Ken Watanabe’s ‘Fukushima 50’ Heads Kadokawa’s Tokyo Market Lineup

Fukushima Fifty
Courtesy of Kadokawa

A publisher of bestselling novels that has become a broad-based media company, Kadokawa has brought one of its biggest recent projects to TIFFCOM. Titled “Fukushima 50,” the film tells the true-life story of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant who, over five desperate days, reined in a nuclear disaster that could have caused the evacuation of Tokyo and other country-crippling damage, following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Setsuro Watanabe directs and Ken Watanabe and Koichi Sato star, with release set for next year.

Also on the lineup is “A Girl Missing,” a drama by Koji Fukada, winner of the 2016 Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize for his dark family drama “Haromonium.” Mariko Tsutusi stars as an in-home caregiver who finds herself swept up in a scandal when her own nephew is charged with kidnapping.

Arriving at the market with a ripped-from-the-headlines story is Michihito Fujii’s “The Journalist.” Korean actress Eun-Kyung Sim stars as an investigative journalist who tries to extract the truth from a young bureaucrat (Tori Matsuzaka) charged with protecting the current government from talk of scandal.

Inspired by recent real-life scandals involving Japan’s ruling party, the film was a surprise hit this year, while attracting media attention for its controversial subject matter.