Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television is to mark its 50th anniversary with a special feature film production Amalfi: Megami No 50-Byou (Amalfi: 50 Seconds of a Goddess), starring Yuji Oda, which will be shot entirely on location in Italy.
The film is directed by Hiroshi Nishitani and stars Yuji Oda, Yuki Amami, Koichi Sato and Erika Toda.
Fuji TV motion picture department head Chihiro Kameyama will co-produce with Toru Ota. The film is based on an original screenplay by Yuichi Shinpo.
Yuji Oda plays a foreign diplomat relegated to the coastal town of Amalfi who investigates the case of a young Japanese girl kidnapped off the streets of Rome at Christmas, eventually falling in love with the girl's mother (Amami).
The production marks the first time a Japanese film has been shot entirely on location in Italy. Amalfi: Megami No 50-Byou will begin filming on December 15 at the legendary Cinecitta Studios in Rome and wrap in late February.
Beginning broadcasts in 1959, Fuji Television was the territory's first major network to become involved in feature film production, including its lucrative Bayside Shakedown TV and film series, also starring Yuji Oda and produced by Kameyama.
'Yuji Oda is Fuji TV's champ. We wanted to enter our 50th year with him, so we began developing this project three years ago,' stated Kameyama.
2003's Bayside Shakedown 2 earned $180m (Y17.3b) and remains the most successful domestic live-action film ever produced. As announced on Screendaily.com in April, a third film is in the works that will go before cameras in 2009.
Fuji TV's releases in 2008 include current top ten hit Suspect X, also directed by Nishitani, and The Magic Hour.
Amalfi: Megami No 50-Byou is set for a July 2009 release through Toho.