October Films has agreed to finance and distribute worldwide Open City Films’ “Three Seasons,” the feature debut of 24-year-old Vietnam native Tony Bui.
The film, which is skedded to begin lensing this fall, will be the first American full-length feature made in Vietnam since the end of the war.
Developed in part through the Sundance Institute’s filmmakers’ lab, “Seasons” follows ordinary people trying to find their place in Vietnam’s changing postwar society.
It will feature Harvey Keitel, as an ex-G.I. in search of his half Vietnamese daughter, and Kathleen Luong (“2 Days in the Valley”).
The project was brought to October by co-president Bingham Ray, who met Bui at Sundance. “I think Tony has the potential to be the next Ang Lee,” Ray said.
Bui emigrated to the U.S. in 1975 at age 2. After returning to his homeland for several visits, he wrote and directed the 30-minute short “Yellow Lotus” in 1994. The award-winning pic was one of the first non-documentary films to receive government clearance to shoot in Vietnam.
“Yellow Lotus” will be produced by Open City principals Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, who recently completed writer-director Amir Naderi’s “A, B, C … Manhattan,” an official selection at Cannes fest.