×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Cove’ bows politely in Japan

Controversial doc draws SR0 crowds, little discord

Tokyo– Controversial dolphin doc “The Cove” bowed on six screens in Japan on Saturday without major incident.

About forty protesters objecting to the pic’s alleged “biased” slant on the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan showed up at the Image Forum Theater in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. They were countered by a small number of demonstrators defending freedom of expression. Both were monitored by cops and a heavy media presence, while fans filled the 108-seat venue for the first screening. The second screening was also boffo.

Distrib Unplugged said that four of the six venues had been harassed by rightists opposed to “The Cove,” though two theaters in Tokyo and Yokohama were protected by court restraining orders.

The pic will roll out to 18 more venues across Japan.

The mayor of Taiji, Kazutaka Sangen, told the Kyodo news agency that, while supporting freedom of expression, he was disappointed by the pic’s opening in Japan. “You have to think about the rights of the fishermen and the rules for film production,” he said.

Taij city officials and local fishermen’s reps have objected to the Louie Psihoyos doc for shooting the dolphin slaughter undercover and without permission. Psihoyos has responded that repeated requests to film the slaughter were denied.

The winner of the 2010 Best Documentary Oscar, “The Cove” has won many prizes and screened at many fests around the world, including the 2009 Tokyo International Film Festival. In February Tokyo-based Medallion Media announced that it had acquired the pic for Japan from The Works International and commissioned Unplugged to handle distribution and PR.

The distrib and the several of the 26 venues it assembled to screen the pic were hit by protests by right-wing activists, including visits from sound trucks. In early June two theaters in Tokyo and one in Yokohama canceled planned screenings, citing security concerns. Soon after they were joined by three theaters in northern Japan, stirring speculation that rightist pressure might scotch screenings entirely.

Unplugged, however, later lined up replacements, including the Image Forum theater in Shibuya and the Yokohama New Theater in Yokohama.

More Biz

  • CJ-CGV Cinemas

    CJ CGV Sells $286 Million Stake in Asian Cinema Businesses

    CJ CGV, the Korean movie theaters giant, is to raise $286 million from the sale of a slice of its Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese businesses. The company, which has its own stock market listing and is affiliated to the CJ Group, which includes CJ E&M and CJ Entertainment, said this week that it had sold [...]

  • Alibaba offices

    Hong Kong Share Sale Brings Alibaba an Easy $13 Billion

    Chinese e-commerce and entertainment giant Alibaba was easily able to sell all the shares it put up for sale in a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company is selling 500 million new shares, which on Wednesday it announced would be priced at HK$176 apiece, or roughly US$180 per New York-traded ADR, [...]

  • Everybody Changes

    New Cadence Productions Acquires Domestic Rights to Panama's 'Everybody Changes'

    New Cadence Productions has acquired North American rights to the transgender family drama “Everybody Changes,” Panama’s official selection for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. The movie from writer-director Arturo Montenegro tells the true story of a Panamanian couple with three children who grapple with the father’s decision to come out as a transgender woman. “Everybody [...]

  • Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division nominee

    Justice Department Moves to End Paramount Antitrust Decrees

    The Department of Justice will seek to end the Paramount consent decrees, the landmark agreements that have barred studios from owning theaters for the last 70 years. Makan Delrahim, the head of the department’s antitrust division, made the announcement Monday in a speech to the American Bar Association fall forum on antitrust. He argued that [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

  • Sony Pictures Studio Culver City

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Buys AT&T's Stake in Game Show Network

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought out AT&T’s minority interest in Game Show Network for about $500 million. The deal makes Sony the sole owner of GSN. AT&T had owned 42% of the company, which the telco giant inherited with its purchase of DirecTV in 2015. AT&T has been on a mission this year to pay [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content