Kawase to make ‘Whole World’

New film to star TV's Hasegawa

TOKYO — Naomi Kawase, surprise winner of the 2007 Cannes Grand Prix for her drama “The Mourning Forest,” has announced production of her next pic “If Only the Whole World Loved Me (working title)” (Sekaiju ga Watashi o Suki Dattara Ii no ni”).

The pic stars Kyoko Hasegawa as a young Japanese woman who quits her temp job and leaves her lover to find a new life in Thailand. Shooting in Thailand will start on July 1.

Speaking at a press conference in her native Nara on Thursday, Kawase said that since she had only seen Hasegawa, a major J-drama star, act on TV, “I’m still not able to evaluate her acting properly” but added she intends to “find out exactly what (Hasegawa) is made of” as they prep for the Thai shoot.

Commenting on her Grand Prix win, Kawase said that her next goal is to take a Cannes Palme d’Or. “I’ve got the potential to do it,” she added. “After Kurosawa and Oshima, I think “Kawase” will be the next internationally known name among this generation of (Japanese filmmakers).”

Originally skedded for release in 10 arthouses scattered around the country, “The Mourning Forest,” boosted by its Cannes win, will make its Japan bow on 28 screens on June 23. Kawase’s own company Kumie is distribbing.

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