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Tokyo Int'l Film Fest to Premiere Live-Action Film of Osamu Tezuka's Barbara Manga

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Film will then open in Japan in 2020

The Tokyo International Film Festival announced on Wednesday that the event will host the world premiere the live-action film adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's manga Barbara. The film is screening in competition.

The 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held from October 28 through November 5.

The film is celebrating the late manga creator's 90th birth year. The film is an international co-production between Third Window Films, Japan's TheFool (River's Edge), and Germany's Rapid Eye Movies (Ruined Heart). Tezuka's son Macoto Tezka is directing the film, and the project marks his first time directing a live-action film adaptation of one of his father's works. Christopher Doyle, who is known for his work on Wong Kar-Wai's Hong Kong films, is in charge of cinematography. Post production of the film was handled in Germany, and the main visual and trailer for the film were designed in the U.K.

The film stars Fumi Nikaido as the title character and Goro Inagaki as writer Yosuke Mikura. Other cast members include Shizuka Ishibashi, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eri Watanabe, Ryousuke Ohtani, Minami, Moemi Katayama, and Issay.

Tokyo International Film Festival describes the film:

The story is set in modern-day Tokyo. Famous novelist Yosuke Mikura encounters a young woman in the subway station and brings her home to his condominium. The woman's name is Barbara. For all her bad manners and constant state of drunkenness, she has a certain charm that is hard to put one's finger on. Much like a stray cat claiming her territory, Barbara settles into Mikura's apartment. This propels the creatively congested Mikura to write again. His life takes a dramatic turn for the better. Is Barbara a muse? An artist's savior? Or is she a spell-casting sorcereress?

The film will release in Japan in 2020.

Tezuka's original manga ran in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine from 1973 to 1974. North American publisher Digital Manga held a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2012 to fund an English release of the original manga. Digital Manga's English release of the manga was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2013.

Source: Press release


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