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Japanese film bags first Japan-Estonia partnership award

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NEW DELHI: The first Tallinn Black Nights Japan-Estonia Partnership Award was presented to Kawaguchi Hirofumi’s Where the Peacocks Fly at the close of TIFFCOM Co-Pro Connection.

The award, initiated by Sten Saluveer, industry director of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, goes to one of the five Japanese projects presented at TIFFCOM this week deemed to have the most potential as a European co-production.

The winning project was chosen because the film-makers always had a European aesthetic in mind, including the hiring of a European Director of Production. The film's producer, Kimura Misa will be invited to meet European investors in Tallinn next month.

Peacocks, a co-production between Japan and Myanmar, is about a 17-year-old cosplay idol who sets out to prove the innocence of the Burmese refugee blamed for killing her sister. She emails her fans to join her on a trip to Myanmar, transforming into a Fighting Peacock of justice.

Before presenting the award, Saluveer introduced his festival, noting that 40 per cent of the films are from Asia, and popular with their audience. He said the festival had been exploring how to work more closely with Asian producers for some time but only now has financial support from its government.

The other Japanese projects presented at the TIFFCOM event this week include Mariko Tetsuya's exploration of violence All About Fighting, Sabu cross-media project Ten no chasuke and Jason Gray's thriller Where Wolves Fear to Prey.

Producers attending the event said the event had been very useful in clarifying what opportunities were available in Japan. The project market operates on a small budget with no awards or official parties. It is looking at finding other partners who can present in-kind awards at next year's event.

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