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Live-Action I Am a Hero Film Wins Grand Prize at Brussels Int'l Fantastic Film Fest

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film also wins Audience Award, Jury Prize at Portugal's Fantasporto festival

The live-action film of Kengo Hanazawa's best-selling zombie manga I am a Hero won the Grand Prize (the Golden Raven) at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) on March 29. The runner-up prize (the Silver Raven) went to Seoul Station and The Phone.

The film also won the Audience Award and the Jury Prize in the Orient Express section at Portugal's Fantasporto - Oporto International Film Festival awards last month.

The film premiered at the 48th Sitges Film Festival in Catalonia, Spain last October, and it won the Grand Audience Award and Award for Best Special Effects.

The film opens in Japan on April 23.

Shinsuke Satō (Gantz, Library War, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, Princess Blade) directed the "A-grade survival panic horror" movie. Akiko Nogi (Library War, Sayonara, Robinson Crusoe) wrote the screenplay, and VFX and makeup expert Makoto Kamiya (Gantz, Cutie Honey, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Resident Evil: Damnation) was in charge of special effects.

In the original manga, Hideo Suzuki (played by Yō Ōizumi in the live-action film) is an aspiring manga creator who once struggled with discontent with his assistant artist job and his relationship with his girlfriend — until people started turning into undead "ZQN" creatures overnight. After he is attacked by his ZQN virus-infected girlfriend "Tekko," Hideo flees the overrun Tokyo metropolis with the shotgun he happens to own as a hobby. He travels with Hiromi (played by Kasumi Arimura), a high school girl whom he meets by chance, and they face the desperate situation with the help of a nurse named Yabu (played by Masami Nagasawa) at a shopping mall.

I am a Hero: Hajimari no Hi (I am a Hero: The Day it Began), a live-action prequel to the film, premiered on Docomo's dTV streaming service on April 9.

Hanazawa launched the manga in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits magazine in 2009. Shogakukan released the manga's 19th compiled book volume on March 15. Its compiled book volumes have over 4 million copies in print. An NHK television program revealed last month that the manga was approaching its climax, but did not provide a definitive date for the manga's conclusion.

Dark Horse Comics will release the manga in North America starting on April 26.

Source: Cinema Today

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