In past editions of the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Director in Focus in the Nippon Cinema Now section showcased the careers of filmmakers critically recognized for their work in Japan and abroad. Such directors include Cannes award-winners Shinji Aoyama and Koji Fukada.

So the selection of Hideo Jojo, a veteran maker of “pinku eiga” (literally, "pink films," a term for soft-core adult films), as the Director in Focus at this year’s TIFF prompted some head-scratching. But as TIFF programming director Shozo Ichiyama told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Oct. 3, “Jojo’s work demonstrates elevated filmmaking, and we felt he hasn’t yet been properly recognized outside of Japan.”

Ichiyama also called Jojo’s “Passing Fancy,” a remake of a 1933 silent film by Yasujiro Ozu produced by entertainment channel Wowow to commemorate the 120th year since Ozu’s birth, a “masterpiece.”