Japan nominates 'Nobody' for Oscar

Cop drama hopes to follow in 'Departures' footsteps

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HONG KONG -- Japan, the country which enjoyed two Academy Award wins last year, has selected the Ryoichi Kimizuka-directed "Nobody to Watch Over Me" ("Dare Mo Mamotte Kurenei") as its contender for the 2009 foreign-language Oscar race.

A suspense drama starring Koichi Sato as a cop protecting a teen from the media as a murder trial cranks up, "Nobody" was produced by Fuji TV and released by Toho in January. As with most Fuji films it is sold internationally by Pony Canyon.

Kimizuka is better known as a screen writer, notably for the "Bayside Shakedown" series that Fuji TV also produced.

Last year's foreign-language award was won by "Departures" ("Okuribito") while the animated short film award went to "The House of Small Cubes" ("Tsumiki No Ie").
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