TIFF became the first international film festival to be held in Japan, filling a significant gap in the world cinema calendar. The festival opened with Akira Kurosawa's Ran, one of 140 films screened during the festival's duration. Messages to the festival sent by prominent film industry members from around the world demonstrated the level of expectation that people held for this event.
Shibuya became a movie town overnight. On the festival's first day, a parade was held on its streets. Showcase events were held every day at the special outdoor stage set up along its main route. Illustrated porcelain monuments of some of the most prominent film people decorated the station square. They were unveiled by film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa in a separate ceremony.
Including Cine Saison and Eurospace, which opened earlier in the year, the number of movie theaters in the administrative district of Shibuya totaled 16 at this time. The launching of TIFF also marked the beginning of Shibuya as one of the world's most prominent movie towns.