Shochiku to upgrade Kyoto studio

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TOKYO -- Japanese film giant Shochiku Co. will upgrade its Kyoto movie studio, spending ¥2 billion ($17.5 million) with a university in the ancient Japanese capital and the prefectural government.

Shochiku Kyoto Eiga studios has produced some of Japan's best-known samurai dramas, including Kinji Fukasaku's "Crest of Betrayal" (1994) and Yoji Yamada's "The Twilight Samurai," (2002), and now will be available for movie students at Ritsumeikan University, Shochiku spokeswoman Fwaryong Chong said.

Stages and offices covering more than 5,381 square feet will be updated. Cutting-edge sound and editing facilities and improved facilities for actors also will be introduced. Parts of the new facility also will be open to the public, she said.

The improvements will include the addition of facilities for animated titles, the showing of movies and a new restaurant and cafe.

The work is scheduled to be completed by February 2009.

Yamada -- famous for the world's longest-running film series "Tora-san" -- has announced plans to begin a filming a new title nearby.
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