Crowdfunding starts for restoration of 1954 Japanese mystery film

A Japanese movie company has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for restoring a 1954 film featuring popular fictional detective Kindaichi Kosuke.

The campaign began on Monday for the movie "Akuma ga Kitarite Fue wo Fuku," which means the devil comes and plays the flute. The film had been lost for decades.

Professor Yamaguchi Tadayoshi of Nishogakusha University in Tokyo found the 16-millimeter film in January. The film was donated to Toei, the studio that produced it.

The company has already started repairing the damaged and warped film. It estimates that restoration will cost more than 4 million yen, or 25,500 dollars.

The company says it hopes to raise 1,954,427 yen, or about 12,500 dollars. The goal was set after the date of the film's original release on April 27, 1954.

The movie is based on a mystery novel by popular writer Yokomizo Seishi. His Kindaichi series has been frequently made into films, each starring popular actors as the detective.

The 1954 version starred Kataoka Chiezo, a well-known actor of the time. He portrayed action scenes while dressed in a suit.

A Toei official, Nashida Hiiro, said they want to work together with numerous Yokomizo and Kindaichi fans to restore the masterpiece from what is known as the Golden Age of Japanese cinema.

Nashida expressed hope that viewers will think of the bygone days when the restored version is shown on a big screen.

The company plans to hold a screening event in Tokyo next January for those who contributed to the campaign.