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Iervolino Entertainment’s star-studded female-driven anthology project Tell It Like a Woman is adding a Japanese dimension. Japanese filmmaker Mipo O (The Light Shines Only There) will direct and write a segment for the film titled A Week in My Life, starring Anne Watanabe (daughter of Ken Watanabe and star of Midsummer’s Equation, Platinum Data). Japan’s leading premium pay-TV broadcaster Wowow will produce the Japanese segment, while also taking all distribution rights for the finished film in Japan.
Watanabe and Mipo O join an impressive roster of filmmakers and actresses already attached to Tell It Like a Woman, including Cara Delevingne, Catherine Hardwicke, Margherita Buy, Marcia Gay Harden, Eva Longoria, Leonor Varela and Jacqueline Fernandez.
Producers of the film are Iervolino Entertainment founder Andrea Iervolino and co-owner Monika Bacardi, along with Chiara Tilesi and Lucas Akoskin. Kayo Washio (Tokyo Vice), Wowow’s chief producer for international co-productions, acquisitions and distribution boards the film as an associate producer.
Tell It Like a Woman is described by the producers as “a film by women, about women — but for everyone.” It comprises multiple segments, which intertwine to make a full-length feature. The segments are directed by female directors from different parts of the world, shot in Italy, India and the U.S., and ranging through different genres, from drama to comedy, through docudrama and animation.
Segments include Unspoken, directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi and starring Buy; Lagonegro, directed by Lucia Puenzo and starring Longoria; Elbows deep, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Delevingne, Harden and Jasmine Luv; Sharing a Ride, directed by Leena Yadav and starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Anjali Lama; and, now, the new Japanese contribution, A Week in My Life.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Iervolino Entertainment and We Do It Together, a non-profit production company that advocates for gender equality.
Said Wowow’s Washio in a statement: Washio, “Tell It Like a Woman is a wonderfully unique concept for a movie, representative of a societal message that we are happy to endorse and support. Seeing Japan ranked 121st out of 156 countries when it comes to gender gap disparities, as reported by the World Economic Forum, really motivated me and fostered a passion to address this. I feel it’s important for Japan to be represented in a film like this, to have a voice, and was eager to enlist Anne and Mipo — amazing talents who can make a short segment feel like a sweeping epic. I applaud Andrea and Chiara for championing this movement.”
Added Iervolino: “The cultural nuances of a Japan-set story are a welcome addition to this groundbreaking project. Adding more diverse voices to this film makes the message stronger and more universal. Our aim is to make a global statement and have global impact, and Anne Watanabe, Mipo O and the Wowow team are an integral part of this.”
Japan’s Wowow has been expanding beyond its core business as a pay-TV broadcaster in recent months and years. In 2019, the company launched a theatrical distribution arm to complement its robust TV and streaming distribution operations in Japan. Its first pick-up was the Michael Bay-produced pandemic drama Songbird. The company also has sought deeper involvement in high-profile international co-productions, such as Michael Mann’s recently wrapped yakuza drama-thriller series Tokyo Vice, which Wowow is co-producing with HBO Max and Endeavor Content and also distributing in Japan.
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