Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s “In Front of Your Face” is assured of a release in the U.S. following a rights deal between sales agent Finecut and distributor the Cinema Guild.
“In Front of Your Face” will have its world premiere in competition in Cannes and plays late on the second week of the festival. But, with this counting as Hong’s 11th appearance in Cannes, buyers consider him to be a known quantity and several from key territories have been quick to jump in.
The film also sold to Providence Filmes for Brazil, Mimosa Films for Japan, AV-JET International for Taiwan and to New Wave Films for the U.K. and Ireland.
Hong, who is known for a minimalist style, a focus on female characters and oblique references to the media industry, unwraps a tale of a middle-aged woman who visits her sister in a high-rise apartment in Seoul. While there she tries to keep her secrets to herself, wanders around the city’s back alleys and accepts an offer to meet a film director. It stars a cast of actors who have all appeared in previous Hong films: Lee Hyeyoung (“No Blood No Tears”), Cho Yunhee (“Introduction”) and Kwon Haehyo (“The Woman Who Ran”).
“Once again Hong has worked his magic and given us a film of extraordinary power through the simplest of means,” said Peter Kelly, president of the Cinema Guild.
Finecut has also scored recent license deals on “Midnight,” a crime thriller that opened in Korean cinemas last week and will next play at the 25th Fantasia International Film Festival and the 20th New York Asia Film Festival.
Involving a life-threatening chase between a psychopathic killer and a deaf woman, the film is the directorial debut of Kwon Oh-seung. Having previously been licensed to the Jokers for France, the picture has now found additional homes across Asia: with CJ ENM picking it up for release in Hong Kong, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; M Pictures taking it for Cambodia, Laos and Thailand; Gaga Corporation taking it for Japan; Viva Networks securing it for The Philippines; and Westec Media locking it in for Vietnam.
The NYAFF’s director Samuel Jamier called it “an outstanding, edge-of-your-seat thriller that we immediately knew was a must-show at our festival. Powered from end-to-end by the unique premise of its heroine’s injured perception (played by Jin Ki-Joo, in a breakthrough, singularly captivating performance), the film offers a unique experience, and aesthetics, of anxiety.”