Cannes nominee Yuya Yagira to headline Japanese atomic bomb film “Gift of Fire”


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“Gift of Fire,” a major new film about Japan’s attempt to build an atomic bomb in the closing days of World War II, has completed principal photography and is now in office, the producers revealed on Friday.

The best known internationally among the actors is Yuya Yagira, who won the best actor award at Cannes for his work on “Nobody Knows” by Hirokazu Koreeda. He plays a young scientist from the bomb-making team who begins to doubt the purpose of what he is doing.

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His character, as well as the story, are based on the diary of a true atomic researcher discovered 10 years ago by the film’s writer and director, Hiroshi Kurosaki. Working primarily for public broadcaster NHK, Kurosaki directed episodes of NHK’s 2017 hit drama “Hiyokko”. His screenplay for the film won a 2015 Sundance Institute / NHK Award Special Mention.

Also featured in “Gift of Fire” are Kasumi Arimura and Haruma Miura, both talented in Japan.

Producers are Los Angeles-based band Ko Mori (“Lords of Chaos”) Eleven Arts Studios, Katsuhiro Tsuchiya (“37 seconds”) and Takahiro Hamano (“Burning”). The composer is New York-based Nico Muhly, whose credits include Oscar-winning “The Reader”. Peter Stormare (“Fargo”) also rounds out the cast as a voice actor.

The film is slated for release in North America later this year. A Japanese release will follow in the big chain Aeon Cinema.

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