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HanWay Films Boards Takashi Miike’s Cannes-Bound ‘First Love’

HanWay Films has boarded sales on Takashi Miike’s “First Love,” which has been selected for Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. HanWay has worldwide rights excluding Asia.

Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company is re-teaming with Miike on the picture, which will have its world premiere in Cannes. The film marks the fourth collaboration between the prolific Japanese director and Thomas after they worked closely together on “Blade of the Immortal,” “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” and “13 Assassins.”

First Love” was announced in the Directors’ Fortnight lineup, but with little plot information available. The producers said Wednesday that the film is set during one night in Tokyo and follows Leo, a down-on-his-luck young boxer who meets his first love, Monica, a call girl and an addict but still an innocent. Monica unwittingly gets caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme, and the two are pursued through the night by a corrupt cop, a yakuza, Leo’s nemesis and a female assassin sent by the Chinese Triads.

Thomas has a long affinity with Japanese films, and “First Love” will join Japanese pictures including “Samurai Marathon” on the HanWay slate. It introduced that title to buyers in Berlin.

The sales effort on “First Love” gets underway at Cannes. The HanWay slate also includes Andrew Levitas’ Johnny Depp-starrer “Minimata,” Matteo Garrone’s live-action re-imagining of “Pinocchio,” and Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, “Falling.”

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