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Okinawa Fest Readies Comedy Routine

TOKYO — The Okinawa International Movie Festival unveiled a bundle of laughs as the line-up for its 6th edition, to unspool on Japan’s southernmost major island March 20-24.

Sponsored by the Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency, a comedy specialist with a huge presence on Japanese TV, the Okinawa fest is designed to promote Yoshimoto talent, flown in by the hundreds for the opening ceremony.  

But it also highlights the sort of populist film fare that drove attendance to 410,000 last year. Special screenings include Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro boxing pic “Grudge Match” and Ben Stiller comedy “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

The Laugh & Peace competition features “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” as well as Hwang Dong-hyeok’s “Miss Granny,” a smash Korean dramedy about a 74-year-old woman who morphs into a 20-year-old, and Mrideep Singh Lamba’s “Fukrey,” an Indian comedy about four young male zeroes trying to become heroes. Among local offerings is the world premiere of “Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats,” the latest comedy by Yosuke Fujita, whose 2008 debut “Fine, Totally Fine” was an international fave. 

On the business side is the Okinawa Contents Bazaar, which presents TV and other content Yoshimoto has developed with its US and Asian partners, including CAA, Media Asia, Astro and Content Land. 

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