To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japan's Yasujiro Ozu, Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao Hsien (City Of Sadness, The Flowers Of Shanghai, Millennium Mambo) will direct a feature-length Ozu homage.

Shochiku, the studio where Ozu spent his entire career, will head the film's production consortium.

During a recent trip to Tokyo Hou announced that he intends to complete a script by the end of June, assemble an all-Japanese cast by the end of July and shoot on location in Tokyo and Yubari in August and September.

The Tokyo premiere is scheduled for December 12 - Ozu's birthday. Shochiku plans to release the film in Japan next year and submit it to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival,

Still untitled, the film will focus on Ozu's favourite theme - the family - while featuring a romance between a Setsuko-Hara-like heroine and the manager of a used bookstore.

Hou's own films, including his 1985 international breakout, The Time To Live And The Time To Die, have often been compared with Ozu's. Hou has acknowledged the debt and, when he was approached about making an Ozu tribute omnibus, together with such Ozu fans as Wim Wenders and Aki Kaurismaki, he said that he preferred to make an entire feature in the Ozu style.