FEATURE: Tokyo film festival rolls out red carpet welcome

by Visith Teppalath

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - I recently had the great opportunity to travel to the Japanese capital to cover the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) organised at Roppongi Hills Arena.

It was very exciting for me being my first ever visit to Tokyo and Japan. Staying at Hotel Villa Fontaine Roppongi October 24-29 I found Tokyo to be a fantastic city.

Tokyo is peaceful, clean and beautiful. The people are friendly and gave me a warm welcome. In addition, everything was orderly and the weather was nice.

I enjoyed it very much and as a newcomer was very curious to witness Japanese progress, culture and lifestyles. Everything was interesting for me.

Besides covering the TIFF, I also had the chance to do some sightseeing and was very impressed with the beauty and development of the city.

Tokyo is an attractive city because of its modernity. I also enjoyed eating Japanese food. I loved the taste and how clean and healthy it was.

The accommodation was very convenient and close to the TIFF venue and I was glad to be the first ever media participant from Laos invited to cover this important international event.

It was fascinating to see how a movie festival is organised and run. Its scale was quite impressive in terms of the number of films screened and guests attending.

I participated in many activities including meeting fellow journalists from around the world.

The opening ceremony was a special highlight where I enjoyed witnessing popular actors, actresses, film directors and producers from around the world walk the red carpet.

More than that, I was very excited to be able to interact with journalists and filmmakers from many countries.

I also participated in media conferences held by filmmakers and programmers.

Attending the TIFF was not only a good opportunity for me to watch some movies but I also discovered a lot about the country through films and participants learnt more about Japanese film production.

Everything was very well organised with festival staff always available to provide help and information on anything we needed.

I watched many Japanese movies and was also able to meet the actors, actresses, and directors of those films face to face.

I learnt a lot about Asian cinema from the other movies that screened there and the event was indeed a very good way to share and exchange knowledge and techniques onmaking movies.

I also learnt many lessons about film production and formed new friendships with the other participants.

I would like to thank the Japan Foundation Asia Centre in Laos and the TIFF Organising Committee for having me there.

It was an honour to be invited to cover TIFF. To be able to be part of an event like this and to experience world-class cinema first-hand was an incredible opportunity I will always be grateful for. It was such a rare experience that I will always cherish.

Yes, of course, I want to go again in the future to experience the fantastic city of Tokyo along with the colour of the TIFF.