The 10th edition of Japan's Latin Beat Film Festival got under way here Wednesday with a screening of "Los amantes pasajeros" (I'm So Excited), the latest from acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.
Twenty films in all will be shown in Tokyo over the course of a week before a scaled-down version of the event takes to the road for stints in Kyoto and Yokohoma before concluding Nov. 10 in Osaka.
Highlights of the Tokyo phase of the festival include Pablo Berger's "Blancanieves," Brazilian animated film "Rio 2096" and "NO," a political drama from Chile.
"It's like a metaphor: just as in Almodovar's film, in which the plane travels to Mexico, it's the time to look toward Latin America. There, interesting things are being done," Latin Beat organizer Alberto Calero told Efe.
Two of the stars of "Los amantes pasajeros," Javier Camara and Blanca Suarez, traveled to Tokyo for Wednesday's screening of the film, which won't reach Japanese theaters until January.
Also on hand for the festival is Spanish director Fernando Trueba, who will present two of his films, "El artista y la modelo" and "Chico y Rita."
Since its birth in 2003, Latin Beat - the only festival of its kind in Asia - has enjoyed steady growth in films, sponsors and attendance to become an essential event for Japanese cinephiles.
"It's an accomplishment to reach 10 years," Calero said. "And the interesting thing is that in this time we have seen how film in Spanish has begun - here in Japan and around the world - to awaken a lot of interest." EFE