Olympic games succeed to seduce the Festival of Cannes. The Official Film of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 realized by Japanese director Naomi Kawase is selected this year.. The film’s world premiere will take place at the prestigious cinematic event along with “Visions of Eight” from Munich 1972, in the “Cannes Classics” selection.
The Official Film is set to be released in two parts, one depicting the Games through the eyes of the athletes (Side A), and the other from the perspective of staff and volunteers (Side B). The film, a behind-the-scenes record of the Olympic Games held last summer amid the coronavirus pandemic, depicts the unusual context the Games were held in, in addition to the story of sport and competition. The 1-hour-59-minute first part, or “Side A”, will have its world premiere at Cannes on 25 May, with “Side B” slated for international release in June.
We are delighted that the Official Film of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Side A will have its world premiere at the Festival de Cannes. The story of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been captured with characteristic style and flair by Naomi Kawase. The film presents the Games through a truly unique lens.
The hundreds of hours of footage for this Official Film were captured over a period of two years, documenting the run-up to the Games and culminating with the postponed Games that were eventually held in the summer of 2021. Produced by the Kinoshita Group in collaboration with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the IOC, the message of the film goes beyond physical exploits and focuses on some human stories of the Games.
I am truly pleased that the film is invited to the Festival de Cannes, The Cannes Classics section is reserved for films that are recognised as cultural heritage. I believe this is a sign that the Cannes selection committee has appreciated this film as a testimony of the time, and sees it being passed on to future generations.
Kawase was the youngest filmmaker to win the Camera d'Or award for best debut director at the Festival de Cannes with her first feature, "Suzaku", released in 1997. She is also the first Japanese woman to be appointed a UNESCO goodwill ambassador in recognition of her film work that focuses on the stories of women across generations. A special focus on female athletes is one of the themes of this Official Film.