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International premiere of 'Kano' in Japan draws warm welcome
Central News Agency
2014-03-07 11:27 PM
Taipei, March 7 (CNA) The Taiwanese baseball film "Kano" received a standing ovation at the movie's international premiere at the Osaka Asian Film Festival on Friday. The film drew a burst of applause as the film's credits rolled, Christa Chen, an international coordinator of Taipei-based ARS Film Production, told CNA from Osaka, Japan. "The entire audience stood up" and appeared deeply moved by the film, Chen said. "Kano" attracted a full house of 400 people at its international premiere, and tickets for its second screening at the festival were also sold out. Earlier in the day, a ceremony marking the premiere was held at the Osaka train station. Taiwanese director Umin Boya -- known also by his Chinese name Ma Chih-hsiang -- co-producer Wei Te-sheng, Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase and actress Maki Sakai, and several Taiwanese actors in the cast attended the event. Nagase plays the strict Japanese coach Hyotaro Kondo who led the team to glory, and Sakai plays his wife. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, Japanese-Taiwanese all-time home-run king Sadaharu Oh and Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-huei also showed up and walked a red carpet surrounded by hundreds of fans. Touched by the warm welcome, Ma said he hoped the film could create a joint memory for Taiwanese and Japanese audiences. During the ceremony, Huang and Hashimoto exchanged baseballs with their autographs in a gesture of their willingness to further promote exchanges between Chiayi and Osaka. Calling Chiayi City the cradle of "Kano," Huang said Koshien Stadium in Osaka was the baseball temple where young players dreamed of playing. "It's truly significant" that the Taiwanese film could make its international debut in the city where the legendary stadium is located, she said. Set in 1931 when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, the film tells the story of the unsung baseball team of Chiayi Agriculture and Forestry Public School, called "Kano" in Japanese. It chronicles the rigorous training the players underwent as they prepared to travel to Japan for the Koshien tournament, Japan's most prestigious high school baseball tourney at the time, and their incredible run in the tournament against all odds. Following the premiere in Japan, "Kano" will also be screened in Hong Kong beginning on March 27, according to Christa Chen. Meanwhile, several other Taiwanese films will also be showcased during the Osaka film festival, which runs until March 16.

They are aerial documentary "Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above," pet drama "A Minute More," police film "Sweet Alibis," drug film "Ice Poison" and documentary "Battle Spirit." (By Elizabeth Hsu)

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