Busan: Hong Sang-soo Film Trio Set for U.S. Release

Specialty distributor, The Cinema Guild has acquired U.S. rights to a trio of films by South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo. It acquired “The Day After,” “Claire’s Camera,” and “On the Beach at Night Alone,” which were represented by Finecut at the recent Busan Film Festival and other markets.

Cinema Guild aims to release them theatrically, with “Beach” going out on Nov. 17. “The Day After” had its North American premiere in Toronto and its U.S premiere at the New York Film Festival. The films have been widely licensed in other territories.

Also selling to the U.S. was “The Poet and the Boy,” which recently received its international premiere in Toronto and will next week play at the Tokyo festival. Rights were acquired by Altered Innocence. Written and directed by Kim Yang-hee, “Poet” stars indie actor-director Yang Ik-june (“Breathless”) and veteran actress Jeon Hye-jin (“The Merciless”).

Finecut, Korea’s leading indie sales house, also did business on Lee Won-tae’s “Man of Will,” which had its market premiere in Busan. The film was sold to AV-JET International for Taiwan and Viva Communications for the Philippines. Inflight rights were sold to Encore Inflight.

Based on a true story of a death-row convict who is charged with the murder of a Japanese man who took part in the assassination of Korean Empress, “Man of Will” opened in Korea this week and will play at the Hawaii International Film Festival next month.

AV-JET also picked up Taiwan distribution rights to Lee Ju-hyoung’s “Excavator,” a drama based on a Kim Ki-duk screenplay, in which the discovery of a skull leads to insights about past traumatic events. “Excavator” has been invited to compete at the main competition of Tallinn’s Black Nights Film Festival.

Viva also bought Philippines rights to “Home,” which was showcased in the Busan festival’s Korean Cinema Today—Vision section. It pre-bought Kim Jin-mook’s thriller “True Fiction.” The story follows a relative of a politician connected to the ruling party is involved in an incident with a young man and his posse. Currently in post-production, “Fiction” is set for a 2018 release in Korea.

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