Evokative brings 'Fist' to Canada

Boxing pic stars Choi Min-Shik, Ryu Seung-Beom

TORONTO -- Upstart Canadian distributor Evokative Films has picked up the Canadian rights to Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan's "Crying Fist" from M-Line Distribution.

Montreal-based Evokative, which releases genre Asian titles here, has planned a DVD release early next year for the boxing movie that stars Choi Min-Shik and Ryu Seung-Beom.

The pickup follows an award-winning bow in Cannes and a tour of the festival circuit.

"Crying Fist" stars Choi as a washed-up boxer who charges people on the street to punch him out, while Ryu plays a young prisoner who takes up boxing for self-discipline. Both men eventually meet in the ring in an amateur bout that will decide their destinies.

Other recent Evokative pickups include Taiwanese director Mong-Hong Chung's surrealist drama "Parking" and Sion Sono's "Hazard." Both were acquired at the Asian Film Market at the Pusan International Film Festival.

Evokative Films head Stephanie Trepanier said that Asian-themed film festivals like Fantasia in Montreal help launch genre titles in Canada, which can sell as many as 40,000 DVD titles on eventual release.

"Canadians have found Korean cinema can be extremely entertaining and well made," she said.

Larger Canadian distributors will pick up Korean titles as part of output deals already in place. Trepanier said her outfit can pick up Asian genre titles that are overlooked.