Mika Ninagawa's debut feature Sakuran will have its world premiere on Feb 9 as the opening film of the Berlinale Special section at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, distributor Asmik Ace has announced.

It will be the only Japanese film to screen as an official selection at the festival.

Based on a manga by popular female manga author Moyoco Anno, Sakuran depicts the high-class prostitutes of the Yoshiwara pleasure district during Tokyo 's Edo period.

The film stars Anna Tsuchiya of cult hit Kamikaze Girls and Masanobu Ando (Big Bang Love, Juvenile A) as well as cameos by many known people in the Japanese film world.

Ninagawa is a famous photographer known for her saturated colours, which have been incorporated into the look of Sakuran's sets and cinematography. 'I wanted a Japanese film that depicted authentic Japanese culture to be shown,' said Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick.

Both Ninagawa and Tsuchiya are scheduled to attend the red carpet premiere. Sakuran opens domestically on Feb 24.