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Covering a film festival is what’s known in the profession as a crapshoot. No matter how many screenings you manage to clock, you’re probably going to miss half of the flicks that end up winning prizes.

For casual moviegoers attempting to navigate Tokyo International Film Festival, it’s harder still. Top-tier directors tend to take their work elsewhere — not least to the other TIFF, held in Toronto in September — so many of the movies on offer are basically unknown quantities.

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