TOKYO (AP) -- The Tokyo International Film Festival opened Saturday with stars including Hollywood actress Sigourney Weaver strolling a "green" carpet made of recycled plastic bottles.
The theme of the nine-day festival, which will feature more than 100 movies, is ecology. They include, "The Cove," a documentary that depicts the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. Organizers added it at the last minute in part because of pressure from overseas.
While the movie has won more than a dozen awards worldwide, it is not among the 15 Japanese and foreign films vying for the festival's top prize of $50,000.
"The Cove" has provoked outrage over the dolphin hunt in the small seaside town of Taiji in southwestern Japan, where 2,000 dolphins are killed every year, mostly for meat.
The movie shows fishermen on small boats banging on poles to frighten the dolphins into a cove, where they are killed with spears. The cove is closed off by barbed wire and the movie crew had to film much of the footage covertly.
Japanese police say the film's American director, Louie Psihoyo, and other members of his crew violated trespassing laws when they documented the dolphin slaughter.
"The Cove" will be screened on Wednesday. Advanced tickets for the film were already sold out, festival spokeswoman Haruna Koike said.
Psihoyos has said he plans to attend the screening even though he could be arrested over alleged trespassing.
Weaver's "Avatar" will also be screened at the festival. It is the first major Hollywood 3-D release that's not animation. Clad in a long blue dress, Weaver waved and blew kisses to fans at the opening ceremony.
It festival opened with "Oceans," a documentary on sea life.
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