‘Wall-E’ to close Tokyo Film Festival

Film scheduled for local release in December

TOKYO — “Wall-E” will close the 21st Tokyo Intl. Film Festival on Oct. 26, fest sources have revealed.

Helmer Andrew Stanton’s previous toon, “Finding Nemo,” closed the fest in 2003.

The pic is skedded for release in Japan in December, with Disney distribbing. John Woo’s period epic “Red Cliff” will open the fest, which unspools from Oct. 18.

In other TIFF news, the Atsuro Watabe and Saki Takaoka starrer “Kotoba no Nai Fuyu” (Winter Without Words) will preem in the Competition Section on Oct. 18.

The pic, Watabe’s debut as a helmer, tells the story of a man (Watabe) who cannot speak and a woman (Takaoka) who has lost her memory.

The pic’s release date has not yet been decided.

Also, “Jomei” (Remaining Days), a drama starring Nanako Matsushima (“Ring”) as a physician diagnosed with breast cancer, will unspool in the TIFF Japanese Eyes section for domestic pics on Oct. 18.

Stardust Pictures, the new distribbing arm of Matsushima’s agency, Stardust Promotion, will bow the pic — the first on its lineup — on Feb. 7, 2009.

Finally, “Fusa” (Sono Kido o Totte), a feature that famed helmer Kon Ichikawa shot in Hi-Vision for Fuji TV in 1993, will get its Japan preem at TIFF prior to its first ever theatrical release on Nov. 11, with Go Cinema distribbing.

Based on a 1959 short story by Shugoro Yamamoto, this drama about an ambitious samurai (Kiichi Nakai) whose marriage plans are disrupted by a beautiful, but amnesiac woman (Yuko Asano) was screened by the Venice fest in 1993 and the Rotterdam fest in 1994, but dropped from sight after airing only once on a satellite channel in Japan.

Ichikawa’s last pic prior to his death in 2008, “Murder of the Inugami Clan,” closed TIFF in 2006.

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