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Japan’s Yubari fest honors ‘Rapper’

Jury prize goes to 'Today and the Other Days'

TOKYO — The 19th Yubari Fantastic Film Festival today awarded its Grand Prix to Yu Irie’s “SR: Saitama’s Rapper,” a dramady about musicians in a province bordering Tokyo that is the local equivalent of New Jersey.

The pic was one of 10 in the Off-Theater competition for young, independent filmmakers. The jury prize went to Korean helmer Weean Choi’s “Today and the Other Days.”

Unspooling in Yubari, a town on Japan’s northern-most island of Hokkaido, the fest focuses on indie, genre and commercial titles including Hollywood pics before their general release.

This year it screened Japan preems of Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Pink Panther 2” and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.”

Yubari auds also had the first local look at “Crows Zero 2,” cult king Takashi Miike’s follow-up to his 2007 hit about feuding gangbangers in a bottom-of-the-barrel boys’ high school.

Fest organizers said the event drew nearly 10,000 auds in its five-day run.

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