EXCLUSIVE: Oscilloscope Laboratories has partnered with Anita Gou’s Kindred Spirit to acquire the North American rights to the 8-bit inspired We Are Little Zombies. The Japanese-language film, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality at Sundance in 2019, marks Makoto Nagahisa’s debut feature. Oscilloscope and Kindred Spirit will release the pic later this year.
The film follows four young orphans named Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura. When they first meet, their parents’ bodies are being turned into dust, yet none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes — just enough to start a band and then conquer the world.
“We Are Little Zombies is a film that genuinely defies categorization,” saidO-Scope’s Dan Berger. “At its heart, it’s an inspiring tale of overcoming grief, but on its face, it’s a wild, videogame inspired, musical oddity. And yet it somehow all melds together perfectly. With his feature debut, Makoto has really established himself as a filmmaker to watch.”
“I am more than excited to learn that We Are Little Zombies is finally hitting theatres in the U.S.!,” said Nagahisa. He also added that audiences must stay for a special message after the film and adds an important caveat: “This film is NOT a zombie film!”
The film was produced by Dentsu’s Taihei Yamanishi, Nikkatsu’s Shinichi Takahashi, and Robot Communication’s Haruki Yokoyama and Haruhiko Hasegawa, and distributed by Nikkatsu, which will also handle the international distribution rights Jason Ishikawa from Cinetic Sales Group negotiated the deal on behalf of Kindred Spirit and the filmmakers.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.