Photo/IllutrationA scene from Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “Labyrinth of Cinema” ((c) Labyrinth of Cinema -FILM PARTNERS/PSC 2020)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

HIROSHIMA--Seeking to deliver “films with positive powers,” the annual Hiroshima International Film Festival (HIFF) will be held on Nov. 22-24 with an increased emphasis on the host city.

“This year, the festival will show more consideration for Hiroshima,” said Kyoko Heya, a film production designer who serves as president of the event.

A total of 33 films from 15 countries will be showcased at the HIFF.

It will open with a provisional version of “In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World” directed by Sunao Katabuchi, whose complete version expected to be 160 minutes long will hit cinemas in December. The anime film is an extended version of “In This Corner of the World,” which is having a continued extended run for more than 1,000 days.

The festival will close with “Labyrinth of Cinema” (179 minutes), which is the latest project of Nobuhiko Obayashi. The 81-year-old director, born in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, has been working on the film while battling terminal cancer.

The festival’s executive committee announced Sept. 30 that it selected the title for the Hiroshima Peace Film Award.

The story centers on a group of young people who travel back in time and space into a war movie they are watching in a theater in Onomichi on the day it closes for good. Featured in the movie are the battlefront in China, Okinawa Prefecture and Hiroshima just before the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city.

“I made this movie because I strongly and deeply believe that art, in this case cinematic expression, is the freest and easiest way to make people keenly feel a painful sense of urgency,” Obayashi said in a statement.

The festival will also present Obayashi’s four classic films selected by the director himself, including: “Bound for the Fields, the Mountains and the Seacoast” (1986), “Summer Among the Zombies” (1988), “Goodbye for Tomorrow” (1995) and “Seven Weeks” (2014). Obayashi will join a talk for all his five films screened at the festival.

“Hiroshima is an energetic city from which many cineasts hail,” Heya, a Hiroshima native, said. “A growing number of films themed on Hiroshima are being made, while there are also many films that should be featured at the festival.”

The HIFF will be held at the NTT Cred Hall and the Hiroshima City Cinematographic and Audio-Visual Library in the city’s Naka Ward, and at Yokogawa Cinema in Nishi Ward.

For more information, visit the official website at (http://hiff.jp/en/).