Veteran Japanese director Shindo Kaneto is currently producing his latest feature, The Owl (Fukuro).

The 90 year-old Shindo (pictured) is best known in the west for his The Island / Naked Island (1960) which was awarded to the Grand Prix at Moscow international film festival in 1961.

Written and directed by Shindo, The Owl is a comedy thriller about a group of travellers who move to a barren village in the northern Japan from China (Manchuria) after World War II.

Currently in production in Japan, The Owl is produced by Shindo's production company, Kindai Eiga Kyokai with a budget of $1.6m (Y200m). The film is scheduled to be released in Spring 2003.

Shindo started his career as a script writer and made his directorial debut with Aijyo Monogatari (1951). He set up film production entity Kindai Eiga Kyokai in 1950 where he produced films like A Last Note (Gogo No Yuigonjyo 1995) and Sanmon Yakusha (2000).

Shindo is regarded as an icon of the Japanese film industry, like Akira Kurosawa. His granddaughter, Kaze Shindo, was awarded to the best new director prize at Berlin in 2001 with her debut feature Love Juice.