The 25th Tokyo International Film Festival opened Saturday with the world premiere of “Cirque Du Soleil: World’s Away,” a breathtaking 3D feature that combines the magic of Cirque performances with ground-breaking technology created by James Cameron, one of the film's producers.
"Worlds Away," written and directed by Andrew Adamson ("Chronicles of Narnia"), features performances from several Cirque shows in Las Vegas, including "O," "Ka" and "The Beatles: Love," combined with an original narrative about a young woman who comes to see the circus and falls in love.
“When I was first asked to do this, I thought 'why change the medium?' But then I saw it as a great opportunity to tell the story to show this world," Adamson said at the opening ceremony in Roppongi Hills. "Japan has been a great supporter of ‘Cirque du Soleil’ for 20 years, and we thank you for this evening."
The film opens Nov. 9 in Japan and Dec. 12 in the U.S.
"Japan in a Day," the documentary produced by Ridley Scott that features footage submitted by survivors of the devastating 2011 tsunami, had its world premiere earlier in the day.
Fifteen films will screen in the festival competition, including two U.S. entries, “What Maisie Knew,” starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard, and Nick Cassavetes' “Yellow.” Producer Roger Corman will lead the jury.
The festival includes a three-day film market, TIFFCOM, which will take place for the first time in Tokyo Bay.
Photo: "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away" director Andrew Adamson, center, with (from left) poster designer Hina Aoyama, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano, Japan's official navigator Aya Ueto and executive producer Jacques Methe