EXCLUSIVE: Zeitgeist Films, in association with Kino Lorber, has acquired all U.S. rights to the animated feature Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman from The Match Factory.
The feature debut of composer Pierre Földes, will open theatrically at Film Forum in New York in April 2023 before expanding nationwide.
Based on several short stories by acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami (Drive My Car), the feature won the Jury Special Mention Award at Annecy and has played at Toronto, Rotterdam, and Busan.
Using a hybrid animation style that incorporates live-action references, 3D modeling, and traditional layouts, the movie begins in Tokyo just days after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Aided by a lost cat and a loquacious giant frog, an unambitious salesman, his frustrated wife and a schizophrenic accountant are called upon to save their city from obliteration and find meaning in their lives.
Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo negotiated the deal with The Match Factory’s Laura Nacher.
Pic is produced by Cinéma Defacto’s Tom Dercourt, Pierre Baussaron, and Emmanuel-Alain Raynal.
“We’d never seen a film quite like Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman,” said Russo and Gerstman. “It is sure to appeal to the wide range of Murakami fans and hopefully anyone who wants to take a wild and imaginative ride into a world that seems oddly no stranger than our own.”
Filmmaker Pierre Földes added: “I’m very happy to have Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber work hand in hand for the US release of my film Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a feature animation based on stories by Haruki Murakami. Zeitgeist’s profile based on their 200+ films seems like the perfect match. So many of the films they have distributed I love, so it’s great to bring the film with them to the US Market. I hope it inspires many the same way I was inspired writing and making it.”
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.