Anime studio Production I.G and video and music conglomerate Avex announced on Monday that they are collaborating to launch the Cinema Lab live-action film label. The label is producing a film or films helmed by directors Mamoru Oshii (seen right) and Katsuyuki Motohiro.
The label's concept is to produce works from top creators who release many masterpiece works. The label hopes to produce films that can compete in terms of quality and world building.
Additionally, the "Zettai Kantoku Shugi ~Cinema Lab Oshii Mamoru-tachi no Chōsen" television special will premiere on the NHK BS1 channel on March 30 at 10:00 p.m. The special will discuss the new live-action film label and filming of Oshii's work on the label's first film over the period of a year. The low-budget film does not rely on popular stars, and instead features new talent chosen through auditions and trained in workshops.
Production I.G is known for producing anime such as Oshii's Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass, and Guilty Crown. Avex is known as a music label, but it has also produced anime through its Avex Pictures label, as well as live-action works.
The Sanuki Film Festival in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture screened Oshii's new film in February. Production I.G produced the "dark fantasy" film, but Eiga.com's report did not clarify if the film was anime or live-action.
Oshii's Garm Wars: The Last Druid, his first live-action English-language film, premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October 2014 before opening in North America in 2015 and in Japan in 2016. Motohiro directed the live-action Ajin film that opened in Japan in 2017.
Sources: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo), NHK's website, The Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web