Shochiku preps slate for Cannes


TOKYO -- Shochiku Co. is hoping to make a big splash at Cannes in May with the screening of a series of market premieres and promos of more new titles that are to be released in the next few months.

"Midnight Eagle" -- the most recently announced big-budget action film -- will lead the field and be presented to international buyers at the Cannes Film Market next month, while the much-anticipated "Vexille" and "Genghis Khan" also will be screened.

"Khan," a $30 million joint production between Japan and Mongolia, has already performed well at the Japanese boxoffice, while "Tokyo Tower" has topped the film charts here and is expected to earn $30 million.

"We are extremely excited about the new titles on our 2007 release slate," Masaki Koga, head of Shochiku's International Business Division, said. "We have an array of powerful, story-driven films that really elevate our international sales slate.

"While all are in different stages of production, they will no doubt complement each other and collectively make an impact throughout international markets," Koga said.

Other films on display in Cannes will include "Kitaro," which has special effects created by Hong Kong's Centro Pictures, and the animated title "Summer Days With Coo."

At home, Shochiku has just begun shooting two new movies, the horror film "Densen Uta," directed by Masato Harada, and "Mirai Yosozu," a love story that is the directorial debut of Hiroshi Chono and features music from pop band Dreams Come True.

A third title in production is a romantic drama titled "Jigyaku No Uta," which stars Miki Nakatani of the "Ring" films, and is scheduled to be released in the fall.