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Tokyo fest to premiere ‘Pig’

Festival runs Oct. 18-26

TOKYO — The Tokyo Film Festival has announced its first competition film for next month’s edition — helmer Tetsu Maeda’s “School Days With a Pig,” which will be making its world preem.

Pic stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as a young teacher who raises a piglet together with his sixth grade class on one proviso — they have to kill and eat it at the end of the school year.

Fest runs Oct. 18-26, and the film, which is domestically distribbed by Nikkatsu, will open in Japan on Nov. 1.

The fest also will present a retro dedicated to the late Osamu Tezuka, the father of Japanese manga and anime, who died in 1989.

The most popular manga artist of the post-war era for series including “Astro Boy,” “Black Jack,” “Princess Knight” and “Phoenix,” Tezuka later turned to animation, producing “Astro Boy,” the first domestic toon show on Japanese TV in 1963.

The retrospective will feature “Marine Express,” a 1979 toon with an environmentalist theme that will screen with English subtitles. Episodes from the “Astro Boy,” “Princess Knight” and “New Jungle Emperor, Go Ahead Leo!” series will also screen.

 Among the features in the retro are digitally remastered versions of “The Fantastic Adventure of Unico” (1981) and “Unico in the Island of Magic” (1983), both with English subtitles, as well as the live-action/animated “Phoenix — Dawn” (1978), which Tezuka co-produced with helmer Kon Ichikawa, and the toon “Phoenix 2772” (1980). Both “Phoenix” pics are based on Tezuka’s epic comicbook about man’s quest for immortality.

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