The company has teamed with the powerful talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo unveiled the original writing development project to turn user-generated content, both fiction and non-fiction, into programming for Amazon Prime Video.
Yoshimoto and its partners will hold regular contests to select the best user content from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site, the Storys.jp site for users’ personal stories, and the MediBang site for user-generated comics and illustrations.
Winning entries may then be published in physical copy and e-book form by Amazon and Yoshimoto, as well as being made into TV drama and film content for Amazon Prime Video.
Contest winners will be announced at the Yoshimoto-backed Okinawa International Film Festival in April next year and the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival in October.
In May last year Amazon presented a slate of original content for Prime Video in Japan that included 12 Japanese-made titles in a variety of genres, from children’s shows to documentaries. Amazon Studios chief Roy Price says that the Japanese market is a high priority for Amazon. “Of (Amazon’s) 40 new original global contents 20 are Japanese originals,” he said.
Separately, Amazon Japan is now screening the original drama series “Kyoto Love Story.” Based on the best-selling comic “Fukuyado Honpo,” the 12-part series began streaming last week. Set in a family-run Kyoto confectionery shop with a 450-year history, the series focuses on the lives and loves of three sisters.
The scriptwriter is TV drama veteran Yuko Nagata, while such name talents as Akari Hayami, Hayato Ichihara, Nozomi Sasaki, Kenjiro Yamashita and Oshiro Maeda star.