Initially released on June 23 in two Tokyo theaters, the film reached this landmark on Oct. 20. Distributed by Asmik Ace and Enbu Seminar – the Tokyo acting and directing school that produced the film for $27,000 (JPY3.0 million) — “One Cut of the Dead” has played on as many as 340 screens in Japan, and it is currently playing on 293.
Koji Ichihashi, Enbu Seminar president and the film’s producer, has said that his initial target was 5,000 admissions. That was the micro-budget film’s break-even point.
The film had its official world premiere at the Udine Far East Film Festival in April, where it won the second-place audience award. It has since received invitations to nearly 60 foreign festivals.
At home, the film has been showered with prizes – 17 to date – and praise from critics and fans alike, though it also stirred controversy when Ueda revealed that he had got the idea for the film’s triple-layer structure from a play by a Tokyo theater troupe originally performed from 2011 to 2014. The play, “Ghost in the Box,” is now included in the film’s credits.
“One Cut of the Dead” will screen in the Japan Now section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. And, Ueda and Ichihashi also attended the Meet with Creators event on Tuesday as part of the TIFFCOM market in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City.