Viz Pictures Presents the First Adventure of the J-Pop Center Project with the Grand Opening of New People in San Francisco This Summer

May 6th 2009
UNIQUE DESTINATION IN HISTORIC JAPANTOWN BRINGS THE LATEST JAPANESE POP CULTURE, FILM, ANIME, FASHION AND ART TO NORTH AMERICA; OPENING CELEBRATIONS COMMENCE IN AUGUST 2009

San Francisco, CA, May 6, 2009 – VIZ Pictures, a Japanese live-action film distributor and producer of the J-Pop Center Project, adds a captivating new dimension to the city of San Francisco with the opening of a vivid new attraction – NEW PEOPLE – in the heart of the city's historic Japantown. This unique entertainment destination will epitomize the latest examples Japanese popular culture expressed though film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques and ongoing monthly events. The project, three and a half years in the making, celebrates its Grand Opening this summer with an all day outdoor music and performance event and gala to be held this August. Specific details will be announced shortly.

A dedicated NEW PEOPLE web site is also now available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com

NEW PEOPLE is a 20,000 square foot contemporary building located at 1746 Post Street in the city's Japantown (one of only three remaining in the country), an area steeped in more than a century of history. The structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that invokes a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination for the 21st Century.

With three stories above and a basement cinema below, NEW PEOPLE will offer the latest films, art, and retail brands from Japan. The spacious 143-seat underground cinema space is equipped with cutting edge High Definition digital projection and THX®-certified sound and is the soul of the NEW PEOPLE experience. Its core focus will be on some of the latest and hottest films from Japan, as well as an incredible legacy of classics, documentaries and anime – making it the only cinema of its type in the United States. These film genres are some of the most recognizable examples of Japanese pop culture and have captured the world's attention.

Film lineup and details will be announced closer to the Grand Opening date.

NEW PEOPLE will also feature an entire floor devoted to several distinctive, trend-setting clothing labels from Japan including Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (Tokyo), Black Peace Now (Tokyo), 6% DOKIDOKI (Tokyo), and a short-term rotating storefront to showcase a new brand every two to three months. These shops will all mark their retail debut in United States at NEW PEOPLE. Baby, Black Peace Now, and 6% are pioneers of Harajuku street fashion, which has turned this vibrant district of Tokyo into an internationally-respected fashion Mecca of renowned for its unique designers.

NEW PEOPLE will also tout a café featuring organic roast Blue Bottle Coffee and Japanese delicatessen Delica rf-1, an inventive NEW PEOPLE retail store, and a 2,000 square foot art gallery providing an important showcase for a new generation of artists inspired by Japanese pop culture. The opening exhibit is expected to draw worldwide interest not only from anime fans but also serious collectors of Japanese pop art.

Details on the opening art exhibit will be announced in coming weeks.

NEW PEOPLE is a truly unique space devoted to creativity and self expression, and will become a cultural destination unlike any other in the United States,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the founder and CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of Viz Media as well as the J-pop Center Project. “NEW PEOPLE will help nurture Japanese pop culture and also connect the public with its diverse creators. As North America continues to embrace a variety of hip trends from Japan, we look forward to expanding the vision of NEW PEOPLE globally through film, art and other multimedia and forging innovative cross-cultural creative partnerships.”

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.:
Based in San Francisco, California, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese "kawaii (cute) and cool" pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan's point of view to serve the manga and anime generation in North America. VIZ Pictures titles include DEATH NOTE, NANA, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, LINDA LINDA LINDA, PING PONG, THE TASTE OF TEA, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO and others. The company will continue to offer the hottest visual entertainment straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages in North America. VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of Viz Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese manga (comics) and merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular "NARUTO" animated TV series.
For more information please visit www.Viz-pictures.com or www.Viz.com
© 2006 VIZ Pictures, Inc

About The J-pop Center Project:
Launched by creative visionary Seiji Horibuchi, the founder and CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of Viz Media, The J-pop Center Project develops and extends innovative creative alliances and collaborations across different media: film, animation, music, art and retail products. The project also represents a $15 million investment by Shogakukan, one of the largest publishers of Japan. For more information please visit www.NewPeopleWorld.com.


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