The Tokyo International Film Festival has arranged to hold the world premiere of Koji Hagiuda's Shindo (translation: Prodigy) at this year's Hong Kong Filmart on March 21.

The Tokyo fest and its attendant TIFFCOM market, which are held in October, have been using Filmart as a launch pad in recent years, choosing one Japanese film to world premiere at the event. Last year, Yoshichi Shimada's autobiographical comedy Granny Gabai premiered at the event and went on to secure distribution deals with Hong Kong and Korea.

Shindo, which is produced and is being sold by Japan 's Bitters End, features rising young star Riko Narumi (Waters) in the lead role as a junior high school piano prodigy who bonds with an older boy with his own musical aspirations.

Narumi has already gained popularity in Korea through currently airing Japanese TV drama One Litre Of Tears. Narumi's Tears co-star Ken'ichi Matsuyama also gained popularity throughout Asia for his role in the successful Death Note films, the first of which reached number one at the Hong Kong box office. He also stars in Shindo and word of the re-pairing saw a flood of offers for rights to the film ahead of its premiere.

In recent years, Japan 's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been working to transform TIFF into the newly named 'International Contents Carnival', to commemorate its 20th year in 2007.

Filmart, which is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, this year takes place March 20-23 as part of Hong Kong 's Entertainment Expo.