Japan’s Yubari fest to open with ‘Tangled’

Closing pic is Ryuichi Honda laffer 'Newlywed Hell'

TOKYO — Disney’s “Tangled” will open the 21st Yubari Fantatic Film Festival, which unspools Feb. 24-28 in Yubari on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

The closing pic will be Ryuichi Honda’s laffer “Okike no tanoshii ryoko shinkon jigokuhen” (The Oki Family’s Fun Trip: Newlywed Hell).

Both pics are among the nine in the Special Screenings section. Also screening in the section are Daniel Lee’s Hong Kong actioner “14 Blades,” Xavier Beauvois’ French thriller “Of Gods and Men,” and Edgar Wright’s teen romantic comedy “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”

The fest’s Off Theater competition will feature nine pics from 347 submitted by mostly Japanese up-and-coming helmers. The jury chairman will be veteran Japanese helmer Kaizo Hayashi.

The fest will screen nearly 60 pics in its various sections.

Originally sponsored by the city of Yubari, the fest went into hiatus in 2007 following the city government’s bankruptcy. In 2008 it revived under private sponsorship.

The fest has produced many discoveries over the years, especially among Japanese indie pics. Those who first got exposure at Yubari included Yuya Ishii, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Noboru Iguchi and Yoshihiro Nishimura, all of whom have gone on to success on the international fest circuit.