The recent vogue for international co-productions in Japanese cinema has spawned some fascinating hybrids, while transporting filmmakers to locations that seldom grace the nation’s silver screens. With overseas travel still a distant dream for most of us, this kind of escapism feels particularly welcome right now.

In “Under the Turquoise Sky,” Yuya Yagira plays a wealthy Japanese playboy, Takeshi, who gets whisked away to the steppes of Mongolia in search of a long-lost relative. The ensuing journey is full of unexpected turns, mixing realism, fantasy and comedy on the way to a surprisingly soulful conclusion.

This Japanese/Mongolian/French co-production is the debut feature by single-named director Kentaro, who is as hard to pin down as the film itself. Raised overseas, primarily in France, the Japanese filmmaker speaks English with a slight London twang, but talks the language of a Parisian cineaste.