Milestone To Release Takeshi's NYFF Selection "Hana-Bi"
by Mark Rabinowitz/indieWIRE
In a six-figure deal, New York-based Milestone Films has acquired the US and English-speaking Canadian rights to Takeshi Kitano’s newest film, “Hana-Bi” (“Fireworks”) from Paris-based Celluloid Dreams, the film’s international sales agent. The director, also known as “Beat” Takeshi is a superstar in his native Japan, known for his work as stand-up comedian, actor (“Hana-Bi,” “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence“), author, novelist, poet, essayist, television personality and producer, and film director. In “Hana-Bi,” however, Kitano has revealed another talent, painting. The film features paintings by the director with these artworks mirroring, and sometimes foreshadowing, the film’s narrative. The Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winning film is Takeshi’s seventh film, and will have its US premiere at the New York Film Festival, screening on Sunday September 28 and Monday September 29.
Milestone plans to open the film on two screens in New York and to follow immediately with openings in all major cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Seattle. Other Milestone releases have included: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s recent film, “Maborosi;” Mikhail Kalatozov’s “I Am Cuba;” Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Mama Roma;” Luchino Visconti’s “Rocco And His Brothers” and F.W. Murnau’s “Tabu,” as well as several classic Japanese films such as Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Life Of Oharu” and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s “Woman In The Dunes” and “Antonio Gaudi.” The company was started in 1990 by Amy Heller and Dennis Doros and Fumiko Takagi, director of international sales, joined the company in 1996.