Festival favorite finds distributor

Regent Releasing has nabbed North American rights to Yojiro Takita’s drama “Departures.” Pic follows an unemployed cellist who takes a job as a Japanese “nokanshi,” preparing dead bodies for the afterlife.

“Departures” has pocketed several fest awards, including Montreal’s Grand Prix and Hawaii’s audience award, and the film garnered 13 nominations for the Japan Academy Prize, making it the country’s entry for the Oscars.

Regent’s Mark Reinhart negotiated the deal with Satoko Ishida of Shochiku Co.

Other fest pics in Regent’s pipeline include 2008 Cannes Un Certain Regard winner “Tokyo Sonata” and 2009 Academy Award animation entry “$9.99,” which preemed at the Toronto Film Festival.

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