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Cannes 2022 Deals: Neon Buys Kore-eda Hirokazu’s ‘Broker’ in Latest Pre-Festival Acquisition

Neon will also arrive at the festival with David Cronenberg’s "Crimes of The Future" and Brett Morgen’s David Bowie doc.

Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or for “Shoplifters” in 2018.

Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

After staging a vastly scaled-down version in 2020, organizers of the Cannes Film Festival brought buzz back to the Croisette last year as the industry dipped its toes into the annual French gathering. As the 75th edition kicks off May 17, many in the business are all-in on the in-person experience and there are plenty of completed films for sale.

MUBI took an early lead in acquisitions, scooping up Léa Mysius’s sophomore film “The Five Devils” and Park Chan-wook’s mystery “Decision to Leave” in recent weeks. Other films arriving with distribution include Brett Morgen’s David Bowie doc “Moonage Daydream,” distributed by Neon. A24 has five films premiering at Cannes, including Alex Garland’s “Men” and Claire Denis’ “The Stars at Noon.”

Still up for grabs are anticipated films like “Hunt,” the directorial debut of “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-jae; Arnaud Desplechin’s “Brother and Sister”; the Dardenne brothers’ “Tori and Lokita”; and “Triangle of Sadness” from former Palme winner Ruben Östlund.

Below find a constantly updated list of acquisitions from the festival’s official selection and sidebars, beginning with the most recently announced. The list also includes films that arrived to the festival with distribution, but not titles from the Marché du Film or other deals completed during the festival (which will update as they roll out).

Title: “Broker”
Section: In Competition
Buyer: Neon

The first Korean-language film from Japanese writer/director Kore-eda Hirokazu stars Song Kang Ho (“Parasite”) and Gang Dong Won (“Peninsula”) as “brokers of goodwill” who connect unwanted babies with parents on the black market. After a new baby is dropped off, the two brokers are surprised when the baby’s birth mother (Lee Ji Eun) shows up to join them on their journey to meet prospective parents.

Kore-eda was last at Cannes with his 2018 Palme d’Or winner “Shoplifters,” which earned a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination.

With “Broker,” Neon is re-teaming with CJ ENM, which also released “Parasite” in South Korea ahead of its 2020 Oscars sweep. “Parasite” was the first of two Palme wins for Neon in three years; the other was last year’s “Titane.”

Neon announced on May 13 that it acquired North American rights to the film.

Title: “The Five Devils”
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Buyer: MUBI

Léa Mysius’s sophomore directorial effort stars Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”) as the mother of a young girl (Sally Dramé) who is capable of magically reproducing any scent that she finds. The girl puts her gift to use after the return of a family member upends the domestic balance of her household, as she traverses dark memories that reveal secrets of her village, family, and her own existence.

In addition to her debut feature “Ava,” Mysius cowrote Claire Denis’s “The Stars at Noon” and Jacques Audiard’s “Paris, 13th District.”

MUBI announced on May 9 that it acquired rights for North America, U.K., Ireland, Latin America, India, and Turkey. The film will get a theatrical release in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland followed by an exclusive MUBI streaming release at a future date.

Title: “Decision to Leave”
Section: In Competition
Buyer: MUBI

Park Chan-wook’s mystery film follows a detective (Park Hae-il) called to investigate the mountain-fall death of a man. The officer develops an interest in the man’s window (Tang Wei) who is a suspect in the case.

MUBI announced it acquired rights for North America, U.K., Ireland, Turkey, and India on April 28. Its planning a U.S. and U.K. theatrical release in the fall before it lands on its streaming platform.

Title: “Moonage Daydream”
Section: Out of Competition, Midnight
Distributor: Neon

Neon wowed CinemaCon last month with extended footage of Brett Morgen’s David Bowie doc, which features concert footage and 48 of his tracks mixed from their original stems.

Neon is planning a domestic release in September, Universal is handling international, and HBO Documentary Films has domestic streaming and cable rights for spring 2023.

Title: “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind”
Section: Special Screenings
Distributor: A24

The details of Ethan Coen’s first solo directorial effort are largely under wraps, but the documentary will focus on musician Jerry Lee Lewis. It counts Mick Jagger among its producers.

A24 confirmed last month that it controls worldwide rights on the project.

Title: “Crimes of the Future”
Section: In Competition
Distributor: Neon

Writer-director David Cronenberg’s body horror thriller stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart in a story set in the near future where humans are capable of growing new organs.

Neon boarded the long-in-development film last year and is planning to release it in New York and Los Angeles on June 3, followed by a nationwide expansion on June 10.

Title: “God’s Creatures”
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Distributor: A24

Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer’s film is set in an Irish fishing village and stars Emily Watson as a mother torn between protecting her son (Paul Mescal) and her own sense of right and wrong when a lie she tells for him rips apart their close-knit community.

A24 co-financed the psychological drama and controls worldwide rights.

Title: “Men”
Section: Special Screening
Distributor: A24

Alex Garland’s folk horror film stars Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear in a story about a woman who goes on a solo vacation in the English countryside after the death of her husband.

Title: “Silent Twins”
Section: Un Certain Regard
Buyer: Focus Features

The English-language debut of Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczyńska (“The Lure”) is based on the nonfiction book by Marjorie Wallace. It stars Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance as June and Jennifer Gibbons, twins from the only Black family in a small 1970s Welsh town who rejected communication with all but each other and who, after a vandalism spree, are sentenced to an infamous psychiatric hospital.

Focus acquired worldwide rights to the film in April 2021; the label will distribute it in the U.S. with Universal handling international.

Title: “Showing Up”
Section: In Competition
Distributor: A24

Kelly Reichardt’s fourth collaboration with Michelle Williams stars the actor as an artist on the verge of her big break who navigates her family and work challenges in the lead-up to a big exhibition. The cast is rounded out by André 3000, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, and Amanda Palmer.

A24 announced that it boarded the project in January 2021.

Title: “Three Thousand Years of Longing”
Section: Out of Competition
Buyer: MGM

“Mad Max” filmmaker George Miller promises an epic film that’s hard to classify into a single drama. It stars Tilda Swinton as a scholar who, on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Among her wishes is love, but he’s unsure if he should grant it to her.

MGM acquired North American rights to the project in 2020.

Title: “Armageddon Time”
Section: In Competition
Distributor: Focus Features

Director James Gray wrote “Armageddon Time” based on his childhood memories; it explores friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of the reelection of Ronald Reagan with a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway, Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, and Ryan Sell.

Focus acquired worldwide rights for a reported $15 million at the Cannes virtual market in 2020.

Title: “The Stars at Noon”
Section: In Competition
Distributor: A24

Claire Denis’ romantic thriller, based on the novel by Denis Johnson, is set in the 1980s during the revolution in Nicaragua. It follows the unlikely romance of an Englishman (Joe Alwyn, “The Favourite”) and an American journalist (Margaret Qualley, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) who are caught up in a web of lies and conspiracies as they’re forced to flee the country.

A24 acquired North American rights ahead of the 2020 European Film Market.

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