Berlin: Cinema Guild Takes 'Introduction,' Hong Sangsoo Slate for U.S.

Shin Seokho and Ye Jiwon in 'Introduction'
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Shin Seokho and Ye Jiwon in 'Introduction'

The South Korean director's new feature premiered in competition this week at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Cinema Guild has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Introduction, the new film from acclaimed South Korean auteur Hong Sangsoo (The Woman Who Ran) that premiered in competition this week at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Hong's latest minimalist drama is set in Korea and Berlin. It follows the relationship between Youngho (Shin Seokho) and his girlfriend Juwon (Park Miso) over several years, told through seemingly mundane moments and encounters. Shot in black-and-white, Introduction is Hong's 25th feature.

"From the very beginning, director Hong has been a maker of highly personal films, but with Introduction, he seems to be drawing us even closer," said Cinema Guild president Peter Kelly in a statement. "We’re so excited to share this film with audiences and to continue our special relationship with Hong Sangsoo."

Cinema Guild last year pounced on U.S. rights to Hong's The Woman Who Ran, which also premiered in Berlin and won the Silver Bear for best director. While the global coronavirus pandemic has meant The Woman Who Ran has only been released in a handful of cinemas —Cinema Guild is planning a domestic theatrical bow later this year — in the meantime, the ever-prolific Hong managed to turn out another feature.

Alongside Introduction, Cinema Guild also announced it was acquiring five of Hong's previous films: Like You Know it All (2009), Hahaha (2010), Oki’s Movie (2010), Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013), and Our Sunhi (2013) for the U.S., all of which will be released on home video and digital platforms stateside this year. It adds substantially to Cinema Guild's Hong collection. The distributor also holds U.S. rights to his 2012 feature The Day He Arrives, 2017's On the Beach at Night Alone, and 2016 feature Yourself and Yours, which they released last year.

The deal for Introduction was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Youngjoo Suh, CEO of sales group Finecut.