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Osamu Mukai returns to Cambodia for first starring film role

Thu, October 21, 2010 (8:01pm EDT)

Popular actor Osamu Mukai (28) has landed his first starring role in a movie, scheduled for release in fall 2011. The movie is being directed by Kenta Fukasaku and is titled "Bokutachi wa Sekai wo Kaeru Koto ga Dekinai."

The film is based on a book of the same name by 26-year-old Kota Hada. As a student at Nippon Medical School, Hada published the book on his own in March 2008, writing about his own experience of funding the creation of a school in rural Cambodia, and volunteering in that country.

When producers decided the cast for the film, one of the reasons they chose Mukai was his connection to the country. Shortly after his acting debut, Mukai appeared on the documentary show "Sekai Ururun Taizaiki" in 2007, for which he spent a memorable week living in Cambodia, where his experiences included helping a family that wanted to turn a dangerous minefield into a mango field. In his own blog profile, he referred to them as his "precious second family."

In the movie, Mukai will play a college student named Kota working hard towards building an elementary school in Cambodia. His supporting cast includes Tori Matsuzaka (22), Eri Murakawa (23), Tasuku Emoto (22), and Masataka Kubota (22).

Filming started outside Tokyo on October 17, and scenes will begin shooting in Cambodia in mid-November.

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