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Kadokawa sliding into prod’n

Publisher eyes film fare, including toon, features

TOKYO — Major Japanese publishing house Kadokawa Publishing is the latest firm to get into content development.

It is using its 10 billion yen ($83.33 million) publishing promotion foundation to back Producers Academia, headed by Masato Hara, chairman of Asmik Ace Entertainment, a subsid of Kadokawa. It will develop and finance internationally competitive product, including animation and feature films.

Producers Academia intends to invest up to $2.5 million in four pics chosen from projects submitted by late September.

Generally, producers will have to come up with half of the production costs to foster a more business-oriented batch of young filmmakers.

Winners of the Producers Academia awards will also have the opportunity to get professional production advice.

In April, Gaga Communications launched a similar support program for young filmmakers in Japan and Korea called Amuse.

With terrestrial digital television to start in main metropolitan areas by the end of next year, in addition to existing digital satellite broadcasting, and with broadband delivery platforms of all kinds mushrooming, Japan’s entertainment and broadcasting industry feels a serious shortage of content.

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