Entertainment Wowow Takes Japan Rights to Female-Directed Anthology Film ‘Tell It Like a Woman’ (Exclusive)
'Like hell:' As Olympics loom, Japan health care in turmoil
TOKYO (AP) — As she struggled to breathe, Shizue Akita had to wait more than six hours while paramedics searched for a hospital in Osaka that would treat her worsening COVID-19. When she finally got to one that wasn’t overwhelmed with other patients, doctors diagnosed severe pneumonia and organ failure and sedated her. Akita, 87, was dead two weeks later. “Osaka’s medical systems have collapsed,” said her son, Kazuyuki Akita. He has watched from his home north of Tokyo as three other family members in Osaka have dealt with the virus, and with inadequate health care. “It’s like hell.
Iervolino Entertainment’s star-studded female-driven anthology project Tell It Like a Woman is adding a Japanese dimension. Japanese filmmaker Mipo O (The Light Shines Only There) will direct and write a segment for the film titled A Week in My Life, starring Anne Watanabe (daughter of Ken Watanabe and star of Midsummer’s Equation, Platinum Data). Japan’s leading premium pay-TV broadcaster Wowow will produce the Japanese segment, while also taking all distribution rights for the finished film in Japan.
Watanabe and Mipo O join an impressive roster of filmmakers and actresses already attached to Tell It Like a Woman, including Cara Delevingne, Catherine Hardwicke, Margherita Buy, Marcia Gay Harden, Eva Longoria, Leonor Varela and Jacqueline Fernandez.
Japan opens mass vaccination centers 2 months before Games
TOKYO (AP) — Japan mobilized military doctors and nurses to give shots to elderly people in Tokyo and Osaka on Monday as the government desperately tries to accelerate its vaccination rollout and curb coronavirus infections just two months before hosting the Olympics. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics in Tokyo after a one-year delay and has made an ambitious pledge to finish vaccinating the country’s 36 million elderly people by the end of July, despite skepticism it’s possible. Worries about public safety while many Japanese remain unvaccinated have prompted growing protests and calls for canceling the Games set to start on July 23.
Producers of the film are Iervolino Entertainment founder Andrea Iervolino and co-owner Monika Bacardi, along with Chiara Tilesi and Lucas Akoskin. Kayo Washio (Tokyo Vice), Wowow’s chief producer forco-productions, acquisitions and distribution boards the film as an associate producer.
Tell It Like a Woman is described by the producers as “a film by women, about women — but for everyone.” It comprises multiple segments, which intertwine to make a full-length feature. The segments are directed by female directors from different parts of the world, shot in Italy, India and the U.S., and ranging through different genres, from drama to comedy, through docudrama and animation.
Segments include Unspoken, directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi and starring Buy; Lagonegro, directed by Lucia Puenzo and starring Longoria; Elbows deep, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Delevingne, Harden and Jasmine Luv; Sharing a Ride, directed by Leena Yadav and starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Anjali Lama; and, now, the new Japanese contribution, A Week in My Life.
Defiant Ghosn pins hopes on French probes to clear his name
BEIRUT (AP) — Auto magnate-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn is campaigning to clear his name, and hopes a visit by French investigators to his home in exile in Lebanon will be his first real opportunity to defend himself since the bombshell arrest that transformed him from a visionary to a prisoner overnight. In an interview with The Associated Press, the embattled former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance dissected his legal troubles in Japan, France and the Netherlands, detailed how he plotted his brazen escape from Osaka, and reflected on his new reality in crisis-hit Lebanon, where he is stuck for the foreseeable future.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Iervolino Entertainment and We Do It Together, a non-profit production company that advocates for gender equality.
Said Wowow’s Washio in a statement: Washio, “Tell It Like a Woman is a wonderfully unique concept for a movie, representative of a societal message that we are happy to endorse and support. Seeing Japan ranked 121st out of 156 countries when it comes to gender gap disparities, as reported by the World Economic Forum, really motivated me and fostered a passion to address this. I feel it’s important for Japan to be represented in a film like this, to have a voice, and was eager to enlist Anne and Mipo — amazing talents who can make a short segment feel like a sweeping epic. I applaud Andrea and Chiara for championing this movement.”
Added Iervolino: “The cultural nuances of a Japan-set story are a welcome addition to this groundbreaking project. Adding more diverse voices to this film makes the message stronger and more universal. Our aim is to make a global statement and have global impact, and Anne Watanabe, Mipo O and the Wowow team are an integral part of this.”
Japan’s Wowow has been expanding beyond its core business as a pay-TV broadcaster in recent months and years. In 2019, the company launched a theatrical distribution arm to complement its robust TV and streaming distribution operations in Japan. Its first pick-up was the Michael Bay-produced pandemic drama Songbird. The company also has sought deeper involvement in high-profile international co-productions, such as Michael Mann’s recently wrapped yakuza drama-thriller series Tokyo Vice, which Wowow is co-producing with HBO Max and Endeavor Content and also distributing in Japan.
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