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‘Illusionist’ appears on Digital slate

Yari pic acquired during AFM

Japanese entertainment conglom Digital Site Corp. has acquired territory rights to hit supernatural movie “The Illusionist,” produced by Bob Yari’s Yari Film Group. Picture was acquired during the American Film Market, where it was represented by Syndicate Films.

Skedded for a fall 2007 release, “Illusionist” will be one of the key titles in Digital Site’s 2007 lineup as stockmarket-traded parent firm Ray Corp. reaches into new business areas beyond its traditional base of digital effects, commercials and DVD releasing. “Illusionist” grossed some $38 million on its North American release.

Pic joins previously acquired horror title “Catacombs,” bought from Lionsgate last year, “Emmanuel’s Gift” from First Look Studios and Peter Falk starrer “The Thing About My Folks.”

Company is building its theatrical releasing abilities and has more than 30 booking and marketing staff in Japan plus a five-strong acquisitions team that includes Santa Monica-based Jonathan Platt.

Digital Site is also reaching out in the production arena. Having put up coin for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s weirdly spooky “Bright Future” which premed in Cannes 2003, it is now producing on Media 8 Entertainment’s “The Ramen Girl” with Brittany Murphy and Japanese thesp Toshiyuki Nishida. Japan-set story of an American woman (Murphy) who’s stranded in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend is helmed by Robert Allan Ackerman from a script by Becca Topol. Lensing wrapped last week.

Last month’s Tokyo fest also saw the preem of Japanese-language arthouse title “Notebook of Life” which Digital Site produced. “Notebook” is helmed by Makoto Itakura and stars Fujiko Sumiko and Shinobu Terajima.

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