Saga Films, a recently launched pan-Asian sales and distribution company, has picked up multi-territory rights to a trio of current films. Among them is Australian thriller “Sweet Country,” which won major prizes at both the Venice and Toronto festivals last month and plays this week in the World Focus section of the Tokyo International Film Festival.
The other titles are mystery thriller “Vestige,” starring Mickey Rourke, and Kyle Rideout’s period psychological drama “Eadweard.” Analeigh Tipton and Anne Heche are also starring.
Saga was launched in August from its base in Los Angeles, where it is the sister company of Red Apollo. The company claims significant China expertise and a distribution license in mainland China. That allows it to either handle its own release or license to online platforms in China. It acts as re-seller in the rest of Asia. Both Red Apollo and Saga are backed by Rick Zhang Yifeng. Saga is operated by film sales veteran Brett Lauter, as VP of global sales and acquisitions.
Directed by Warwick Thornton, “Sweet Country” follows an Aboriginal stockman and his wife as they flee a posse after being forced to kill in self-defense. Memento Films International is handling worldwide sales. Saga acquired cinema, home video, TV and Internet rights in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Guam, New Guinea, and Bhutan.
“Vestige,” directed by Stephon Stewart and produced by Aaron Magnani Productions, follows an ice skater who struggles in a dystopian society where humans are going extinct and androids are competing against her. Saga acquired rights in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, Japan, India, North and South Korea, Mongolia; Southeast Asia including the Philippines, Guam, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and New Guinea; and South Asia including Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
“Eadweard” is a psychological drama about late 19th century British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (played by Michael Eklund), who photographed nude and deformed subjects, became the godfather of cinema, murdered his wife’s lover, and was the last British-American to receive a court verdict of justifiable homicide. Saga has rights in China, Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, Japan, North Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Guam, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), New Guinea, and South Asia including India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
“These prestigious titles fit perfectly with our ongoing strategy, and will translate well for the territory,” said Lauter.