Actress Momoi Kaori (53), probably best known to western audiences for her role as Mother in "Memoirs of a Geisha," is to make her directorial debut with family drama "Ichijiku no Kao" (literally "Face of a Fig").
Momoi, also a prolific writer and singer, is one of Japan's most venerated actresses with a long and varied filmography including Kurosawa Akira's "Kagemusha," Yamada Yoji's "The Yellow Handkerchief" (Shiawase no Kiiroi Hankachi) and Miike Takashi's "IZO."
Momoi will be adapting her own novel of the same name, and also appears alongside comedienne Yamada Hanako (30) in her first starring role. Yamada plays a young woman who has a baby without the knowledge of her mother (Momoi).
Yamada, a diminutive but feisty character who initially dabbled in pro-wrestling before joining gargantuan comedy talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo, won the part after auditioning alongside over 5,000 hopefuls last October.
Shooting begins in April, and a release is scheduled for this autumn. (source: Sanspo)
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