Chinese Sex Shop Comedy to Get U.K. Release

Terracotta Distribution to open "Red Light Revolution" in October.

BEIJING – Chinese sex shop comedy Red Light Revolution, the 2011 Audience Award winner at London’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival, will be released in select U.K. theaters in October by the festival’s parent company, Terracotta Distribution, writer-director Sam Voutas told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

Terracotta, whose focus is Asian genre movies, begins a U.K. marketing campaign this month for the film, about a laid-off Beijing cab driver who opens a shop selling sex toys to make ends meet.

Terracotta’s acquisition of Red Light – its first from China’s mainland – will make producer Melanie Ansley’s film the first Chinese film to get a release date in British cinemas so far this year. The last was Legend of the First in December.

"We want to show the U.K. that there's more to Asian film than just guns and ghosts,” said Terracotta founder Joey Leung, who negotiated the U.K. deal with Ansley.

Australia-born Voutas said he hopes British filmgoers will appreciate his Red Light on the same level as they did The Full Monty.

“Our film aims to strike a universal chord in terms of the struggles to get by with one's head held high in tough economic times,” Voutas said. “Would an everyday Londoner open a sex shop to pay the bills, and would they tell their friends and parents or keep it a secret? It's something I think that a lot of comedy can be drawn from, in both the East and the West.”

Red Light had its world premiere at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival last October. Terracotta also plans U.K. broadcast, DVD and Internet releases.

This November, the film also will get a Canadian release through Vagrant Films Releasing. Mystic Pizza producer Scott Rosenfelt and IMTF are representing the film in the United States.

London-based Terracotta previously released films such as the South Korean horror fantasy Hansel and Gretel, the Taiwanese drama God Man Dog and, most recently, the Japanese 3D horror comedy Big Tits Zombie.

Whether or not the mandarin language Red Light ever will see a release in China, where it was made, remains to be seen. Despite moviegoers’ demand for greater variety and a booming box office (up 64 percent last year to $1.5 billion), most distributors in the world’s most populous nation play to the middle because the country’s lack of film ratings system and strict government censors who bar most films addressing sexual issues.