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1st International Movie Festival opens today

Date Posted: 2009-03-20

The 1st Okinawa International Movie Festival opens a four-day run today, a festival featuring 38 full length feature films produced in Japan, Hong Kong, America, France, and elsewhere.

‘Laugh & Peace’ is the theme for this first-ever festival on Okinawa, with organizers saying the goal is “that the world’s peoples’ minds should be together and making peace through movies.” Sponsored by the Okinawa International Movie Festival Organization Committee, the festival takes place at Chatan Town’s American Village area, including Mihama Seven Plex, Plus One, the Beach Tower Okinawa and other Chatan Town facilities.

Okinawa was chosen to host the festival, organizers say, because the island has lots of traditional entertainment. Okinawa has hosted short film festivals in the past, but this is the first time full length feature films will be presented. Supporting the festival are the Ministries of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs, along with the Cabinet Office. Okinawa Prefecture, Chatan Town, the Okinawa Convention Bureau, UNIJAPAN and the American Motion Picture Association of Japan are also backing the festival.

Most of the movies are being shown free of charge, but others have a price of ¥800 for adults and ¥400 for senior citizens and those under age 18. Organizers say all movie-goers must have tickets, because all seating is reserved. Tickets ordered through the internet from www.oimf.jp cost ¥210. Tickes are available at Family Mart, Ticketpia, Ticket Yoshimoto, E-ticketpia, and Mihama Seven Plex.

World comedy features will bring laughs from Charlie Chaplin movies, as well as Hong Kong and French comedy films. The festival’s much more than just the movies though. Chatan Town Sunset Beach has a special stage set up for talk and comedy shows, as well as live music. Many popular bands and groups, including The Rinken Band and Rimi Natsukawa, are performing.

Eight motion pictures—Kamogawa Horumo, Guardian Angel, Baby! Baby! Baby!, Sunshine Cleaning, A Fiance For Yasmina, My Stars, Simply Actors and Unstoppable Marriage—are in the competition side of the festival, while another 10 have been issued Special Invitations. They are Yes Man, Oppai Volleyball, Crows II, Goemon, The Summit: A Chronicle of Stories, Burn After Reading, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Gloss, If You Are The One and Painted Skin.

Sixteen films have been chosen for Special Screening; Ah Single, Otosan wa Ohitoyoshi, Tokyo Kid, No Problem, The Circus, The Gold Rush, Drunken Master, French Cancan, Feature on Osamu Tazuka, Feature on Fujio Akasuka, Feature on Mikio Igarashi, Feature on Tatsuo Yoshida, Feature on Walt Disney, Airplane!, Mutenkadesuyo! The movie, and tough Guys. Four others—Itsuji Itao’s King of the Escape, Drop, Nisesatsu and Furimun in Okinawa—are being shown as a Yoshimoto Special Presentation.

Details on specific films and show times are available at a festival English language website, www.oimf.jp/en.

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