Kino makes ‘Happy’ deal

New York-based arthouse distributor Kino Intl. has acquired all North American rights to two films by “Chungking Express” helmer Wong Kar-wai.

The pics were repped by Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Film Sales.

The first of the pair to go into theaters will be the maverick Hong Kong director’s “Happy Together.” The picture, about two gay Hong Kongers in Argentina, won the best director award at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

“Happy” has been invited to make its North American debut in the Toronto Film Fest and is a likely candidate for the New York Film Festival, according to Gary Palmucci, Kino general manager.

Kino plans a fall release for the film.

The other picture, “Fallen Angels,” had its only North American screening in the 1995 Toronto Film Festival. The tale of Hong Kong night creatures is skedded to open Jan. 21 at New York’s Film Forum.

Kino, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, handles its own homevideo and nontheatrical distribution.

The company’s recent video re-release of Volker Schlondorff’s 1979 Oscar-winning film “The Tin Drum” is currently at the center of controversy. The ACLU has sued Oklahoma City, Okla., charging police there acted illegally when they confiscated copies of the tape from video stores and individuals on June 25, after a judge declared the movie obscene.

Other recent Kino releases include a reissue of Fritz Lang’s “M” and Dana Ranga’s “East Side Story,” a documentary about Eastern Bloc musicals from the ’50s and ’60s.

Bertrand Tavernier’s “Capitaine Conan” opens Sept. 5.

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