Toei to produce ‘Canaries’

Drama will mark Japanese studio's 60th anni

TOKYO — Toei, one of the Japan’s top three studios, has announced production of a pic to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding.

Kita no Kanariatachi” (Canaries of the North) will based on a story by Kanae Minato, whose novel “Confessions” was turned into a much lauded B.O. smash last year.

The cast is headed by Sayuri Yoshinaga, a major star since the 1960s, who plays an elementary school teacher returning to a remote northern island where, 20 years earlier, a tragic accident occurred.

As was “Confessions,” the pic will be a mix of suspense and human drama.

The helmer will be Junji Sakamoto, whose credits include everything from populist fare (“Zatoichi: The Last”) to deep-think drama (“Children of the Dark”).

Shooting will start this winter, with release skedded for the fall of 2012 on 300 screens.

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