TOKYO — Japanese production and sales outfit, pictures dept has sealed a deal with US distrib First Pond Entertainment to theatrically release the cross-cultural comedy “Sake-Bomb” in the United States. The DVD and VoD rights have already gone to New York-based Digital Media Rights.

Having premiered at the SXSW fest this year, the pic stars in-demand Japanese thesp Gaku Hamada as the shy successor to a Japanese sake brewery who enlists the aid of his sardonic American cousin (Eugene Kim) to find a long-lost love in California. The helmer is Hiroshima-born, US-based Junya Sakino.

Unlike many Japanese producers and distribs who target the Nippon market with international only an afterthought, pictures dept prexy Yuko Shiomaki has actively sought out overseas partners and exposure for her pics. These include cult sensation Sion Sono’s nuclear disaster drama “The Land of Hope,” which received the Best Asian Film prize at Toronto last year, and comic maestro Satoshi Miki’s quirky laffer “It’s Me, It’s Me,” which has its world premiere at this year’s Udine Far East Film Festival.