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Japan-based Indian filmmaker Anshul Chauhan, whose previous feature Kontora won the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s Grand Prix in 2019, has launched production in Tokyo on his third feature, titled December.
A court room drama, the film stars popular Japanese actors Shogen and Megumi (both of whom go by just one name) as an ex-husband and wife who are pulled together again after their daughter’s murderer is granted a retrial. Although the duo’s lives have gone in radically different directions, the dramatic trial reopens old wounds and forces them to face uncomfortable facts and difficult questions about redemption.
December began production in Tokyo earlier this week and will later move to location shoots in Japan’s Kanagawa and Ibaraki prefectures. The film is written by Rand Colter, with cinematography from Petter Moen Jensen of Norway.
Japan’s Kowatanda Films and Yaman Films are financing the film, with Takahiro Yamashita, Moteki and Chauhan serving as producers. Other Japanese stars holding key supporting roles on the project include Shingo Fujimori, Miki Maya, Ryo Matsuura, Toru Kizu and Takuzo Shimizu.
An experienced character animator, Chauhan moved to Tokyo from India in 2011 to work for the country’s powerhouse anime industry, joining Polygon Pictures to work on projects, such as the Emmy Award-winning Tron Uprising from Disney XD, as well as the Transformers television series. After working for several other leading Japanese animation companies, contributing to projects like the Pacman series by Bandai Namco and Final Fantasy 15, Chauhan shifted his focus to feature film directing, releasing several shorts and two features, Bad Poetry Tokyo (2018) and Kontora (2019), the latter winning the inaugural Obayashi Prize at Japan Cuts, North America’s largest festival dedicated to contemporary Japanese cinema.
Chauhan’s team expects to wrap production on December this spring and aims to premiere the film at a festival next fall or winter, ahead of an early 2023 commercial release.
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