Back in 1995, the Tokyo International Film Festival was in its eighth edition and didn’t have a permanent home at Roppongi Hills, which had yet to be built. An American filmmaker in his 20s visited the fest and picked up the Tokyo Gold Prize in the Young Cinema Competition. The director was Bryan Singer and the film was The Usual Suspects. The cult hit went on to garner two Oscars and Singer became the successful producer of the X-Men films.
A full 20 years later, Singer will visit the fest once again, this time as the head of the jury. “I am thrilled to be returning,” he said in a statement. “As a lover of film, the opportunity to see fresh new work is first and foremost an honor.” Singer notes that, despite his reputation for big budget fare, he hasn’t forgotten his roots in the festival system and sees the chance to advance the careers of up-and-coming filmmakers as an honor. Most importantly, he says he looks forward to the festival as just another member of the audience.
The 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will run Oct 22-31 at Roppongi Hills and other venues.