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TOKYO – Masaharu Take’s “100 Yen Love,” a gritty drama about a thirty-something slacker who takes up boxing to turn her life around, has been named as Japan’s nominee for the Academy Award for foreign-language film.

Starring Sakura Ando as the disheveled, but determined, heroine, “100” premiered at the 27th edition of the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival in the Japanese Cinema Splash section for local indie films, where it won the best picture award.

Released in Japan on Dec. 20 by Spotted Productions, the film won many domestic honors, including several lead actress prizes for Ando. Receiving its international premiere the 17th edition of the Udine Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, “Love” went on to screen at festivals including Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Montreal and New York.

The last Japanese film to win the foreign language film Oscar was the 2008 “Departures,” directed by Yojiro Takita.