Entertainment

European Sales for Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ – The Hollywood Reporter


European and Asian buyers have snapped up Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s hotly-anticipated new drama Evil Does Not Exist ahead of its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival next week.

Berlin-based sales agent M-Appeal closed multiple distribution deals for the Japanese director’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Drive My Car.

Ama Films will release the film in Greece, Lev Cinemas has picked it up for Israel, and Cineworx will release in Switzerland. Njutafilms will handle distribution in Scandinavia, including Iceland, and will be working with local label Another World for the release in Denmark and Norway. In Hong Kong, Edko Films, which has handled distribution for many of Hamaguchi’s films, will handle the local release.

“Having released almost the entire oeuvre of Hamaguchi in Hong Kong, we feel like we have established a unique and personal relationship between the local audience and the director,” said Mandy Lam, general manager of sales and acquisitions at Edko Films.

M-Appeal has also already closed deals for North America for Evil Does Not Exist with Sideshow and Janus Films, partnered with Films We Like in Canada, with Diaphana in France, Pandora in Germany, Caramel Films in Spain and GreenNarea in Korea, among others.

Following its Venice premiere Evil Does Not Exist will head to the Toronto Film Festival for its North American bow before screening at the New York, San Sebastian, and BFI London film festivals.

Set in a peaceful village in the middle of nature, the film follows Takumi and his daughter Hana. But their bucolic world is threatened when Takumi and the village residents find out about plans to build a glamping site nearby. When two company representatives from Tokyo arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will have a negative impact on the local water supply.

Evil Does Not Exist began as a collaboration between Hamaguchi and his Drive My Car composer Eiko Ishibashi. Drive My Car premiered in Cannes in 2021 where it won the best screenplay honors. It went on to win the Oscar for best international feature.

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