Hitoshi Matsumoto’s third film pushing through production for festival release

Comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto (47) of the duo Downtown is working on a jidaigeki film for his next directorial effort, it has been learned. The movie seems to be titled "Saya Zamurai," and he has been secretly shooting the film since October.

Matsumoto made his debut as a director with "Dainipponjin" in 2007, and he followed up with "Symbol" in 2009. It was revealed a couple months ago that he was working on his third movie, but few details were available at the time.

The story revolves around a retired samurai named Nomi Kanjuro and his rebellious daughter Tae. Although the film may seem like a typical jidaigeki work on the surface, it will certainly be injected with Matsumoto’s sense of humor.

As previously revealed, the lead role of Kanjuro has been given to amateur Takaaki Nomi (53), who currently works as a bartender in Shinjuku but has previously appeared on Matsumoto’s variety show "Hataraku Ossan Gekijo." The role of Tae will be played by child actress Sea Kumada (9), who has acted in shows such as "Dousoukai" and "Orthros no Inu." Unlike his previous films, Matsumoto does not plan to act in the movie.

Matsumoto became a father last year, which likely influenced his decision to do a story about the relationship between a father and daughter.

Filming is expected to continue until mid-January. The production team is reportedly hoping to have the film ready for potential screenings at international film festivals such as Cannes.