Free Stone Productions, one of Japan’s leading indie film sales firms, is poised to bring a big slate to Cannes. It has added three new titles and a catalog. And it expects to add more before the market gets underway.
Highest profile is the recently-released animation film “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” directed by Watanabe Ayumu (Doraemon series, “Children of the Sea”). The film is a slice of life story about a chubby and cheerful single mother who lives on a houseboat. The company is handling rights only in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong/Macau. Studio 4C is handling the rest of the world.
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Live action additions are represented by “Hazard Lights,” and “Junretsuger.”
The former is a drama directed by Sakaki Hideo (“Disregarded People”) about a driver at a chauffeur service who is forced to pair up with a younger mysterious partner and later to face up to his difficult past.
“Junretsuger” is a comedy about an idol band which typically entertains old ladies. Behind the scenes they are also really superheroes and take on an investigation when they fear that the authorities are not doing enough to solve the case. A first-time feature by Butsuda Hiroshi, the film is set for release in Japan in September.
Free Stone also recently added the trilogy of anti-war films by Obayashi Nobuhiko, who died in April last year. These include the 2011 title “Casting Blossoms to the Sky,” 2014’s “Seven Weeks” and 2017’s “Hanagatami.”
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