Icarus Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Tibetan director Pema Tseden’s new arthouse feature “Jinpa.” Following “Old Dog,” The Search” and “Tharlo,” it is the fourth of Tseden’s titles to be added to the firm’s dGenerate Collection, the largest grouping of independent Chinese films available in the U.S., founded and curated by Karin Chien.
Jacky Pang, CEO of Block 2 Distribution, and Jonathan Miller, president of Icarus Films, signed the deal. Pema Tseden is one of the most prominent Tibetan filmmakers, whose black-and-white film “Tharlo” won a Golden Horse for best adapted screenplay in 2015.
An atmospheric depiction of Tibetan life, “Jinpa” was released theatrically nationwide in China but made just $1.46 million (RMB10.3 million) in theaters. It tells the tale of a truck driver who accidentally runs over a sheep on his way across the barren Tibetan steppe, and then tries to stop a hitchhiker whom he picks up from committing a murder. Last year, it won the Orizzonti section’s award for best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo FILMeX, and was nominated for the best director and best adapted screenplay at the Golden Horse Awards.
Last month, the dGenerate Collection at Icarus Films acquired the rights to “Girls Always Happy,” the debut feature from Yang Mingming starring Nai An, Chinese director Lou Ye’s longtime producer.