Confirming the currentappetite for films about animals in Asia, Japan's Toho International haspre-sold Shining Boy And Little Randy, based on the true story of Japan's first elephant trainer, to severalAsian territories.

The film has gone to GoldenScene for Hong Kong, Major Cinepictures for Thailand and Long Shong for Taiwan.In addition, Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures, which is stepping up itspan-Asian acquisitions, has acquired all rights to the film for Singapore,Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

Directed by Shunsaku Kawakeand produced by Fuji Television, Toho and SDP, the film stars Yuya Yagira whowon the best actor award at Cannes last year for Nobody Knows. It opens in Japan on July 16.

Animal films are currentlyattracting a great deal of interest from Asian distributors following thesuccess of Yoichi Sai's Quill,about a seeing-eye dog, which was a big hit across the region last year.