Art and Experience: Now in its 13th year, the TIFFCOM market is part of the Japan Content Showcase that includes the Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) and Tokyo International Anime Festival (TIAF) and operates alongside the Tokyo Film Festival.
But TIFFCOM, with its 356 exhibitors offering movie and TV content from Japan, Asia and elsewhere, is still the biggest reason most international buyers descend on the JCS venues in Daiba and Shibuya (Oct. 24-27.) And the Tokyo market is changing.
TIFFCOM director Fumio Takagi explains that TIFFCOM has joined forces with TIMM and TIAF under the JSC banner so “we can play a role in a content market that represents Asia as a multi-content market.”
This year JCS unfolds at two venues – TIFFCOM and TIAF are still in the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba in the Tokyo Bay area, while TIMM has mostly shifted to the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu in Shibuya – a move that Takagi notes “increases exhibit space.” This space is especially needed by TIFFCOM, which has grown from 347 exhibitors in 2015 to 356 this year – a market record.
“The numbers of exhibiting entities and registered buyers have increased ever year for five years,” he says. “Last year, the total number of visitors reached an all-time high of 24,236. This year, we expect to greatly exceed that number,” says Takagi, who insists that TIFFCOM is not only playing a numbers game.
“The important thing is how much we can help participants’ businesses and provide new value.” As technology advances, the definition of ‘new value’ changes, as do the types of players in the market and exhibitors dealing in virtual reality kit are participating in TIFFCOM for the first time.
“In addition, there a growing interest in using content to revitalize local regions and promote inbound tourism, as well as more companies participating in TIFFCOM to find partnership opportunities,” Takagi says.
But many partnerships in the country’s insular film industry are still only between Japanese companies. The Japanese movie market, Takagi notes, has been focused on “how to sell movies created for the Japanese audience in Japan, and not enough effort has been given to overseas sales.” “However people in the Japanese movie industry are coming here in greater numbers and turning their attention more to overseas markets, so the importance of TIFFCOM’s role is growing,” he adds.
To accommodate what Takagi describes as “producers working at the forefront of the industry gathering here from around the world,” TIFFCOM is scheduling more seminars and other programs aimed informing and creating new business opportunities for industry insiders: “This year TIFFCOM wants to thoroughly fulfill the role we play in the co-production and the project market.”