The fifth Kyoto International Film and Art Festival (KIFF) wrapped up here Sunday, highlighting not only films but also the city's rich and vibrant artistic tradition.
"The KIFF has gone beyond a film festival to become a comprehensive cultural event that displays both traditional crafts and modern culture," Daisaku Kadokawa, mayor of the Kyoto city, told reporters ahead of the festival.
During the four-day festival that kicked off on Thursday, more than 70 films were screened and a number of cultural events and exhibitions were held at dozens of theaters and cultural facilities across Kyoto, the city often called "the Birthplace of Japanese Films."
In the Oe Noh Theatre in the Gion area which is a symbol of the Kyoto culture, Japanese old films as well as some early American comedies were screened to pay tribute to the early films, including "Charlie," Chaplin's silent comedies accompanied by music played by Japanese artists.
In the Toho Cinema at Nijo area of Kyoto, a Chinese film named Cao Cao and Yang Xiu with celebrated Beijing Opera actor Shang Changrong playing the main character Cao, was screened.
Shang was decorated with the Most Respect Award at the opening ceremony of the film festival here. "Beijing Opera is very colorful and interesting. I sincerely invite you all to watch this film," Shang said at the ceremony, adding that he hopes Japanese people would enjoy this traditional Chinese art form.
In the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, a few craftsmen displayed to the visitors the traditional Kyoto crafts, including the famous Kyoto Zougan (inlay) and the Kyoto ceramic art.
"Now only 20 or 30 people master this technique. We hope the publicity brought by the film festival could let more people know about this ancient inlay technique and attract more young people to learn it," said Ukihiro Tomida, who has been a "Zougan" worker for 45 years.
Meanwhile, in a disused school building of an elementary school which has a history of 147 years, a few paintings and installation artworks that combine traditional Kyoto art and modern art were exhibited.
Traditional Kyoto patterns and the abstract postmodern expression combined together gave the paintings here a new style, said a visitor to the exhibition.
As part of its efforts to go beyond a film and art festival and contribute to the community, the festival also included a "Workshop Collection" for children, in which a number of educational and fun workshops were held.
"It is hoped that the festival and the Kyoto city would work together to make continued efforts for creating a city that has excellent culture and achieves sustainable development," said Kadokawa.