Japan's Okinawa Film Festival Unveils Lineup

The main screening venue in Okinawa

The island event will premiere the latest movies from Japanese directors Yoshihiro Nishimura and Hideta Takahata, with Hollywood additions to the lineup expected in March.

Japan's Okinawa International Movie Festival unveiled the first selections of its 2015 lineup at a press conference in central Tokyo Tuesday. Now in its seventh year, the event has become a popular public occasion on Japan's southernmost island chain, with the main screening venue placed directly on the beach in Naha, the regional capital. 

The event, which runs March 25-29, will feature seven films in its Special Invitation section this year, including the world premieres of Japanese titles The Ninja War of Torakage from filmmaker Yoshihiro Nishimura and director Hideta Takahata's Harajuku Danier, along with the international premiere of Chinese sex comedy, One Night Stud, starring actress and singer Jiang Yiyan.

The TV Directors' Movie section will again screen six films produced by local TV broadcasters, while the Local Origination Project will presents 19 films (4 features and 15 shorts) produced with the financial support of local Japanese municipalities, such as Okinawa-set movie Ruman, from director Yosep Anggi Noen, and Somewhere in My Memories, directed by Keihiro Kanyama, who received backing from the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka.

Past editions of the fest have included Japanese premiere screenings of recent Hollywood hits alongside the Japanese titles in competition. Additions to the lineup are expected in early March, organizers said.

The festival's ongoing effort to become a regional cultural event encompassing various forms of entertainment in addition to film and TV is reflected in an array of sideline programming. On top of the movie screenings, the 2015 festival will hold three red carpet events, live comedy and music performances, a catwalk modeling event, a sports stage, a haunted house and other activities.

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