Friday, February 25, 2011

Okinawa International Movie Festival - Laughter and Peace

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Okinawa film festival promotes laughter and peace

The 3rd annual Okinawa International Movie Festival has announced this year’s lineup for the 10-day event, with 12 films from around the world competing in the “Laugh” category and a further 13 titles vying for the top award in the “Peace” section.

The festival was was first held in 2009 to promote the twin concepts of laughter and peace, with around 110,000 people attending the first four-day event. More than 400,000 people are expected to travel to Japan’s most southerly prefecture for the third edition of the event, to be held March 18-27 2011 in Naha, Okinawa.

The Okinawa International Movie Festival is the creation of Yoshimoto Kogyo, the Osaka-based talent agency-cum-media empire whose specialty is comedy: primarily the manzai (comedy duo) acts from the Kansai area who have been making TV audiences laugh for decades.

Yoshimoto is said to be almost single-handedly responsible for the development of Japanese manzai after World War II and, in fact, the kanji that are now used for the word manzai were introduced by Yoshimoto in 1933, spelling a new era for the comedy style.