Zeitgeist Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Pierre Földes’ feature debut Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, and will open the film at New York’s Film Forum in April 2023 before embarking on a wider theatrical run.
- Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is adapted from several short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Murakami is one of Japan’s most distinguished authors and also wrote the short story Drive My Car, which was adapted as a live-action feature by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and won the Oscar for best international feature earlier this year.
- Földes’ film has been on just about everyone’s radar since it was pitched at Cartoon Movie in 2019. In 2021, we premiered the film’s trailer and in 2022 it embarked on an impressive festival run that included competition screenings at Annecy (winning a jury distinction), and the Ghent, Cairo, and São Paulo International Film Festivals.
- Says Földes of the film: “This film is aimed not only at the millions of Murakami fans around the world, but also at a public into innovative storytelling which has been defined as magical realism, and for which animation is a great medium. Stories are made up of memories, dreams, and fantasies, influenced by individual visions of the earthquake – in the form of evil trees, a giant worm, a secret wish, an unknown password, a mysterious empty box, and dark endless corridors – in which the main characters try to reconnect with who they really are.”
- Produced by Cinéma Defacto, Miyu Productions, Doghouse Films, micro_scope, Productions l’unité centrale, An Original Picture, and Studio Ma, the film features a hybrid animation style that utilizes traditional hand-drawn animation, 3d modeling, and live-action references – not rotoscope.
- Synopsis: A lost cat, a voluble giant toad, and a tsunami help an unambitious salesman, his frustrated wife, and a schizophrenic accountant save Tokyo from an earthquake and find meaning in their lives.
- Zeitgeist, in association with Kino Lorber, acquired the U.S. rights from European sale agent The Match Factory.