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Toronto: Naomi Kawase’s ‘An’ Cooks Up Sales Success

Japanese director Naomi Kawase’s bittersweet drama “An” has become a surprising international sales success.

The picture, which debuted in Cannes as the opener of Un Certain regard, and gets another spin this week at the Toronto Film Festival (Sept. 14), has been licensed to over 40 territories by French sales rep MK 2 Intl.

Kawase, a purveyor of lyrical minimalism, has been a regular at Cannes and beloved of festival selectors. But her films have rarely appealed to so many distributors. The tale of a solitary baker and 76-year-old culinary genius slots it into the same silver-haired audience as for “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “About Schmidt.”

An” has been acquired by Kino Lorber (for U.S. and Canada), Curious Films (Australia), Cineart (Benelux), HBO (Eastern Europe), Edko Films (Hong Kong), MCF Megacom (Ex-Yugoslavia), New Cinema (Israel), MGR Intl. (India), Cinema (Italy), Moving Turtle (Middle East), Caramel (Spain), NonStop (Scandinavia and Baltic regions), California Filmes (Latin America), Green Narae Media (South Korea), Astro Shaw (SE Asia), Filmcoopi (Switzerland), Hakka Distribution (Tunisia), Leopardo (Portugal), Joint Entertainment (Taiwan), Filmarti (Turkey) and Encore Inflight (global airline rights excluding France and Japan).

Confirming the accessibility of the movie, “An” grossed $3.8 million at the Japanese box office.

With a string of festival dates expected, the film will next play at the London Film Festival.

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