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Shochiku marks anni

Studio to distribute 'Geisha,' 'Baby,' 'Kinsey'

TOKYO — Japanese studio Shochiku has announced its lineup for its 110th anniversary year.

Adding to previously announced U.S. titles “Aviator,” “Alexander” and “Racing Stripes,” Shochiku will also distribute “Memoirs of a Geisha” (jointly with Buena Vista Intl. Japan), Berlin festival closer “Kinsey” and “Million Dollar Baby,” the latter jointly with Movie Eye.

The company’s foreign film slate for 2005 also includes “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” “Lassie,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “Hostage,” “The Man,” “Sing,” “The Jacket” and “Ripley’s Game.”

Shochiku has 10 local pics on its release slate for this year and into early 2006. They include “Ashura,” a samurai action film directed by Yojiro Takita (“When the Last Sword Is Drawn”) and starring Somegoro Ichikawa and Rie Miyazawa, and the first public film fund-financed samurai actioner “Shinobi” by Ten Shimoyama.

Shochiku will receive the Berlinale Camera award at the Berlin Intl. Film Festival where its Yoji Yamada-directed “The Hidden Blade” is in competition.