EXCLUSIVE: Yuji Kanda’s film just wrapped shooting in Tokyo.

Japan’s Bees Connexion has announced But Life Goes On, starring Collin Chou from the Matrix series, has been picked up for international sales by Toronto-based 108 Media Corporation.

Written and directed by Yuji Kanda, the Japanese arthouse film just wrapped shooting in Tokyo.

Kanda previously directed The Story Teller’s Apprentice, a humorous film adapted from a hit theatre play. He was also an associate producer on Seijun Suzuki’s Princess Raccoon and Pistol Opera.

Based in LA and Beijing, trilingual action talent Collin Chou is known for playing Seraph, protector of the Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix Reloaded. He plays the lead in But Life Goes On, as a taxi driver suffering from a traumatic event whose past catches up with him.

Ryo Ebe, director, Asia, at 108 Media Corporation explained their decision to pick up the film: “Japanese movies are having a very tough time in international sales mostly because Japanese titles are just focused on the internal market - just Japanese audiences. But the project But Life Goes On was a unique title which started focusing on marketing to the international market by starring international cast like Collin Chou. Also, the script is very emotional and the story has a universal quality that can touch everyone’s heart and spirit. It’s a very quiet drama, but at the same time, touches something essential to people’s minds. So we thought this should be something we should work on together. We believe the movie will be accepted by lots of audiences around the world.”

Bees Connexion financed and produced the film, with Hiroyuki Fujioka and Hideomi Nagahama as main producers.

“It has been such a pleasure to work with Yuji and the producers on an amazing film. It’s not every day that I am given the chance to headline a Japanese-language film especially given that I don’t speak the language. It really shows the faith that Yuji and the producers have for me,” says Chou.

“The idea that art transpires cultural divides and especially these days with the geopolitical differences between nations, we are really fortunate to be given the opportunity to be working with an international star such as Collin. He is truly a consummate professional,” says Kanda.

The film also features veteran actor Noboru Mitani, whose credits include Akira Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den and Kinji Fukasaku’s Street Mobster. Fukumi Kuroda, Atom Shimojo and Sho Oayamada also feature.

But Life Goes On is currently in post-production, looking to premiere at autumn film festivals.