set up along its main route. Illustrated porcelain monuments of some of the most prominent film people decorated the station square. They were unveiled by film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa in a separate ceremony.

Including Cine Saison and Eurospace, which opened earlier in the year, the number of movie theaters in the administrative district of Shibuya totaled 16 at this time. The holding of TIFF also marked the beginning of Shibuya as one of the world's most prominent movie towns.

1985 1st Prize Winner
International Competition
Application total number is 519 entries from 40 countries / regions

Grand Prix - The Governor of Tokyo Award
Director: Shinji Somai (Typhoon Club)

The Best Director Award
Peter Gothar (The Time Stands Still)

Special Award in Memory of Yasujiro Ozu
Director: Ali Ozgenturk (The Horse)

Special Jury Distinguished Award ex aequo
Director: François Bouvier /
Director: Jean Beaudry (Jacques and November)
Director: Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman)

Opening Screening
"Ran" Akira Kurosawa

Closing Screening
"The Burmese Harp" Kon Ichikawa

Congratulatory messages sent by film people from around the world

Jeanne Moreau
actress / film director

People involved with the cinema are always happy to meet and speak with people from other countries that make wonderful works of their own. International film festivals give us the best opportunity for fulfilling our wishes. I am delighted with the establishment of an international film festival in Tokyo; in fact, I think it was about time. Even more than people in Japan suspect, I believe that this film festival will become a salon that provides opportunities for talented young Japanese cinéastes to make their mark in the world.

Bernardo Bertolucci
film director, Italy

The news that the Tokyo International Film Festival will be held piqued my curiosity. It goes without saying that Japanese films have always been a great influence on cinema people around the world.

Michelangelo Antonioni
film director, Italy

The influence that prominent Japanese cinema auteurs have had on the West should never be underestimated. The Tokyo International Film Festival will provide an outstanding opportunity for Western and Eastern cinema auteurs to meet.

Mylene Demongeot
actress, France

I wish that the Tokyo International Film Festival will offer something different and unique from other festivals.

Maria Schneider
actress, France

I am particularly happy that they have planned a selection of "women's films." I firmly believe that there are many wonderful women's films made in Japan, and the Tokyo International Film Festival will provide opportunities for such films to be shown around the world.

Steven Spielberg
film director, America

If I may make one request, I hope that this film festival will be more than simply a prize competition. Rather, I hope that it offers a place where people can share and communicate with each other.

Rene Clement
film director, France

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the birth of the Tokyo International Film Festival, which finally allows Japan a window to the world.

Constantin Costa-Gavras
film director, France

French cinéastes greatly respect and are very interested in their counterparts from Japan. I would like to congratulate the fact that there is now finally a regular forum for exchange among cinema people around the world in Japan.

Jerzy Kawalerowicz
film director, Poland

It was long a mystery among us why there was never an international film festival held in Japan, but now that there is such a festival, the entire Polish film industry welcomes the event from the bottom of our hearts.

Istvan Szabo
film director, Hungary

The Tokyo International Film Festival has been a long-held wish of ours. It is wonderful that such a wish has come true in such a substantial form. All of Hungary’s cinema and culture industry extends a heartfelt welcome.

Sidney Lumet
film director, America

I wish that the film festival will showcase the kind of quality that Japanese films have always given us. When this happens, people all over the world will be able to feel in the excitement.