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Muneyuki Kii Launches K2 Pictures & Fund For Japanese Films

Former Toei producer Muneyuki Kim has launched K2 Pictures, which will work with major directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda and aim to create a new funding ecosystem for Japanese animated and live-action features.

The plan is to return profits that would traditionally go to film companies to investors and creators, which its founder says closely follows approaches used in Hollywood and elsewhere. Creators who team with K2 will be able to participate on projects as shareholders.

Kii, who will be K2’s CEO, says most Japanese films are produced through a system of ‘production committees’ with industry know-how formed through film companies, TV networks and publishers, which it believes makes entry into the market difficult and limits returns to producers and creators.

To this end, company has launched the K2P Film Fund I, which will provide support for animated and live-action features and enable to “investors, creators and crew members to profit from the Japanese film industry.” It is targeting partners in Japan, Asia, the U.S. and elsewhere.

K2 will collaborate on a slate of upcoming projects with Japanese directors and creators such as Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), who is part of the official Cannes competition jury; Shunji Iwai (Love Letter); Miwa Nishikawa, whose film Sway was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight; Takashi Miike (13 Assassins); Kazuya Shiraishi (The Devil’s Path); and MAPPA,a Japanese animation studios whose titles include JUJUTSU KAISEN 0 and series such as Chainsaw Man and Attack on Titan.

According to its creators, the fund was been created with a “unique structure to mitigate the risks associated with content investment, by facilitating the secure attraction of capital to the traditionally exclusive Japanese content market.” K2 Pictures has worked with leading Japanese law accounting firms that specializes in the entertainment field to develop a contract that allows for investments.

On Saturday May 18, K2 will host a presentation at the JW Marriott in Cannes unveiling the company and the fund. Nishikawa and Mike will be attendance.

Kii produced numerous films at Toei, including Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, The Blood of Wolves franchise, Miike’s First Love , Takashi Shimizu’s Howling Village series, Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.01 Thrice Upon a Time, Global Breakout selection The First Slam Dunk, Shin Kamen Rider and Kyrie.

He has experience in planning, production, distribution, and box office and is working with a senior leadership team at K2 also comprising Tetsuro Koda and Fred Schmidt. Kota is a co-founder of mobile games developer Akatsuki, while Schmidt is Chairman of Asia for Miami investment firm BentallGreenOak and has established and managed funds with Japanese and international investors in the local creative and animation industries.

“Through the launch of K2 Pictures, we’re aiming to bring a major revolution to the Japanese film industry, while also giving new domestic and overseas investors the chance to enter this flourishing industry,” said Kii. “It’s clear there is growing interest in Japanese-related content around the world, so we are committed to making our local film industry more active, fairer and profitable in the global marketplace, while also building a robust content pipeline that promises to captivate audiences.

“Our new fund will also stand as a beacon for innovation, combining risk mitigation strategies with a commitment to artistic excellence – and with our seasoned and highly experienced leadership team – we are positioned to make a significant impact on the global film landscape.”

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