Japanese gore fest Battle Royale, which is currently whipping up both public outrage and box office receipts in its home territory, is to make its international premiere at January's International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Kinji Fukasaku's futuristic tale of teens on a desert island who are forced to kill each other until only one survives grossed $5.5m on its opening weekend - despite, or perhaps because of, politicians' calls for it to be banned. Renowned for platforming Asian cinema in Europe, Rotterdam is no stranger to Japanese ultra-violence, having introduced European audiences to Miike Takashi's Audition last year.
But the event, at the cutting edge of the Euro festival circuit, will showcase the spectrum of the region's cinema. Already selected for the main competition section are Thailand's Bangkok Dangerous, South Korea's Secret Tears and China's All the Way.
The Asian trio will vie for Tiger Awards with Germany's Gesichter, by Maria Speth, and 25 Watts, from Urugayan director Juan Pablo Rebella. World premieres include Go For Broke from China, Indonesia's A Poet and several South American films such as Argentina's La Fe Del Volcan and Brazil's Domesticas.
The Ex Voto sidebar will showcase experimental personal films from directors including Jean-Luc Godard and Jan Svankmajer, while French/Swiss film-maker Anne-Marie Mieville joins Sweden's Roy Andersson as a film-maker in focus. Rotterdam runs from January 24 to February 4.