Cool Japan Brings Hot Titles to FilMart

Cool Japan Brings Hot Titles FilMart
(c) Tokyo Tribe Film Partners

Japanese sellers come to FilMart with everything from art films to big-budget commercial pics.

Japanese sellers arrived at FilMart with everything from art films aimed at the international fest circuit to big-budget commercial pics.

Some are already on the buyers’ radar, such as Sion Sono’s highly anticipated “Tokyo Tribe,” which is being repped by Nikkatsu. Based on a best-selling comic series set in a near-future Tokyo, the pic focuses on street gangs, or “tribes,” roaming the urban wilderness.

Sono (pictured) has recently veered from such arty fare as the nuclear-disaster-themed “Himizu” (2013) and “The Land of Hope,” to the blood-soaked gangster shocker “Why Don’t You Play in Hell” (2013). The new pic promises to be of the latter type.

Also in the Nikkatsu lineup is Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s “My Man,” another film inspired by an earthquake and tsunami, but occurring in Hokkaido in 1993, not Tohoku in 2011. Fumi Nikaido stars as a girl who loses her parents in the disaster and is taken in by a single male relative (Tadanobu Asano). As she grows to adulthood, the nature of their relationship changes – and causes scandal. Asano is one of the few Japanese actors with a real international career, though he may want to forget his turn in the box office flop “47 Ronin,” while 19-year-old Nikaido already owns a shelf of acting awards, including one from Venice for her work in “Himizu.”

Toho’s slate includes “Parasyte,” a two-part action-thriller about an all-out war between humans and alien parasites who take up residence in their bodies, including the right arm of the film’s teenage hero. Director Takashi Yamazaki also made “The Eternal Zero,” a controversial WWII kamikaze pilot pic that has earned more than $80 million in Japan since its December release.

Shochiku has “Hot Road,” a teen drama based on a hit comic series about a 14-year-old girl who becomes alienated from her mother and takes up with a wild-at-heart biker.

Director Takahiro Miki has made a string of hit romantic dramas, including the 2012 two-parter “We Were There,” but media attention in Japan has been focused on star Rena Nonen. Last year, she shot to fame in the smash-hit NHK drama “Ama-chan” playing a withdrawn teen who moves from Tokyo to a struggling Northern fishing port and becomes an “ama,” a woman shell diver, with a new, brighter outlook on life. Nonen’s effervescent personality worked wonders for the show’s ratings, as well as her own career.

Whether or not she also charms Filmart buyers, there is plenty on offer from a country that, with 591 domestic films released last year, is still the region’s second-biggest film market, as well as one of its most diverse.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. It’s hard to come by educated people on this subject, but you seem like you
    know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  2. Hello there, There’s no doubt that your website might be having web browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Besides that, wonderful website!

More Film News from Variety