Cineclick Asia taking Kim’s ‘Time’

Presale will open at the European Film Market in Berlin

Sales house Cineclick Asia has picked up international rights to “Time,” the new project by Korea’s most controversial arthouse director, Kim Ki-duk.

“Time” tells the story of a woman’s efforts to transform herself through plastic surgery in order to save a long-term relationship. Sung Hyun-ah (“Woman Is the Future of Man”) and Ha Jung-woo (“The Unforgiven”) will take the leading roles.

Cineclick will open presales on the picture at the European Film Market in Berlin (Feb. 9-18).

Skedded to start lensing Jan. 18 in Seoul, pic marks the end of an unusually long period of inactivity (one year) for the prolific helmer.

Production is expected to wrap by April.

Japanese investor Happinet Pictures, which has partnered with the director since 2004, will co-finance the $1 million film and take Japanese rights. Helmer’s own shingle, Kim Ki-duk Films, will produce.

Kim’s “The Bow” opened Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2005, and his previous works “3-Iron” and “Samaritan Girl” received director awards at the Venice and Berlin film festivals, respectively, in 2004. Stateside, the director is best known for “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring,” which grossed $2 million-plus for Sony Pictures Classics in 2004.

Kim said in contrast to his recent features, which largely omitted dialogue between its lead characters, “Time” will feature extensive dialogue and a larger cast of characters.

Other titles to be repped by Cineclick at the EFM include biopic “Blue Swallow,” about Korea’s first civilian woman pilot; effects-heavy monster movie “The Host” by Bong Joon-ho, which wrapped shooting this month; and Afghan pic “Opium War” by Siddig Barmak (“Osama”), in pre-production.

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