Shochiku taking projects to AFM, Tokyo fest


TOKYO -- Japanese film and TV production house Shochiku said Friday that it has three projects in post-production and an animated television show for which promos will be screened at the American Film Market and the Tokyo Film Festival's market later this month.

"Zo no Senaka" stars Koji Yakusho, who appeared in "Babel," and tells the tale of a successful businessman who is told he only has six months to live. Directed by Satoshi Isaka, it is scheduled to be released in Japan later this year.

Yoji Yamada, fresh from his acclaimed samurai trilogy, is completing a World War II drama titled "Kabei" that is due to hit screens here in January 2008.

The quirkily named "10 Promises With My Dog" is directed by Katsuhide Motoki, who was also behind the camera for "Kitaro," which earned more than $25 million at the boxoffice. Starring Rene Tanaka, the film is slated to come out in the spring of 2008.

The fourth title is the animated television series "Sketchbook -- Blooming Colors," directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike and telling the tale of a high-school girl who loves to draw.

Shochiku's market premieres at the AFM include the thriller "Midnight Eagle," which will open the Tokyo Film Festival on the Oct. 19, along with Masato Harada's "Suicide Song," the comedy "Happily Ever After," by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, and the romance "The Signs of Love."