Venice-Bound ‘Evil Does Not Exist,’ Directed by Oscar Winner Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Sells to Germany, Korea, Austria, Turkey (EXCLUSIVE)

“Evil Does Not Exist,” the new film by the Oscar-winning auteur Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, has sold to several additional territories. The film will world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, will have its North America premiere as a special presentation at Toronto, and will go on to screen at New York and San Sebastian.

Hamaguchi received Oscar nominations last year for directing and adapted screenplay, shared with Takamasa Ôe, for “Drive My Car.” The film was also nominated in the best picture category and won the international feature film Oscar.

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M-Appeal, which is handling world sales on “Evil Does Not Exist,” has closed distribution deals with Pandora Film Distribution for Germany, GreenNarae for Korea, Polyfilm for Austria, and Mars Film for Turkey. All deals have a strong focus on theatrical release.

The film has already been sold in North America (Sideshow), U.K. and Ireland (Modern Films), France (Diaphana), Italy (Tucker and Teodora), Spain (Caramel Films), Benelux (September Film Distribution), Taiwan (Andrews Film), and Portugal (Leopardo Filmes).

Björn Hoffmann, Pandora’s managing partner, said: “In 2021, ‘Drive My Car’ by Ryusuke Hamaguchi was very well received among German critics and the German audience. We are therefore most honored to bring Hamaguchi’s new film ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ to German theaters in 2024. Hamaguchi’s films are like a window into another world – heart-warming masterpieces in which the director tells truly humane stories of chance and connectivity. The new film by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi fits perfectly into our lineup of outstanding international arthouse cinema and upholds Pandora Films tradition as a home for international auteurs.”

Other upcoming releases from Pandora include “Fallen Leaves” by Aki Kaurismäki and “Kidnapped” by Marco Bellocchio.

In Korea, “Evil Does Not Exist” will be distributed by GreenNarae, which also released “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” by Hamaguchi. Their lineup includes “Anatomy of a Fall” by Justine Triet, “Triangle of Sadness” by Ruben Östlund, and “Aftersun” by Charlotte Wells. “Ryusuke Hamaguchi creates the most anticipated screenplays. He is the best writer-director in existence,” Sera Kim, marketing manager at GreenNarae, said.

Polyfilm has bought the rights for Austria, adding to their recent acquisitions, including “How to Have Sex” by Molly Manning Walker, “Talk to Me” by Danny and Michael Philippou, and “Perfect Days” by Wim Wenders. The company also released “Drive My Car.”

“Bringing ‘Drive My Car’ to theaters has been one of the most rewarding experiences we had as a distributor. Very happy to be able to repeat that with ‘Evil Does Not Exist,’” said Hans Koenig, head of acquisitions at Polyfilm.

Mars Film, which has bought the rights for Turkey, also distributed “Drive My Car.”

Set in a serene village, the film follows Takumi, who lives a quiet life according to the cycles of nature with his daughter Hana. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a glamping site near Takumi’s house, offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to nature. When two company representatives from Tokyo arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will have a negative impact on the local water supply, causing unrest. The agency’s intentions endanger both the ecological balance of the plateau, and the residents’ way of life.

“Evil Does Not Exist” began as a collaboration between Hamaguchi and musician Eiko Ishibashi, who also composed the score for “Drive My Car.” That soundtrack won the Discovery of the Year award at the World Soundtrack Awards and the best original music award at the Asian Film Awards.

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