Drafthouse Films Nabs U.S. Rights To Kim Ki-duk's PIETÀ

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
When it screened last month at TIFF, one mister Todd Brown found Pieta, the 18th flick from Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, to be a rather successful filmic endeavor that constantly challenged the audience with its very dark tale of a debt collector. In Todd's words:

[Kim] is a master provocateur playing out his own neuroses and obsessions on the big screen. Like Von Trier, Kim never says anything quietly when he can shout. And like Von Trier, his films don't always work. But when they do ... well, when they do Kim is capable of creating work that disturbs and troubles and finds beauty in unexpected places. This is one of those films. 

Agreeing with our big man on campus, the folks at Drafthouse Films have gone ahead and acquired themselves the US distribution rights and are currently prepping the film for a limited theatrical and VOD run in 2013. Korea has also selected the film as their official entry for the Foreign Language Oscar so expect to hear a lot more about Pieta in the coming months. For now check out a clip from the film below (which does ask of you to join Drafthouse's mailing list to view) and if you're so inclined to read, here is the press release:

DRAFTHOUSE FILMS ACQUIRES

OFFICIAL SOUTH KOREAN OSCAR® ENTRY 'PIETÀ'

 

Hard-hitting Drama From Auteur Kim-Ki-Duk And Winner of the Venice's Prestigious 'Golden Lion' Award Will See Theatrical/VOD release in 2013

 

AUSTIN, TX - October 9th, 2012 - Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today the acquisition of North American rights to Pietà, from acclaimed Korean auteur Kim Ki-Duk (Bad Guy; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring; 3-Iron) following its world premiere at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival where it won the 'Golden Lion' Award for Best Film. Selected as South Korea's official entry into the 2013 Academy Awards® in the Best Foreign Language Film category, Pietà tells the uncompromising story of a loan shark who is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother.  A limited theatrical and multi-platform VOD release for Pietà is planned for 2013

 

Kim Ki-Duk is a multi-award-winning director - the 'Un Certain Regard' Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the 'Leone D'Argento' Award for Best Direction at the 2004 Venice Film Festival and the 'Silver Bear' Award for Best Direction at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival - whose intense, violent and beautiful imagery has earned praise from both critics and audiences as one of South Korea's most celebrated and provocative voices. Leslie Felperin for Variety wrote that Pietà's "gritty, urban setting and thoughtful engagement with themes of revenge, sacrifice and redemption harks back to earlier films that brokered Kim's reputation as one of Korea's most innovative and talented helmers." For Indiewire, Pietà is a "curiously engaging and wickedly twisted tale of crime and punishment on multiple levels...recalls the like-minded outlook of No Country For Old Men."

 

"It will be a great opportunity for us to start working with Drafthouse with Kim Ki-duk's Pietà. I was most impressed by their in-depth understanding of the film combined with an aggressive distribution strategy based on an equal amount of passion. We hope that U.S. audiences find Pietà as impressive as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring," says Finecut CEO Youngjoo Suh.

 

"Kim Ki Duk is one of the most daring, provocative and accomplished filmmakers working today, and Pietà shows him at the top of his form," says Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League. "We hope this film brings the first, long-deserved nomination to South Korean, one of the greatest contemporary film cultures in the world." Drafthouse COO James Emanuel Shapiro adds, "with one Foreign Language Academy Award nomination for this year's stunning breakout film Bullhead, we have high hopes to repeat."

 

The deal was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Youngjoo Suh of Finecut on behalf of the film's producers.


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