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MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN

RYUHEI KITAMURA (Director), a native of Osaka, Japan, studied filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in Australia. His award-winning thesis film "Exit” was highly acclaimed and earned him a Best Director of the Year award. 

After returning to Japan in 1997, Kitamura established Napalm Films, an independent film production company. Under this shingle, he directed the dynamic action-horror short "Down to Hell.” Filmed in 10 days with a six-member crew and a budget of only 300,000 yen, the film scored the coveted grand prix prize at Indie's Movie Festival. Around that time, Kitamura also made his first theatrically released film "Heat After Dark,” a 50-minute film noir starring and produced by Atsuro Watabe.

Kitamura's full-length feature film debut was the fast-paced action movie "Versus,” which was unveiled at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2000 and went on to win worldwide acclaim, solidifying Kitamura's growing reputation for stylized, high-octane thrills.

In 2002, Kitamura directed the sci-fi thriller "Alive,” based on the comic by Tsutomu Takahashi. He followed this hit with a short film, "The Messenger,” his standout contribution to a seven-director omnibus. He then teamed up with well-known director Yuhihiko Tsutsumo to collaborate on the samurai action movie "Aragami.” His next feature was based on the comic book of Yu Koyama, "Azumi,” followed by "Sky High,” adapted from the popular TV drama. In 2004, he directed a monster movie, "Godzilla: Final Wars,” the last installment in the legendary Godzilla franchise which produced 27 films over the past 50 years. Most recently, Kitamura directed the action film "LoveDeath,” which will be released in Japan in May 2007.

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