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Father Geek here, I apologize for the lateness of this weeks column, but Darius25 filed it TOOOOO early and it got lost in an avalanche of E-mail that buried it 2500 spy reports back. Buuut, here it is a little late but unblemished. Lots of extra cool news this week sooo dig in and enjoy your weekend with Asia-AICN...


Hey all. We're back for another round of cool Asian news. This time we've got tonnes of new info, including the results of India's Filmfare Awards, Jackie Chan and Tony Leung Chiu-wai's latest projects and info on Japan's "Reisei To Jyonetsu No Aida (In Between Passion and Calmness)". Now here's the latest from Asia.


- The 46th Annual Filmfare Awards took place on Saturday, February 17th, and lets just say that it wasn't very exciting. Many celebrities didn't show (at least on stage as presenters anyway), and there weren't any memorable moments. As expected, Hrithik Roshan won the two major awards - Best Actor and Best Male Newcomer, while his film, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai (Say You Love Me), won most of the major awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Music. Mission Kashmir was robbed (except for the well-deserved Best Action award) but at least Shahrukh Khan won the Best Actor award from the critics. Hopefully we'll have a better show next year (with a better set of films). Here's a list of the major winners. If you want to see the complete set, Just Click Here

Best Debut - Female - Kareena Kapoor (Refugee, expected win)

Best Debut - Male - Hrithik Roshan (Kaho Na Pyaar Hai - Say You Love Me)

Best Lyricist - Javed Akhtar (Panchi Nadiya - Refugee)

Best Choreographer - Farah Khan - Ek Pal Ka Jeena (Kaho Na..)

Best Music - Rajesh Roshan (Kaho Na...)

Best Singer - Male - Lucky Ali - Ek Pal Ka Jeena (Kaho Na...)

Best Singer - Female - Alka Yagnik - Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se (Dhadkan - Heartbeat)

Best Supporting Actor - Amitabh Bachchan for Mohabbatein (Love Affairs, good choice)

Best Supporting Actress - Jaya Bachchan for Fiza

Best Comedian - Paresh Rawal for Hera Pheri (Under the Table, Paresh deserved this award!)

Best Negative Role - Sunil Shetty for Dhadkan (Jackie Shroff was robbed!!)

Best Actor and Actress (critics award) Shah Rukh (Mohabbatein - YES!!! SRK RULES!!!) and Tabu (Astitva - Existence)

Best Film - Kaho Naa Pyar Hai

Best Director - Rakesh Roshan for Kaho Naa Pyar Hai

Best Actress - Karisma Kapoor for Fiza (Good choice, she'll definitely win next year for Zubeidaa)

Best Actor - Hrithik Roshan for Kaho Naa... (Sanjay Dutt was robbed, but atleast Hrithik should have won for Fiza, not Kaho Naa.)

- Sunny Deol will make a special appearance in director Deepak Shivdasani's Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (The Paths of Love) which stars Ajay Devgan in a dual role, along with Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. The film is slated to release on July 19. To see a picture from the shooting of the film, with (from left) actors Ajay Devgan, Madhuri Dixit, Vikram Gokhale and director Deepak Shivdasani, click here:

- Aishwarya Rai's mom, Vrinda Rai, will write the script for upcoming flick to be directed by Naresh Malhotra. The film will star Arjun Rampal. It is uncertain whether Ash will appear in the film.

- There were some release dates announced and changed during the last week. Director K. Shashilal Nair's One Two Ka Four (One Two then Four) has been postponed once again, this time by two weeks to March 16th. David Dhawan's Jodi No. 1 (Duo No. 1) has been pushed back by another 2 weeks to April 20. That same day will see the release of Rakesh Mehra's underworld thriller, Aks (Reflection, with Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai. Actor/Director Dev Anand's latest film, Censor, has been pushed back to April 6th, while Ram Gopal Verma's Pyar Tune Kya Kiya (What Has Love Done), with Urmila Matondkar and Fardeen Khan, has been set for April 27th.

- Surprisingly, a film was unexpectedly released on last Friday. The new release is the long-delayed (but not much-anticipated) Grahan (Curse), directed by K. Shashilal Nair and produced by star Jackie Shroff. Even though Jackie gets top billing in the film, its star is actually Manisha Koirala, who's given a meaty role after 1998's Dil Se (From the Heart). The political drama stars Manisha as a dance instructor who is brutally raped by the son of a major politician. The son's lawyer, Jaggu (Jackie Shroff), manages to prove him innocent by accusing Paro of being a whore. Paro grows mentally unstable and disappears from the city. Soon after, Jaggu learns the truth and sets out to find Paro and restore justice. According to the online media (I have NO intention of seeing this film), Grahan is just a mess. The plot is too confusing and muddled while the acting is just below-par. Jackie just goes through the motions as the lawyer, while not showing any range, unlike his negative roles in Mission Kashmir and Farz. Manisha Koirala, who used to be a very good dramatic actress in films like Bombay and Dil Se, plays her character way too over-the-top, and overly-sympathetic. The songs were good 3-4 years ago (when the soundtrack was released) and now seem dated and totally unnecessary to the plot. The direction is tired and it really looks like Nair had given up on the film to direct One Two Ka Four (One Two then Four). To sum it up, Grahan is extremely dated, and has no redeeming qualities. If you're interested then see it on video, but don't catch it in the theatres.


Here's some updated info on Jackie Chan's future project, reported by "JT":

A friend had told me that there was incorrect info on some buzz about the next film that Jackie Chan will be shooting after "Rush Hour 2." I can give you some correct info - the film is entitled "Highbinders." It is being produced by Hong Kong Based - Emperor Movie Group - the idea was the brainchild of Hong Kong film director Alfred Cheung. The film is being produced by Alfred Cheung and Tim Kwok and will be directed by Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang, Great White Hype, The Ladies Man). The producers are still trying to secure an American actor opposite Jackie. I guess the quick pitch is Jackie Chan meets "The Sixth Sense". The film is supposed to have the highest budget for a production outside of Hollywood.

If I get any more scoops on this project, I will let you know.


The following was reported by "AccSpy":

- Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-wai, the screen couple from "In the Mood for Love", are in talks to star in Chinese director Zhang Yimou's next film, a period drama about an assassin couple, who are hired to kill the First King of China, Emperor Qin. Not to be confused with director Kaige Chen's "The Emperor and the Assassin", the story in this new project will take place long before Qin Ying Zheng became the First King of China (when the Qin Kingdom was still fighting with six other kingdoms). The project hopes to be the next "BIG" film after CTHD. It is set to start shooting this July throughout China.

- Actor Andy Lau quickly denied the rumor that he will replace Aaron Kwok to play the title role in "Yue Fei", but confessed that he and director Stanley Tong have discussed to work together sometime in 2001.

- Ekin Cheng has just wrapped up a triad black comedy titled "Kowloon Tea House", which is being directed by Jingle Ma ("Tokyo Raiders", "Summer Holiday") and co-stars Karen Morris and newcomer Rain Lee. Ekin plays an arrogant, handicapped triad boss in the film, which is subtly mocking his own triad hero, Ho Nam, from the "Young and Dangerous" series.

- Eric Tsang (recently seen in "The Accidental Spy") is now shooting "Breaking the Law (lit. title)", which co-stars Daniel Wu, Suki Kwan and Grace Lam. Three years after his breakthrough role in "Gen-X Cops", Daniel Wu will again play a villain, a rising triad member who frames his boss (Eric Tsang) and steals his wife (Suki Kwan).

Here's a pic from the film, and yes, that's really Daniel Wu: Click to See

And here's another still with Suki Kwan and Eric Tsang: Click this

- Model/actress Maggie Quigley, recently seen in "Gen-Y Cops" as Jane, has just finished an English language film with Michael Wong ("Beast Cops"). Maggie will have a full nude scene (good stuff) in this film directed by Alfred Cheung and financed by EEG Studio.

- According to UK Empire Magazine, director Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love") and John Frankenheimer will co-direct a three-part web-based film for, which will be executive produced by David Fincher and be shown in theatres and on DVD after its online premiere. According to Frankenheimer, the film "has huge action elements as well as a clever personal story."

- Anita Mui and Simon Yam are now in Morocco shooting "Holiday (lit. title)", in which they play a married couple, traveling to Morocco, who end up investigating the disappearance of a girl. To see a still from the film, Click

- Japanese actor Yutaka Takenouchi visited Hong Kong last week to attend the press conference of the Japanese romantic drama "Calmi Cuori Appassionati". Why Hong Kong - because the film also stars HK actress Kelly Chen ("Tokyo Raiders", "Lavender"). Here's two pictures from the press con.

To see Kelly Chen and Japanese heartthrob Yutaka Takenouchi: Click Here

To see another shot of Kelly Chen: Go Here

- Golden Harvest Studio's latest project is "This Love Can Wait (lit. title), a romantic drama starring Edison Chan and Amanda Strang. This is the second film for both actors, Edison was recently seen in "Gen-Y Cops" and the 19-year-old Taiwanese model/actress Amanda's debut performance was "Martial Angels", which just opened in HK last week. Here's a pic from the first-day shooting: Just Click Here

- "Cast Away" still dominated the HK box office for the third week in a row last weekend, with an estimated $21 million HKD grossing in 25 days. Mel Gibson's "What Woman Want" stayed at no.2 while four new films made their debuts at the next three positions. Chilam Cheung's "Martial Angels" started at no.3 with an estimated $2 million HKD in 4 days, "Proof of Life" was at no.4, the Francis Ng-Michelle Reis romantic drama "Bakery Amour" placed no.5 and while "Bounce" debuted at the sixth place.


The following was reported by "Pigmon":

- We're pleased to announce that Kaze Shindo has received the best new director award at this year's Berlin Film Festival for his film, "Love Juice".

- Masaru Konuma's latest film, "Nagisa", has won the Best Children's Film award at this year's Berlin Film Festival. This is especially surprising since Konuma used to be a porn director at one time. We could now say that at age 63, Konuma could finally make some serious dramas other than pornography.

- World famous gymnast, Alina Kabaewa will appear in Toei's big budget hyper ninja movie, "Akakage - Red Shadow". Her part starts shooting from April 2, and she is reported to have many interesting fight scenes. Meanwhile, director/actor Naoto Takenaka has been cast for the role of Shirokage in the film. "Akakage" is reported to feature many Matrix-like scenes.

- Takeshi Kitano's "Brother" has set its US release date for May 11th.Now all American actions fans can catch Takeshi's latest masterpiece.

- Toho will produce, "Reisei To Jyonetsu No Aida (In Between Passion and Calmness)".Yutaka Takenouchi and Hong Kong's Kelly Chan have been cast in the leading roles. The film is a love story focusing on a couple over 10 years. Shooting will start soon in Japan and Italy.

- Ray Charles will sing the main theme song for upcoming Anime, "Metropolis". The film is based on a concept by Osamu Tezuka and will be directed by Rintaro.


By Scott Green

Akira TV Info

In regards to the Fox Kid's airing of the swords and sorcery action/comedy Slayers, Enoki Films US, the domestic branch series' Japanese rights holders, is saying that the series will be kept as close to original content as possible. The TV version of SLAYERS for the FOX broadcast will be the Software Sculptures US video version with a few minor edits. (Presumably the series' protagonist Lina Inverse will not pledge her soul to darkness when she casts her trademark Dragon Slave spell, and jokes about women's chest sizes will be removed.)

Akira Release Information

In addition to dubbed and subtitled VHS versions, Pioneer will be releasing two DVD versions of Akira on 7/3/2001. In addition to the 24.95 standard edition Akira DVD, there will be a 34.95 Deluxe Edition double disc set. The second disc is entirely extras, such as the Making of Akira production report, a documentary on the creation of the soundtrack and other unspecified extras still to be listed. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is for the English only, the Japanese track will retain it's original theatrical soundtrack format.

Sen To Chihiro preview translated by

The original webpage hosting the Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Miyazaki's newest/current project) preview is no longer available. has however posted a complete translation here of the preview and has links to other online copies of the preview

Tylor information

Anime on DVD has been informed by TRSI that Irresponsible Captain Tylor DVDs are ready to ship within days. Work has also just begun on the Tylor OVA release, which will be across three DVD's (two single layered discs and one dual layered disc). A May/June slot is being targeted for these at the moment.

New Eva CD

New CD coming out on March 30th, 2001 called "Evangelion: Birth of Rei Ayanami". It is a special album to commemorate the birth of Rei and also happens to be the birthday of Megumi Hayashibara who plays Ayanami. The album will have some BGM music (Rei related), a few dialoge from the show and newly recorded version of opening theme song "Zankouku na Tenshi no Thesis", ending theme "Fly me to the moon", "Tamashi no refrain" and more. The list price is 2000 yen and it's code KICA-537.

Street Fighter Alpha makes top 10

Manga Entertainment's Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie has moved into Billboard's Top 10 video (VHS) sales chart. It occupies the number 9 position, up from #11 last week.

Escaflowne Movie Recording

Bandai will soon be beginning recording the English language version of Escaflowne: The Movie. The movie is a retelling of the 26 episode TV series with significant changes made to the story, setting, and major characters.

Takahashi Anime Release Information

Three series based on manga of Rumiko Takahashi are heading for domestic DVD releases. Viz will definitely releasing Maison Ikkoku on DVD this year (3 episodes a disc likely) as well as the simultaneous season six release of Ranma 1/2 with 3 episodes a disc ($24.95). Box sets are in the works for earlier seasons with some decent sounding extras. Ranma ½ is a martial arts comedy about a boy cursed to become a girl if he gets wet. Maison Ikkoku is a 96 episode anime soap opera about a modern day ronin, a student who fails his college entrance exams who moves into a apartment with three other shiftless, distracting tenants, and a young, recently widowed maintainer who he falls in love with.

The DVD release of first volume of Takahashi's earlier work Urusei Yatsura, best know for its tiger stripped bikini wearing alien, Lum, by Animeigo has been delayed for six week. No date is currently set for the release.

Kare Kano Information

Right Stuf's release of the school drama KareKano, from Evengelion creator Hideaki Anno, is slated to get something released this year. All of Kare Kano DVD's planned for release before the end of the year, but is not likely, Right Stuf "will see at least some of it this year." Like their release of Irresponsible Captain Tylor the series is being planned for a four disc release. Boogie Pop Phantom before end of year from The Right Stuf.

ADV on Spriggan

ADV has stated that the action movie Spriggan is currently before the MPAA. There is a 50/50 chance it will be released this fall. ADV has previously stated that they would like the series to receive a wide scale theatrical release. Spriggan is based on manga released in the US as "Striker". The movie focuses on a chapter of the manga in which a super agent with muscle augmenting armor fights to keep Noah Ark's power locked away. The movie is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame.

[CORRECTION: Otomo didn't direct SPRIGGAN, but was its supervisor. Hirotsugu Kawasaki is the director; he previously worked on the "Stink Bomb" segment of Otomo's MEMORIES as character designer and animation director. (Submitted by Jen Hachigian.)]

Robotech News

ADV will soon be releasing Robotech on DVD, not dates have been announced but they are short for a May release. The Robotech DVD's will be priced at a nice 14.98$ and have between 5-6 episodes per disc for a total of six discs. Robotech is the name for the spliced together series formed from Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeda. News interviews with Carl Macek, the person who formed Robotech from these series can be read at and

Interview with Tenchi co-creator

AIC has posted an interview with Hayashi Hiroko, co-creator of Tenchi Muyo, on their English language website. Hayashi is also the creator of El Hazard, The Legend of Black Heaven and has directed one episode of the original Bubblegum Crisis. The interview sheds a lot of light on the creation process of Tenchi, including some surprising information about the inspiration of the main characters. Other topics include El Hazard and his upcoming project Magical Witchland. The interview can be read at

The official Zone of Enderswebsite launched recently

" Fans can access the latest official news, high-quality graphics, media, and a detailed online "Infopedia" dedicated to the Robotech universe. However, the true centerpiece of the web site is its rapidly growing community section that allows thousands of registered users to communicate online with one another and chat with the cast and crew of the hit series. Fans can also shop in the secure online store to get their hands on the hottest new Robotech merchandise, including toys, posters, apparel and DVD videos. " "Exploding onto syndicated television in 1985, Robotech fueled the transforming robot craze and drew legions of loyal fans with its richly detailed Japanese animation and dramatic science-fiction storyline. Its ground-breaking production design also launched a worldwide licensing phenomenon with premier manufacturers such as Tiger Electronics, Playmates, Matchbox, Revell and Ballantine/Del Rey. Robotech continues to be one of the most recognized animated television series to this day, leading a wave of merchandising that has spawned several toy lines, musical soundtracks, dozens of novels, role-playing games and over 400 comic books. Products currently under development include highly-anticipated DVD videos, new transformable toys, and next-generation console games from Mattel. " The Robotech web site is located

More Z.O.E anime on the way

A second anime series based on the upcoming Zone of Enders Playstation 2 game is in the works. In addition to the OAV (direct to video) series, a television series in the works. Sunrise (Escalfowne, Gundam Wing), which already produced the direct-to-video movie Z.O.E 2167 Idolo, will also handle the new series. The new series, titled "Z.O.E. Dolores, i", will begin airing in Japan this April.

New DiGi Charat Anime In The Spring

Madhouse / Broccoli's DiGi Charat animation is once again headed to the small screen in Japan, with a new 1 hour (4 story) spring special to be telecast Friday, April 6th 10:30-11:30 on TBS. The title of the special will be "DiGi Charat: Enjoying Seeing The Cherry Blossoms". Digi Charat is a quick paced, super deformed (big head, small body) comedy about the mascot of Japan's Gamers store chain.

Galaxy Angel TV Anime

This spring Sky PercTV's new Anime Premium channel will be airing a new Sci-Fi / comedy anime series featuring entitled Galaxy Angel. The show will air from April 7th at 24:30 and air weekly on Saturdays on Animax. Galaxy Angel is produced by Broccoli and Bandai Visual. Animation is by Madhouse and the Executive Producer has been named as Takaaki Kitani.

Matsumoto Daft Punk Anime Video - Clip Now Online

MTV Italia is now airing the Leiji Matsumoto (Battleship Yamato/Starblazers, Galaxy Express 999, Capitan Harlock), clip of the French group "Daft Punk" , (titled "One More Time"), but it is also possible to watch it on the MTV site

The page says that every other track of "Discovery" (the Daft Punk's CD containing "One more time") will be soon a videoclip realized by Matsumoto, starting with "Aerodynamic", out (in Italy) on 26th March.

According to the Italian MTV site, this first clip will be followed by a second clip which may continue the story of this video. You can view the clip in the following bandwidths:




Video Girl Ai DVD Bound

Viz indicated at the Katsucon anime convention that Video Girl Ai is DVD bound this summer. The six episode OAV will be released across two discs. The romantic comedy series is considered to be classic by many fans of the caliber of Oh My Goddess. It features a high school boy who rents a video from a mysterious store only to find that its female subject comes alive when he plays the tape in his broken VCR.

Kunihiko Ikuhara Interview has posted an interview with Sailor Moon/Revolutionary Girl Utena director Kunihiko Ikuhara at here The interview touches on his move to the US, and Utena.

ADV Responds to Cover Art Complaints

After receiving negative comments about the cover of the first volume of the DVD release of Sorcerer Hunters, ADV has decided to change the design for future releases. The first disc and cover has already been finished and is making its way to retailers (though not due out till late March), so there's nothing that can be done about that batch now. However, the cover for volume two will be done more in the vein of the VHS releases. David Williams stated "We'll print some extra covers and work up some sort of exchange program where you can get the new cover if you'd like. Details to follow."

Anime News From Japan

Sister Princess Starting 04/04/2001 24:45-25:15 AniHabara describes the series "Looks to me to be a Sentimental Journey (dating sim video game) like anime (12 girls, I would figure 1 girl an episode maybe for half season?). Just wanted to get that info to you, here is the web page I saw the info: " Daichi Akitaro's (behind the hyper is anime seires Jubei-Chan, and Kodomo No Omocha) new OVA work, Kuromi-chan may be marked by its strong individuality. Kuromi-chan finds work with an anime studio, but it's much harder than she's expected. This is the first "anime-making anime" as far as I know. So it may be a new bible next to Otaku no Video. It will be released in Japan on March 30.

Darius 25 back to say goodbye. Remember, if you have information regarding any film industry in Asia, please contact our Asia-AICN offices at See you all next week.

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