TOKYO — Nihon Eiga Satellite Broadcasting, which operates a Japanese film specialty channel on cable and satellite, is entering pic production.”Smilers” is a warm-hearted dramedy about a kids’ ice hockey team that the channel is backing together with Fuji TV, Toho and Dentsu. Toho subsid Toho Eiga is handling production, while Toho will release next winter. TV comic Takanori Jinnai will helm based on a script he co-wrote, with Rosa Kato and Mirai Moriyama starring.
In a statement, the channel said it intends to “invest in other film productions and support of making of many excellent films.”
Nihon Eiga channel broadcasts a mix of new and classic Japanese pics on the Sky Perfect TV! platform. Investors include Fuji TV, Sony, Softbank, Toho, Kadokawa Shoten Publishing and Jupiter TV.