YIFFF organizers announced that Takashi Miike's Crows Zero 2 will open the festival's main section. As reported on Screendaily.com last May, Crows Zero 2 is the sequel to the $27.6m (Y2.5b) 2007 TBS hit. Shun Oguri reprises the lead role in this continuation of the high school gang warfare chronicle.
Also screening as a world premiere in the main section is Departures director Yojiro Takita's Tsurikichi Sanpei. Based on a classic manga, the story follows the fishing adventures of a young boy.
Distributor Toho will open Crows Zero 2 on April 11 while Toei opens Tsurikichi Sanpei on March 20.
The main section also includes Japan premieres of Slumdog Millionaire, Korea's The Chaser, Frost/Nixon, Chandni Chowk To China and closing film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
The 'Off Theatre Competition' section focuses on entries from Japan-based independent filmmakers. The jury members are directors Norio Tsuruta and Banmei Takahashi, actress Makiko Watanabe, Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival programmer Kwon Yong-min and Hong Kong photographer Wing Shya.
Films of late director Kon Ichikawa and midnight horror screenings are also planned.
Established in 1990, the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival restarted last year after cancellation of the event in 2006 due to ongoing financial hardships in the tiny former mining town of the festival's namesake. It restarted in 2008 under a newly formed non-profit organization.