Kim’s deal is ‘Iron’ clad

Japanese pic aiming for a 2006 release

Cineclick Asia and Japan’s Happinet have sealed a co-financing deal on Kim Ki-duk’s “3-Iron,” which will go into production in June.

Under the terms of the deal, Happinet will put up 50% of the film’s budget and take Japanese rights and 50% of international outside South Korea.

Kim’s 11th film since 1996, “3-Iron” is the story of a homeless young man who rescues an abducted girl.

The Japanese co-financing deal, another sign of increased commercial contact between the historically estranged Koreans and Japanese, comes as top Korean talent is increasingly coming on Hollywood’s radar.

In a new development, Cineclick Asia managing director Suh Youngjoo confirmed that she had held a series of meetings with Hollywood-based agents who were interested in signing some of her stable of directors such as “Old Boy’s” Park Chanwook, Kim Ji-woon (“A Tale of Two Sisters”) and Kim Ki-duk. Suh reps Kim Ji-woon.

In what Suh calls “a strong Cannes in terms of the quality of deals,” Cineclick has closed multiple new territories in the later part of the festival on “Old Boy,” including Spain (Lolafilms), Brazil (Golden Films), Hungary (Budapest), Turkey, (Umut), Portugal (New Age), Russia (May Win).

“The Doll Master” has clinched Scandinavia (Noble Ent.) and Thailand (Nontanund); “The President’s Barber” has sold Thailand (Right Beyond), while “The Wolf Return’ has gone to China (China Star), “Samaritan Girl” to Scandinavia (Noble Ent.), and Thailand (Right Beyond), “Sisters” to Turkey (BIR Film) and back title “Ghost Taxi” to North America (Media Blaster).

Cineclick is moving, “A Thousand Plateaus” from Chang Seon-wu (“Resurrection of the Little Match Girl”).

Aiming for a 2006 release, pic is a family movie, budgeted at $3.2 million, and based on a Mongolian legend about the friendship between an orphan boy and a horse.

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