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Kazuhiro Soda set for biopic

Director to helm doc about Hirata Oriza

New York-based Japanese helmer Kazuhiro Soda, in Berlin with Forum screener “Mental,” is moving to Paris for his next project, a documentary about Japanese playwright Hirata Oriza, who is currently working in the French capital.

“Mental,” a docu examining patients of a psychiatric hospital, was picked up by Films Boutique, the recently launched Berlin arthouse distrib arm of Paris-based Films Distribution.

Pic, which won best docu in Pusan last year, hits screens in Japan this summer via Astaire and preems in the U.S. at the MoMa in New York on Feb. 22. It’s Soda’s second Forum screener following 2007’s “Campaign,” a documentary about Japanese city politics.

Launched last year and headed by Jean-Christophe Simon, Films Boutique is looking to handle seven to eight specialty titles a year, mostly from young filmmakers. Company acquired two other Forum pics, Esther Rots’ Dutch drama “Can Go Through Skin” and Radu Jude’s Romanian-Dutch corproduction “The Happiest Girl in the World.”

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