Simon Yam

Simon Yam
With Hong Kong actor Simon Yam at the 2010 NY Asian Film Festival

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SNOW GIRL AND THE DARK CRYSTAL coming to Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD on August 4th

Well Go USA
presents
Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal
Directed by Peter Pau and Zhao Tianyu
Starring Li Bingbing and Chen Kun
China/Hong Kong, 2015, 118 minutes

Academy Award® winning cinematographer Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000) makes his third bow as a director (alongside co-director Zhao Tianyu) with the romantic fantasy adventure epic Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, debuting on Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD next Tuesday, August 4th from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Featuring “a story filled with its fair share of demons, monsters, magic and mystics, coupled with romance, danger and spectacular action,” (Film Combat Syndicate) the film depicts legendary hero Zhong Kui, a fabled warrior with mysterious powers, who is forced to conquer the realms of Heaven and Hell to save his people and the woman he loves. The film stars Chen Kun (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate) as the mythic demon hunter and Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame) as the alluring snow demon with whom he falls in love. Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal includes a behind-the-scenes featurette that delves in to the visual effects employed in the film and the music that sets the mood.

Synopsis: Shot in scenic locations in Mainland China, Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal depicts the story of Chinese legendary anti-hero Zhong Kui, a young man endowed with mysterious powers who is forced into a battle among the realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell in the course of his attempt to save his countrymen and the woman he loves.

Bonus Features Include:
-- Making of featurette
  -- The Music Journey
  -- Visual Effects
-- Trailer

Monday, July 27, 2015

Comedy manga series MAID-SAMA! coming August 4th from VIZ

MAID-SAMA! Vol. 1:
Kaicho wa Maid Sama! © Hiro Fujiwara 2006/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES THE SHOJO ROMANTIC
COMEDY MANGA SERIES MAID-SAMA!

Hilarious Romantic Sparks Fly After The Female President
Of A Predominantly Male High School Is Found Working
In A Maid Café By A Handsome Classmate

VIZ Media delivers a romantic comedy manga (graphic novel) series with the launch of MAID-SAMA! on August 4th.

Creator Hiro Fujiwara’s energetic series is rated ‘T’ for Teens. The first 2 complete volumes of MAID-SAMA! will be bundled into a fresh 2-in-1 omnibus edition that will carry a print MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. The 2-in-1 edition also launches digitally on August 4th via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Subsequent 2-in-1 volumes of the 9-volume series will be published in English on a quarterly basis under the Shojo Beat imprint.

As if being class president of a predominantly male high school isn’t hard enough, Misaki Ayuzawa has a major secret – she works at a maid café after school! How is she supposed to keep her image of being ultra-smart, strong and overachieving intact once school heartthrob Takumi Usui discovers her double life?! Can Misaki trust Usui to keep her secret from the rest of the kids at school? And why the heck is he always showing up at the maid café? Maybe she should start taking him seriously when he says he likes her – especially when he throws in an unexpected kiss!

“Manga readers got a taste of MAID-SAMA! when it was originally published in North America, but it has been out of print for many years and the exciting conclusion of the series has never been available in English,” says Amy Yu, Editor. “We are very excited to announce the return of this humorous manga series for its complete run. The new VIZ Media editions will feature fresh translations and captivating new cover art that will make each volume a fun read for both new and veteran shojo manga fans!” Manga creator Hiro Fujiwara is from Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. MAID-SAMA!, was her first long-running manga series and initially ran in Japan in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine.

For more information on MAID-SAMA! or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Actor Tadanobu Asano, director Koji Morimoto, and DJ Ken Ishii to be Official Guests of Honor at JFFSF

Renowned actor Tadanobu Asano
 2015 JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN FRANCISCO WELCOMES
ACTOR TADANOBU ASANO, DIRECTOR KOJI MORIMOTO AND
TECHNO DJ LEGEND KEN ISHII AS OFFICIAL GUESTS OF HONOR

Star Of Ichi The Killer, Thor, And Battleship Will Attend To Receive Japan
Film Festival Of San Francisco Honorary Award And Joins Renowned
Anime Director And Legendary Techno DJ For Special Appearances

The 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first and only fully-dedicated Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area together with the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT proudly present actor Tadanobu Asano, anime director Koji Morimoto and techno DJ Legend Ken Ishii as official Guests of Honor for San Francisco’s annual Japanese pop culture festival.

Tadanobu Asano will attend the opening night event at The Castro Theatre to receive Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award. Tadanobu Asano is widely known for starring roles in movies such as Ichi the Killer, Zatoichi, Thor, 46 Ronin, and Battleship. Koji Morimoto is renowned as one of Japan’s top anime directors and is also a founder of acclaimed Studio 4℃ and known for works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. Ken Ishii is a legendary techno DJ and producer who has performed live internationally and enjoys a worldwide fan base in the electronic music scene.

An Opening Night Event on Friday August 7th at The Castro Theatre kicks off the Japan Film Festival of S.F. with a special 35mm presentation of director Sogo Ishii’s Electric Dragon 80000V, a rollicking comic-book style action film that stars top Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano, who will be on hand to personally introduce the film and participate in an audience Q&A immediately following the screening. Throughout the weekend, the Japan Film Festival of S.F. will present additional films also starring Asano, including My Man and Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi.

The Opening Night Event will culminate with a live DJ set collaboration between Japan’s legendary techno DJ and producer, Ken Ishii, and director Koji Morimoto. Advance tickets to the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT/JFFSF Opening Night Event at the Castro Theatre are available now for $25.00 each from http://jpop2015.brownpapertickets.com.

Tadanobu Asano also is set to appear at the SF premiere screening of My Man on Saturday, August 8th 6:00PM. Asano will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A at NEW PEOPLE Cinema.

Koji Morimoto is set to appear at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT at Fort Mason Main Stage on Saturday, August 8th, 12:00 PM ahead of the screening event, The World of Koji Morimoto, a collection of 3 illustrious animated short films by Koji Morimoto set to screen on Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. Morimoto will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A.

Koji Morimoto will additionally appear for an autograph session at on Saturday, August 8th 1:30 PM in bookseller Kinokuniya’s booth at Fort Mason. Additional details to be announced shortly at J-POP.com.

Techno DJ legend Ken Ishii

Ken Ishii is set to headline a second evening concert performance of J-POP LIVE NIGHT on Sunday, August 9th at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT Fort Mason.

“It is a great pleasure to present Tadanobu Asano with the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award,” says Manami Iiboshi, Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “As one of the most inspiring and outstanding figures leading the Japanese film industry, and as an internationally acclaimed actor who actively works on projects beyond boundaries, he is extremely deserving of this Award. We are also thrilled to have director Koji Morimoto and DJ Ken Ishii performing together at our opening night event at the Castro. It is probably the first time since their legendary collaboration on “EXTRA” in the 1990’s.”

Opening in conjunction with the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT on Saturday, August 8th and running thru Sunday, August 16th, the 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema, located inside the NEW PEOPLE entertainment complex in Japantown at 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115 (www.newpeoplecinema.com). Tickets to individual screenings are $13.00 each, unless otherwise noted. Film summaries, trailers, screening times and advance tickets are available at: www.JFFSF.org.

JFFSF Opening Night at Castro Theatre

ELECTRIC DRAGON 80000V
Friday, August 7th, 8:00pm
Dragon Eye Morrison (played by Tadanobu Asano) is a reptile investigator who suffers from an intermittent explosive disorder caused by brain damage he sustained in a childhood accident. He manages to find a way to survive and control his urges to destroy with his love of reptiles and an electric guitar. Meanwhile, Thunderbolt Buddha (played by Masatoshi Nagase), an electric repairman turned vigilante who has acquired powerful electro-conductive powers after sustaining a childhood accident, goes after crime bosses and gangsters that take advantage of electric signals. Holding an obsessive hatred towards Morrison, Thunderbolt Buddha challenges him to a final showdown on the rooftops of Tokyo.

Tadanobu Asano & Koji Morimoto Films to Screen at the 2015 JFFSF:

MY MAN
Saturday, August 8th, 6:00pm – Special Guest Appearance by Tadanobu Asano
When loneliness leads to forbidden love, how far will you go? After losing everything in a tsunami disaster, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by a young distant relative Jungo. The pair begins living together as family while sharing the profound sense of loss. Amidst the deep snows of Hokkaido, both desire to fill their empty, love-starved hearts and they set foot into a forbidden world. When an elder benefactor in their small town Mr. Oshio learns of Jungo and Hana's illicit relationship, tragedy begins to take over. Don't miss the special personal appearance by actor Tadanobu Asano who will introduce this film!

THE WORLD OF KOJI MORIMOTO
Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm – Special Guest appearance by Director Koji Morimoto
A collection of three short films by one of Japan’s top anime director Koji Morimoto, widely known as a founder of Studio 4℃ and his works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. The famed director will appear in person to introduce the films as well as participate in an audience Q&A.

- Magnetic Rose (45min): Magnetic Rose is the first of three episodes of MEMORIES, based on the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo (the creator of Akira). The film follows the members of the deep space salvage vessel Corona. While performing a salvage mission, the crew encounters an odd distress signal emanating from the Sargasso region, ominously nicknamed “The graveyard of space.” Soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno.

- Noiseman Sound Insect (15min): In the space of music, people used to live in the music fruit in the trees. One day, Dr. Frankein secretly succeeds in creating the creature 'Noiseman' by feeding the music fruit as fuel. Since then, the space was dominated by noise, not music. When a pair of kids Tobio and Reina find out this secret, they challenge Noiseman to bring the music back home again. The film’s soundtrack was written by Japanese composer, arranger, and musician Yoko Kanno.

- Genius Party Beyond: Dimension Bomb (20min): Dimension Bomb is one of the five short animated omnibus "Genius Party Beyond," produced by Studio 4℃, which director Koji Morimoto founded in 1986. One day, a boy named Shin who wears a pupa-like mask encounters a girl named Koo. The days spent with Koo, who is a free spirit unlike any other, start to fill up his life with cherished and unforgettable moments. Noted musical composer and arranger, Yoko Kanno, provides the voiceover of Koo.

BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI
Sunday, August 9th, 4:00pm
Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi is a 2003 samurai action film, directed by and starring actor Takeshi Kitano ("Beat" Takeshi) as Zatoichi. It also co-stars Tadanobu Asano, who plays Ronin Hattori, Zatoichi's rival. The film is a revival of the classic Zatoichi series of film and television series. It won the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Director award at Venice Film Festival and went on to win numerous other awards internationally.

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sentai Filmworks has acquired LA CORDA D’ORO: BLUE SKY


Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, La Corda D’Oro: Blue Sky. Taking place eight years after Hino Kahoko’s time in the first season of La Corda D’Oro, Blue Sky introduces us to Kanade Kohinata and a new group of musical prodigies as they prepare themselves to shine on the biggest stage and create new memories, friendships and rivalries in what’s sure to be an unforgettable summer.

Kojin Ochi was Chief Director of the series, with Keiichiro Ochi handling series composition. Maki Fujioka provided character designs, and music for the series was composed by Koichiro Kameyama. Originally broadcast in Japan on Nippon TV, the animation production was handled by TYO, whose previous projects included Appleseed and Neo Angelique Abyss.

La Corda D’Oro: Blue Sky will soon be available through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Friday, July 24, 2015

THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE is now available from VIZ

THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE Vol. 1:
MOMOCHISANCHI NO AYAKASHI OUJI Volume 1 © Aya SHOUOTO 2013
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES SHOJO MANGA SERIES 
THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE 

New Paranormal Romance By
KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS
Creator Aya Shouoto Is Available Now!

VIZ Media has announced the launch of Aya Shouoto’s THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE.

The shojo manga (graphic novel) series about a teenage girl who inherits a haunted house is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The series is also available digitally via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Future volumes of the series, which is also ongoing in Japan, will be published quarterly under the Shojo Beat imprint.

On her sixteenth birthday, orphan Himari Momochi inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen. Momochi House exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms, and Himari is meant to act as guardian between the two worlds. But on the day she moves in, she finds three handsome squatters already living in the house, and one seems to have already taken over her role!

“THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE features the exquisite artwork and beautiful character designs that have made Aya Shouoto a star in shojo manga,” says Nancy Thistlethwaite, Senior Editor. “The endearing relationships among the residents of Momochi House will make this a special series for shojo manga fans.”

For more information on Shojo Beat manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.