WellGo USA Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to acclaimed cult director Takashi Miike’s First Love following the world premiere in Director’s Fortnight at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The deal was negotiated by Doris Pfardrescher on behalf of WellGo USA and HanWay Films with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers. It will be released in select theaters later this year, with the digital and home entertainment release scheduled for first quarter 2020.
HanWay Films has also closed deals with Haut et Court (France), Eurovideo (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Nonstop (Scandinavia), Odeon (Greece), Mars (Turkey), Discovery (Former-Yugoslavia), Paradise (CIS, Baltics) and Frontrow (Middle East).
First Love marks the fourth collaboration between Academy Award® winning producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor) and Takashi Miike (Blade Of The Immortal, Hara-Kiri, 13 Assassins). The film is the prolific auteur at his most fun and anarchic, a noir-tinged yakuza film blending genres in the story of a young boxer and a call girl, who fall passionately in love while getting innocently caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo. First Love stars Masataka Kubota (13 Assassins, Gintama 2: Rules Are Made to Be Broken, Tokyo Ghoul), Nao Omori (Ichi The Killer), Shota Sometani (Samurai Marathon) and newcomer Sakurako Konishi.
“Takashi Miike is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in international cinema today,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President & CEO of Well Go USA. “His new film, First Love, continues his extraordinary track record for interesting and provocative films and audiences will be blown away.”
First Love was directed by Takashi Miike and written by Masaru Nakamura (Sukiyaki Western Django, The Bird People In China). The film is a Japanese/UK collaboration and is produced by Muneyuki Kii, Jeremy Thomas and Misako Saka and executive produced by Shigeji Maeda, Hidehiro Itoh and Takara Kosugi.
HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution, alongside TOEI Films who handle Asia & Australasia.