Asian Shadows Scores Cannes Deals on Wayne Wang, Soda Kazuhiro Titles

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Boutique sales agency Asian Shadows has struck deals in Cannes on two of its key titles, “Coming Home Again,” directed by Wayne Wang and “Zero” by Soda Kazuhiro.

Asian Shadows is operating in person and online at the Cannes Market and is giving screenings to documentary “All About My Sisters” (world premiere at IFFR Bright Future last month) at the online market.

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Examining themes of family, roots and food, “Coming Home Again” was sold to Zeta Filmes for Brazil and to Dae Sung Films for release in South Korea. Dae Sung says that it plans a theatrical release before the end of 2021.

That would represent a post-pandemic revival. The film premiered at the Toronto festival in September 2019 and shortly after played also at Tallinn. But its commercial career was halted by the worldwide cinema closures due to coronavirus.

The film stars Justin Chon (“Twilight” series, “Gook”), whose “Blue Bayou” appears this week in Un Certain Regard, and Jackie Chung (“Station 19,” “Someone Else”).

A Korea-U.S. production, the film is financed by Center for Asian American Media, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donald Young and Naja Pham Lockwood are the producers.
France’s Art House Films has acquired rights to “Zero.” The film continues Soda’s already established style of “observational” filmmaking, but will the first to enjoy a commercial theatrical release in France. Art House plans an outing in early 2022.

“Zero,” which premiered at the MoMa Doc Fortnight in 2020 and played at the Berlinale’s Forum section where it won the Ecumenical Prize, is a follow on to 2015 title “Observational Film#2, MENTAL.” Where the first observed the complexities of an outpatient mental health clinic run by Dr. Yamamoto, “Zero” documents the elderly Yamamoto’s preparations for retirement.

Like all his previous observational films, Soda applied a set of self-imposed restrictions that he calls the ten commandments. These include: financing his own film productions; not using any research or any meeting with the subjects; no scripts, any narration or music; and even avoiding giving the production a theme or a goal.

The film is a Japan – U.S. production, produced by Laboratory X, Inc. with Soda and Kashiwagi Kiyoko as producers.

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