Venice hit seals major-territory deals

MADRID — Seoul-based Finecut has closed more major territories on Kim Ki-duk’s Venice competition contender “Pieta,” which world premiered to a standing ovation Tuesday on the Lido.

“Pieta” will now segue from Venice to Toronto for its North American premiere in the Canadian mega-fest’s Masters showcase.

In the biggest new territory deals announced by Finecut topper Youngjoo Suh Wednesday, Maywin Media will distribute “Pieta” in the former-USSR, plus the Baltic States.

MFA + Filmdistribution closed Germany before Venice. “Pieta’s” commercial release will follow its German premiere at late September’s Hamburg Film Festival, where Kim will be honored with the 2012 Douglas Sirk Prize for lifetime achievement.

An Italian distribution deal, with Good News, which releases “Pieta” nationwide Sept. 14, was announced at the beginning of the Venice festival.

AS Fidalgo (Norway), Bir Fim (Turkey), Ama Film (Greece) and Edko Film (Hong Kong) will also distribute “Pieta.”

Kim’s most commercial film in years, by his own estimation, following on the self-reflexive “Arirang,” which shared Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Prize in 2011, and then the metaphorical, Europe-set “Amen,” “Pieta” turns on a brutal loan shark accosted by a woman who claims to be his mother.

A portrayal of wayward motherhood, “Pieta” has been hailed at Venice as a return to the form and style — in its unflinching violence, out-there events — of Kim’s earlier works.

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