Grasshopper Film announced today the acquisition of all U.S. distribution rights to Bi Gan's "Kaili Blues," the filmmaker's debut feature, which will have its U.S. premiere at New Directors / New Films next week.
The film's official synopsis reads: "In a small clinic in the rain-drenched city of Kaili, two preoccupied doctors live ghost-like lives. One of them, Chen Sheng, decides to fulfill his dead mother’s wish and sets off on a train journey to look for his brother’s abandoned child. His partner in the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks Chen to find her old lover, and pass along to him a few mementos: an old photograph, a shirt and a music cassette. On the way, however, Chen passes through a mysterious town called Dangmai, where time is not linear and people’s lives complement each other. Here, Chen experiences the past, present and future. It's unclear whether this place and its inhabitants are the doctor's dream, or the other way around."
Of the news, Grasshopper Founder and President Ryan Krivoshey commented, "I can’t recall the last time I saw a debut as breathtaking and visionary as 'Kaili Blues.' We're thrilled to have this amazing film as part of our initial slate of releases and are eager to bring it to U.S. screens."
The film debuted at Locarno, where it won both Best Emerging Director and a Special Mention for the First Feature award. It later screened at Toronto.
The newly launched Grasshopper Film, founded by industry vet Ryan Krivoshey, has already picked up titles like "Fireworks Wednesday," "The Artefacta," "Right Now, Wrong Then" and "In the Game." The distributor plans to release eight to 12 titles theatrically per year and more than 50 pics on VOD, digital and nontraditional outlets.
The deal was negotiated by Krivoshey and Jack Lee of China Film International. Grasshopper Film will open "Kaili Blues" in theaters later this year.