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Critically Acclaimed WE ARE X from Acclaimed Filmmaker Stephen Kijak set to Premiere this Month Ahead of March Release

06 February 2017


Today Manga Entertainment, Passion Pictures and X Japan are delighted to announce that the critically acclaimed film WE ARE X about Japan’s most successful rock band of all time will celebrate its UK Film Premiere on the 28th February at Picturehouse Central in London.

The film will be released in UK cinemas nationwide from 2nd March for one night only with encore screenings and followed by it’s On Demand, DVD and Blu-ray Home Entertainment release on 1st May 2017. The film’s soundtrack will also be released on 3rd March through Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) just prior to X Japan’s headlining concert performance at Wembley on the 4th March.

Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Stephen Kijak (Stones in Exile, Scott Walker: 30 Century Man), and produced by the Oscar-winning production team behind Searching for Sugar Man, WE ARE X is an astonishingly intimate portrait of a deeply haunted, but truly unstoppable virtuoso and the music that has enthralled legions of the world's most devoted fans. It was officially selected for the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the BFI London Film Festival winning multiple awards and with critical praise for the film ‘WE ARE X’ continuing to pour in from: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed and LA Weekly.




Hailed as “fascinating” by the New York Times, WE ARE X is a transcendent and beautifully shot rock & roll story about the most successful rock band in Japanese history, X JAPAN. They’ve sold over 30 million albums, singles and videos combined; sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome a record 18 times; and played to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. Under the enigmatic direction of YOSHIKI--composer, classically-trained pianist, drummer/percussionist, and the creative force behind the group—X JAPAN has captivated a wide range of admirers as Sir George Martin, KISS, Stan Lee, and the Japanese Emperor-while pioneering a spectacle-driven style of visual rock called “Visual Kei” (visual-kay), a one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon.

Director of We Are X, Stephen Kijak said "Thrilled to be working with the team at Manga to bring WE ARE X to UK screens, especially in the wake of X Japan's long-awaited concert at Wembley. I think it just reinforces the notion that the film is not the end of their story but represents a new beginning. If you've never seen X Japan live, even if you've never heard of them, I encourage you to see this show (and the film of course) - they truly are one of the greatest live acts on the planet and it might just change your life.”

Andrew Hewson, Marketing Manager at Manga Entertainment said "We are truly excited to be involved with the astounding and award-worthy film, We Are X. This is an amazing opportunity for us to work closely with the incredibly talented Yoshiki and X Japan to bring this exquisite and powerful documentary to UK fans!"


X JAPAN (YOSHIKI/drums, piano; TOSHI/vocals; PATA/guitar; HEATH/bass; and SUGIZO/guitar, violin) will perform their first major show of 2017 on Saturday, March 4 at SSE Arena, Wembley.

WE ARE X will have its UK Premiere on 28th February at the Picturehouse Central and will be released in UK Cinemas nationwide from 2nd March followed by On Demand and DVD 1st May.

The WE ARE X film soundtrack is now available to pre-order at Amazon and will be available on 3rd March ahead of X JAPAN’s Wembley Concert on Saturday 4th March, tickets are available here.

Film Soundtrack Released 3 March through Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings ahead of X Japan’s Headlining Concert at Wembley on 4 March




About Manga & Animatsu Entertainment
Founded in 1987, Manga Entertainment began as a producer, licensor and distributor of Japanese animation in the United Kingdom, quickly earning its reputation as the UK’s largest and best anime distributor with revered anime brands including GHOST IN THE SHELL, DRAGON BALL Z, NARUTO, ONE PIECE, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE. Headquartered in London, Manga Entertainment continues to specialize in the licensing, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation and other beloved new/classic pop culture franchises like HALO, TRANSFORMERS, POKEMON and YU-GI-OH! Affiliate company, Animatsu Entertainment which began in 2014 is the production and international rights management arm of the business that currently has several projects in development, including animated feature film, In This Corner of the World as well as an original series.

About Passion Pictures
Passion Pictures films division is a double Academy Award winning independent production company and one of the most successful and prolific producers of feature documentary films in the international marketplace.
Starting with Academy Award-winning ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER in 1999, the company has since been responsible for over thirty feature documentaries, including: Academy Award nominated RESTREPO; Academy shortlisted THE TILLMAN STORY (Winner Best Historical Doc Emmy 2012); Prime Time Emmy winning MANHUNT; BAFTA Outstanding Debut Winner THE IMPOSTER, and Academy Award and BAFTA winning SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.

More recently, Passion produced the 2016 Academy shortlisted and 2016 BAFTA nominated LISTEN TO ME MARLON (Winner IDA Award Best Writing 2016) and the 2016 Academy Award Nominated WINTER ON FIRE.

Stephen Kijak – BIOGRAPHY
Stephen has been directing fiction and non-fiction films for close to 20 years. His credits include the critically acclaimed BAFTA-nominated feature doc SCOTT WALKER – 30 CENTURY MAN (executive produced by David Bowie), the celebrated cult documentary CINEMANIA, and the platinum-selling STONES IN EXILE, a documentary commissioned by The Rolling Stones, and produced by Oscar-winning producer John Battsek/Passion Pictures, about the making of the Stones’ classic 1972 album “Exile On Main Street” which premiered as a Special Screening in the 2010 Directors Fortnight in Cannes. In 2012, he teamed with Passion Pictures again and Rob Trujillo from Metallica (making his debut as a film producer) on a feature doc about the late, great legend of bass, Jaco Pastorius.
January 2015 saw the release of a feature documentary Stephen directed for PULSE Films about the biggest-selling boy band of all time, called “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of.” The film broke iTunes pre-sale records and was a massive fan-favorite the world over.

WE ARE X, Kijak’s third collaboration with producer John Battsek, is a documentary about the rock band X Japan, the most successful band in Japanese history making a play for American success with a show at Madison Square Garden. The film had its world premiere in the World Documentary Competition of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded a Special Jury Award for Editing.

Kijak is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication. He is a lapsed drummer who currently resides in Los Angeles.

John Battsek - BIOGRAPHY
John Battsek runs Passion Pictures and is one of the most successful and prolific independent documentary producers in the international marketplace.

In 1999, Battsek conceived and produced Academy Award-winning One Day In September in 1999, and has since been involved with over forty feature documentaries.

These include: Academy Award nominated Restrepo; Academy shortlisted The Tillman Story (Winner: Best Historical Doc Emmy 2012); Prime Time Emmy winning Manhunt; BAFTA Outstanding Debut Winner The Imposter, and Academy Award and BAFTA winning Searching For Sugar Man.

Most recently John produced Listen to Me Marlon (Shortlisted: Academy Award 2016, Winner: IDA Creative Recognition for Best Writing 2015, Winner: 2016 Peabody Award and BAFTA Nominated 2016) and executive produced the 2016 Academy Award Nominated Winter On Fire.

Battsek has been nominated three times for a PGA Award and was the recipient of 2013 prestigious Grierson Trustees Award for Outstanding Contribution to Documentary.

Watch this video where YOSHIKI describes the song "LA VENUS" and its role in the film WE ARE X (here).

Following is the full tracklisting for the WE ARE X soundtrack (Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings):

La Venus (Acoustic Version)
Kurenai (The Last Live)
Forever Love
Piano Strings of Es Dur
Crucify My Love
Standing Sex (Live)
Longing / Setsubo-no-yoru
Art of Life (3rd Movement)
Endless Rain (The Last Live)
X (The Last Live)
Without You (Unplugged)

Japan Bonus:

Rusty Nail (Dahlia Tour Final)
Forever Love (The Last Live)

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