Berlin: Cinema Guild Takes U.S. Rights to Hong Sang-soo’s 'The Woman Who Ran'

THE WOMAN WHO RAN Still 1 - Berlin International Film Festival - H 2020
Courtesy of Jeonwonsa Film Co. Production

The latest effort from the veteran South Korean auteur won the Silver Bear for best director at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday.

New York boutique distributor Cinema Guild has picked up U.S. rights to Hong Sang-soo's The Woman Who Ran on the heels of its world premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where Hong won the Silver Bear for best director.

A critical and audience favorite at the fest, The Woman Who Ran is Hong's 24th feature. The superficially simple story follows Gam-hee (Kim Min-hee), a woman who has three separate encounters with friends while her husband is away on a business trip. What at first appear to be ordinary meetings slowly reveal themselves to be something deeper and more mysterious.

The Woman Who Ran will be the seventh film of Hong's that Cinema Guild has released stateside, including, most recently, Hotel by the River (2018) and On the Beach at Night Alone (2017), both of which also star Kim.

“We’re so pleased to be working with Hong Sang-soo again to bring The Woman Who Ran to U.S. audiences,” Cinema Guild president Peter Kelly said Monday in a statement. “Once again, Hong has delivered a truly original work that’s sure attract new fans while delighting the diehards.”

Kelly negotiated the deal for The Woman Who Ran with Suh Young-joo, CEO of Finecut, which is handling world sales for the movie.

Despite his status as one of Korea's great auteurs, Hong has yet to breakthrough in the U.S., where he remains a connoisseur’s choice. Newfound interest in Korean cinema, boosted by the historic best picture Oscar win for Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, might help Cinema Guild's marketing for The Woman Who Ran, though Hong's quiet, minimalist style is a world away from Bong's thriller.

Not long after the film's Berlin wins, Finecut revealed a slew of additional deals for the title, including for France and French Speaking Switzerland (Capricci Films), Portugal (Midas Filmes), Spain (Capricci Cine), Taiwan (AV-JET International Media Co., LTD.), Australia and New Zealand (CMC Pictures), and Brazil (Providence Filmes).