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Yoshimoto funds pix

Inhouse prod'n team will develop scripts for co.'s talent

Yoshimoto Kogyo, an Osaka, Japan-based talent agency with extensive media interests, is launching a film fund to underwrite two comedy features.

Skedded for release in 2007, the films will star top Yoshimoto talent. Budget is ¥1 billion ($8.5 million) each for production and promotional costs. An inhouse film production team formed last summer will develop the scripts.

“If possible, I’d like to make these films into a series,” prexy Isao Yoshino said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Yoshimoto is planning to set up a film fund in cooperation with financial institutions. Launch date, funding cap and other details have yet to be announced.

Established in 1948, Yoshimoto Kogyo has grown from a TV talent agency specializing in comedy to a multimedia business active in theater management, TV program production, publishing and now films.

Revenues in fiscal 2004 amounted to $240 million.

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