TIFF was moved to the autumn this year. The International Competition section was also introduced, a foundational event which established it as an international film festival. The festival opened with Kon Ichikawa's Princess from the Moon and closed with Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, a lineup that proved symbolic of the festival's emphasis on filmmaking in Japan and the rest of Asia. A major collaboration venture of TIFF was "The Best of Asia Pacific Films" featuring films from as far west as Iran and as far south as Australia and New Zealand. This project sought to identify cinematic and cultural regions of the world according to its oceans as opposed to its landmasses.
This year marked Hollywood's centenary and many stars from the United States were invited to Tokyo. It was entirely appropriate that Good Morning, Babylon by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, made in homage to D. W. Griffith, was chosen for a special screening. The opening ceremonies were distinguished by the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess (present Emperor and Empress) as well as Elia Kazan and his wife, June Allyson and her husband David Ashrow, Nagisa Oshima, the husband and wife combination of Masahiro Shinoda and Shima Iwashita, and Akira Kurosawa.