International Movie Festival rebrands to entertainment

The main venue for free movie screenings is a temporary screen set up on Tropical Beach in Ginowan.

The 7th Okinawa International Movie Festival is debuting next week under a brand new title; the five-day affair is now the All Islands Okinawa Festival.

The festival opens March 25th at three locations; the red carpet will be at Ginowan Tropical Beach, Kokusai Street and for the first time, on Gate 2 Street in Okinawa City.  The most notable aspect of this revamped festival is that virtually all events, except for special movies screenings, are free.

The same venue on Tropical Beach features free live concerts, fashion sbows and stand-up comedy.

The main venues will be the Okinawa Convention Center, Sakurazaka Theater and the open space in front of Tenbus Hall on Kokusai Street in Naha, and Koza Music Town and Gate 2 Street in Okinawa City. One of the highlights of the movie festival has been the red carpet.  A record high 595 guests from inside and outside of the country walked the red carpet runways last year.

This entertainment event is representative of Okinawa, and has become a common activity each spring.  Last year, organizers counted the total number of visitors at 380,000 over the five days.  The name of the event has always been movie festival, however, it’s not only about movies but live music, fashion shows, comedy shows of popular comedians, idol performances and sports events.  With so many genres of entertainments mixed together, organizers decided to make the event name all-inclusive. While special screenings will have a fee attached, the night movie playing on the screen set up at Tropical Beach, in Ginowan, and baseball and soccer schools for kids will be held free.

The festival is co-sponsored by Yoshimoto Kogyo, which has produced popular comedians, delivered happiness and peace in the hearts of people around the world through laughter, and has supported the film festival that has a ‘Laugh & Peace’ concept.

The festival ends with fireworks over the Tropical Beach.