Film Movement has acquired North American rights to “They Say Nothing Stays The Same,” the feature film debut of Joe Odagiri, a popular Japanese actor and musician.

The lushly lensed Japanese drama premiered at Venice and went on to play at Busan. Among its many accolades, the pic won best feature film at Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey and was nominated for the Golden Star at El Gouana. It also played at the New York Asian Film Festival.

“They Say Nothing Stays The Same” will have a theatrical release in 2021, followed by a roll-out on digital and home entertainment platforms. The announcement was made by Michael Rosenberg, the president of Film Movement and Maki Shimizu of the Kinoshita Group.

Headlined by Akira Emoto, the film boasts a strong crew including Christopher Doyle, the cinematographer of “Paranoid Park”; Emi Wada, the costume designer of “Ran”; as well as Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan.

Set in Meiji-era Japan, the film follows a lonely old ferryman (Emoto), who earns a modest living by ferrying villagers, livestock and goods back and forth across the river. With the construction of a large bridge in the pipeline, Toichi might lose his job and the only human connections he has. But when he rescues a mysterious young woman from drowning, his life is transformed forever.

“Though Joe Odagari is known around the world as the star of dozens of films and a talented musician with a huge following, ‘They Say Nothing Stays the Same’ shows that he has the beating heart of a true auteur,” said Rosenberg.

“We think this is the perfect film to remind audiences why it’s worth seeing movies in a dark auditorium on the big screen, and we look forward to making it available for exactly that later this year,” added Rosenberg.

Film Movement’s recent acquisitions also include “Fear,” Ivaylo Hristov’s debut which won the Grand Prize at Tallinn; as well as the LGBT drama “Poppy Field” and Cathy Yan’s debut feature “Dead Pigs.”