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Japan’s comedy fest fetes fantasy

'Kamogawa' wins big at Okinawa fest

TOKYO — The Okinawa Movie Festival, Japan’s first comedy fest, has awarded its competition Grand Prix to Katsuhide Motoki’s laffer “Kamogawa horumo.”

Based on a fantasy novel by Manabu Makime later made into a popular comic, the pic focuses on Kyoto college students who send the hundreds of tiny demons that inhabit the ancient capital into battle against each other. Distribbed by Shochiku, “Kamogawa horumo” will open April 18.

The audience prize was won by Korean helmer Kim Sung Wook’s “Unstoppable Marriage.” The jury for the eight-pic competition section was chaired by Pusan Film Festival topper Kim Dong Ho.

The four-day fest, that ended Sunday, was organized by the Yoshimoto Kogyo comedy talent shop. It featured a 10-pic special screenings section, 15 retro screenings of classic laffers from Japan and abroad and a special presentation of four new pics by Yoshimoto helmers, in addition to the competition.

During the fest comic Hitoshi Matsumoto announced the follow-up to his hit 2007 directorial debut “Dainipponjin.”

In “Symbol,”  Matsumoto stars as a prisoner constantly thwarted in his escape attempts. Matsumoto is also scripting and helming the pic, which will be finished in time for consideration in the Cannes Film Festival and is skedded for a September bow in Japan.

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