Strand Releasing has scooped all North American rights to Lou Ye’s Second World War-set spy thriller “Saturday Fiction” from Wild Bunch. The film world premiered in competition at Venice last year and played at the New York Film Festival.
“Saturday Fiction” stars Gong Li as a famous actress who has returned to Japanese-occupied Shanghai to act in a play directed by and co-starring her old flame. But it turns out she has ulterior motives, functioning as a double agent gathering intelligence for the Allies leading up to Japan’s upcoming attack on Pearl Harbor.
Written by Ma Yingli (“Summer Palace”), the lavishly shot black-and-white movie also stars Mark Chao, Pascal Greggory and Tom Wlaschiha.
Strand Releasing, one of the key purveyors of upscale foreign-language cinema in the U.S., previously distributed Ye’s critically-acclaimed 2000 drama “Suzhou River,” as well as “Spring Fever,” which had won the screenplay award at Cannes in 2009.
“We’re excited to be handling another one of (Lou) Ye’s films, and this one is as visually stunning and distinctive as all of his work. The black and white cinematography captures and frames the period so well,” said Marcus Hu of Strand Releasing. The deal was done between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Eva Diederix of Wild Bunch, with the cooperation of CAA Media Finance.
“We are thrilled to be back in business with Strand, a dedicated and talented distributor committed to Lou Ye’s films. I trust our film has found the right home with them, “ said Diederix.
Strand Releasing plans for a fall release that will mark the 20th Anniversary of the release of “Suzhou River.” Theaters are currently shuttered in most cities across the U.S.
“We wish them all the best in presenting ‘Saturday Fiction’ to the American audiences returning to cinemas in the near future and hope that they will embrace the film as they have all of his previous work,” said Ma Yingli, producer at Yingfilms.
“Saturday Fiction” marks Lou’s follow up to the police procedural “The Shadow Play.”
The L.A.-based Strand Releasing recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a national tour showcasing films created for the occasion. The company will be launching Christophe Honore’s “On a Magical Night” in virtual cinemas on May 8.