The opening ceremonies for the 15th commemorative anniversary of TIFF featured fleeting shadows of past cinema masterpieces flickering to the theme song from Cinema Paradiso. A mini concert was given by composer Joe Hisaishi and the New Japan Philharmonic. Special guests at TIFF included Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. In view of recent world developments, TIFF screened War and Peace in its commitment to furthering world peace. One of the longest films ever made, this film was 8 hours 27 minutes long at its Moscow premiere and 6 hours 13 minutes when first shown in Japan. The version screened at this time was a special director's cut version lasting 7 hours 10 minutes.
The Cinema Prism program was renamed “Winds of Asia” and was reconstituted to feature films made in Asia.
For Nippon Cinema Classics, films were selected that featured songs that became beloved among the Japanese people. Traditional enka singer Kiyoshi Hikawa was invited as a guest to the opening of this program and sang "Aishuu ressha" and other songs from a bygone era.
1. Actress Naomi Watts from The Ring with the star of the original Japanese film, Nanako Matsushima (left). 2. Adrien Brody, star of The Pianist, who became the youngest-ever recipient of an Academy Award for Best Actor. 3. The formidable duo of director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise attend the opening screening of special invitation film Minority Report. Cruise had been in Japan to shoot scenes for The Last Samurai only a few weeks earlier, and the last leg of his promotional tour for Minority Report brought him back to Tokyo. Additionally, Spielberg received TIFF's Akira Kurosawa Award. 4. Composer Joe Hisaishi performs at the opening ceremony. 5. Actor Shoichi Ozawa (left) and enka singer Kiyoshi Hikawa appear on stage at the Nippon Cinema Classics retrospective of musical films. 6. From left: director Yee Chih-yen, actress Kwai Lunmei, and actor Chen Bolin at a press conference for Competition film Blue Gate Crossing. 7. Director Yuji Nakae, winner of the Special Jury Prize for his film Hotel Hibiscus. 8. From left: actress Maya Maron, producer Assaf Amir, director Nir Bergman, and actress Orly Zilbershatz Banai from Grand Prix-winning film Broken Wings. 9. Dong Jie (left) and Liu Ye, the stars of Competition film Sky Lovers.