Japan’s Tornado files for bankruptcy

Distrib joins list of indies that have gone under

TOKYO — Indie distrib Tornado Film has filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court.

The company’s debt totals $3.23 million.

Tornado joins the lengthening list of Japanese indies that have gone belly up in the past year, including Wise Policy, Xanadeux, Movie-eye and Cine Quanon.

Former prexy and current managing director Shuntaro Kanai, who first made his name as a buyer of profitable foreign B and C movies for indie distrib Albatross, launched Tornado in 2005. The company distribbed quirky cult pics that made a modest hit with overseas Asian cinephiles, including “The Rug Cop,” “Kani Goalkeeper” and “The World Sinks Except Japan,” all pics that Kanai produced with helmer Minoru Kawasaki. Local B.O. takings were slim, however.

In a statement addressed to his creditors, Kanai said the company is under bankruptcy administration and that a more detailed explanation of its financial status will be provided “in the course of bankruptcy proceedings.” He added that he will not be accepting interview requests from the media.

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