Shochiku takes Kabuki overseas

Film unit to export performance features

TOKYO — Shochiku is distribbing Kabuki performance pics for foreign theatrical and in-flight release.

The first two of three export-ready films made under the Cinema Kabuki label opened in Singapore on April 12. Shochiku expects the pics to draw 2,000 theatergoers in their nine-day run.

In addition to their Singapore bow, the pics will be screened on Japan Airlines international flights starting in June. Shochiku plans to release three pics a year internationally.

Shochiku starting releasing Kabuki performance pics, shot using top-of-the-line HD cameras, in Japan in 2003. The first, “Nezumi Kozo — The Noda Version,” a play based on Japan’s legendary thief Nezumi Kozo, was directed by Hideki Noda, screened nationwide to nearly 30,000 fans and was invited to the 2005 New York Film Festival.  

Shochiku has since released a total of four Kabuki pics domestically, and a fifth is set to bow in Shochiku’s Togeki Theater in Tokyo on May 31.

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