Okinawa Intl Movie Fest to Open for Fun in the Sun

Okinawa - H 2012

Festival runs on the tropical island from Mar 24 to 31

The 4th Okinawa International Movie Festivalopens Saturday March 24 for an eight-day run that will feature 80 films, concerts, fashion shows, open-air screenings and comedy performances, as well as a Contents Bazaarindustry market.

Partly inspired by Cannes, the festival aims for a laid-back atmosphere of cinema and some business in the sun on Japan's southernmost island.

“The film festival is the base for the event, but we’re hoping it can become an entertainment celebration not just for Japan, but for all of Asia and the world," said Tetsu Yoshikawa, a spokesperson for giant talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo, which organizes the fest.

Love Is not Blind by China’s Huatao Teng will get its world premiere during the fest; other highlights include screenings of the multiple-Oscar-winner The Artist and U.S. indie hit Bridesmaids. Organizers have selected an Asia-heavy international lineup, featuring selections from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.K. and Canada.

Guests will include The Artist’s Academy Award-winning director Michel Hazanavicius, Korean directorKim Jung-Kwan and actress Han Ye-Seul (Penny Pinchers) and British director Joe Cornish and actor Nick Frost (Attack the Block).

In addition to mixers and meetings, the fest will host presentations under the banner of Okinawa Contents Land at the 800-seat Okinawa Convention Center from March 25 to 31. More than 50 companies from across Asia will show their latest products and services including films, TV shows, mobile content, and video games.  Meanwhile, the Contents Bazaar market, which was added to the festival last year, will run on March 25 and 26, with a view to promoting coproductions, particularly between U.S. and Japanese TV companies.

Yoshimoto Kogyo, which was taken over a couple of years back by a consortium including Japan’s major TV networks, has been expanding its overseas presence by signing deals with agencies and production companies in Asia and the U.S.