Yubari film festival unveils lineup

Japanese event opens with 'Surely Someday'

TOKYO — The Yubari Fantastic Film Festival has unveiled the lineup for its 20th edition, which will unspool Feb. 25- March 1.

The opening film will be “Surely Someday,” the directorial debut of Shun Oguri, the star of such hit pics as “Boys Over Flowers” and “Crows Zero.” The film is about five bandmates who take radical action when their high school festival is canceled — and find themselves in a lot of trouble. The pic is skedded for release in Japan on July 17.

The closing film will be “Sherlock Holmes,” while Special Screening pics from abroad include Paul Greengrass’ “Green Zone,” Kathryn Bigelow’s “Hurt Locker,” Lone Scherfig’s “An Education,” Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9,” and Ron Clement and John Musker’s toon “The Princess and the Frog.”

Among local pics in the Special Screening category are Izuru Narushima’s medical drama “Koko no Mesu” (The Lonely Scalpel), Tomoyuki Furumaya’s martial arts dramedy “Bushido Sixteen,” Hitoshi Yazaki’s marital drama “Sweet Little Lies” and Shunsuke Kaneko’s relationship drama “Bakamono.”

In addition to Udayan Prasad’s 2008 ex-con drama “The Yellow Handkerchief,” the fest will screen a digital remastered print of the 1977 Yoji Yamada original on which the pic is based, “The Yellow Handkerchief of Happiness.”

The fest will also host a competition of nine pics from new Japanese and Korean helmers. Hong Kong helmer/producer Jonnie To heads a jury that includes Japanese thesp Ryo Ishibashi, Japanese helmer Nobuhiro Yamashita, Jeonju Film Festival program director Jung Su-wan and New York Asian Film Festival programmer Marc Walkow.

Launched in 1990, Yubari has long been a populist showcase for new Japanese and foreign pics, both mainstream and niche.

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