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Hirokazu Koreeda to lead Ten Years Japan omnibus film as executive producer

Project is one of three spawned by success of Ten Years, omnibus film predicting a dystopian future for Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 2:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 October, 2017, 5:28pm

Acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda ( After the Storm ) has jumped on board to lead the Ten Years Japan film project as its executive producer. The announcement was made on Monday at a long-promised press event at the Busan International Film Festival.

Controversial Hong Kong film Ten Years to spawn international versions in Thailand, Taiwan and Japan

Under the umbrella title of Ten Years International, three new omnibus films, respectively set in Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, are being produced to follow the template set by the futuristic Hong Kong film Ten Years and imagine the state of each of those places 10 years from now.

That renowned filmmakers are attaching themselves to the project is another coup for Ten Years’ Hong Kong producers, who saw their controversial socio-political fable scoop the best picture prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2016 after it had been attacked by pro-Beijing media both in Hong Kong and China.

“The idea of carrying on the spirit of the original Hong Kong film by trying to envision Japan 10 years from now was an intriguing one,” said Koreeda, 55. “However, I’m a little too old to participate as a young director, so I joined the production as a supporter.

“Furthermore, with Apichatpong Weerasethakul taking on directing duties for Ten Years Thailand, this will be a greatly valuable experience not only for myself, but for the young Japanese filmmakers working on this project.”

Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda takes on Japan’s courtrooms in legal thriller The Third Murder

The Japanese auteur has been involved in the Ten Years Japan project for several months, and took part in handpicking its five directors. Koreeda’s latest directorial effort, The Third Murder, received its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival last month.

The five directors of Ten Years Japan are Akiyo Fujimura (Eriko, Pretended), Chie Hayakawa, Yusuke Kinoshita (Water Flower), Megumi Tsuno, and Kei Ishikawa ( Gukoroku – Traces of Sin ). According to a statement issued on Monday, their short films will “explore a future Japan plagued by pollution and ageing; a society where morality and personal history are manipulated by technology, and a nation overshadowed by the spectre of war.”

Both Ten Years Thailand and Ten Years Taiwan are also in production.

Ten Years is ranked among SCMP’s 50 best Hong Kong films since the 1997 handover

The Thailand shorts will “explore issues of surveillance and government control, imagining a future country where individuality and creativity are curbed to pacify divisions across all sectors of society.” As previously reported, the five directors included in the project are Cannes winner Apichatpong, Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat, Chookiat Sakveerakul and Chulayarnnon Siriphol.

In Ten Years Taiwan, “environmental disasters loom for the island’s indigenous populations, immigrant workers are systematically exploited, and the loss of culture and dropping birth rate have caused virtual reality escapes at an unprecedented scale”. The shorts will be directed by Rina B. Tsou, Lau Kek Huat, Lekal Sumi, Pei-Ju Hsieh and Lu Po Shun.

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