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Nikkatsu Picks Up Shinya Tsukamoto’s Venice-Bound ‘Killing’

Japanese studio and distributor, Nikkatsu has acquired world sales rights for “Killing,” a period drama film by cult favorite Shinya Tsukamoto, company sources have confirmed.

The film, previously known as “Killing Zan,” has been selected to appear in competition at next month’s Venice festival. Tsukamoto has been invited to the festival eight times before, most recently in 2014 for his WWII film “Fires on the Plain,” and twice as a jury member.

As previously announced, the film stars Sosuke Ikematsu (“Shoplifters”) as a masterless samurai in mid-19th century Japan. Yu Aoi (“Birds Without Names”) co-stars as a peasant girl from the same farming village as the hero.

Tsukamoto serves as director, scriptwriter, cameraman and editor. Tsukamoto’s company Kaiju Theater produced the film. Shin Nippon Eigasha will release “Killing” in Japan on Nov. 24.

Tsukamoto is best known for his genre films, with his first “Tetsuo” in 1991. “Killing” is his first period piece. He has often appeared as an actor in the films of other director, including a turn as a peasant village leader in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence.”

Earlier this week, Venice unveiled its Critics’ Week and Venice Days sections, as well as a lifetime achievement award for British actress Vanessa Redgrave. The premium festival is expected to unveil its official selection later Wednesday.

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