Japanese comedies have never been the easiest films to market in the west. Whereas anime, horror, and classics from famous directors have a ready made fan base, non-genre fare and comedy is a tough sell. A new and unique production team is hoping to change all that by making their first film an international success and laying the groundwork for other, similarly-made, independent fare to follow.
The film is Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats
and the co-production team consists of Adam Torel of Third Window Films (UK), Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche of Tucker Film (Italy), James Liu of Joint Entertainment (Taiwan) and Stephen Holl of Rapid Eye Movies (Germany) along with the Japanese distributors. The combined weight of the group and the established networks of these experienced film-sellers gives the project real potential for international success. By forming a co-operative the individual companies are able to pool resources, funding the film from beginning to end and guaranteeing distribution and festival submission. Whereas a single distribution company would struggle to fund a film and market it, here the risk is lessened and the collaborative effort can offer a marketing power that rivals that of major international film distributors. The Film
Fukuda 'Fuku-chan' Tatsuo is a kind-hearted painter living in a run-down apartment complex, Fukufuku Flats. While popular and well liked within the residents of the building Fuku-chan is unlucky in love after an embarrassing childhood incident left him with a fear of women. When Chiho, Fuku-chan's first love and the architect of his troubles with the fairer sex, appears back in his life the unlucky painter risks falling for her all over again as she chases her dream to become a photographer.
The film is directed by Fujita Yosuke who found success with his debut feature Fine, Totally Fine
in 2008, winning awards at Germany's Nippon Connection, Italy's Far East Film Festival and the New York Asian Film Festival. Interestingly Fuku-chan will be played by popular female comedian Oshima Miyuki. Oshima can be seen on television daily and her film credits include Gu Gu the Cat
, The Handsome Suit
and Miss Kurosawa
. The comedian will be joined by Arakawa Yoshiyoshi, a veteran of the directors work, and Mizukawa Asami who came to fame after starring in Nakata Hideo's Dark Water
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