Film Sales Banner M-Appeal Touts Success of Eastern European Talent Focus

After the company brought a release to the Cannes Critics' Week, the San Sebastian festival has selected its "Japanese Dog" by Romanian director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu.

LONDON – Berlin-based international sales house M-Appeal says another festival success for one of its titles vindicates its niche approach to nurturing Eastern European talent.

Romanian director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu's debut, Japanese Dog, is due for its world premiere at the 61st edition of the San Sebastian festival in September. The film is produced by leading Romanian producer Tudor Guirgui's Libra Film Productions.

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The competition placement, announced today by the Spanish festival, demonstrates the company's approach is working, M-Appeal CEO Maren Kroyman told The Hollywood Reporter.

"I’ve already worked together with producer Tudor Giurgiu. Back in 2006 he directed the film lesbian drama Love Sick, which I sold, Kroyman said. Since then we eagerly searched for another opportunity to work together. We found it."

The film, which follows an encounter between an old man, widowed by the recent floods, and his son offers a sobering glimpse into the lives of the elderly. When the lonely old man's son visits he leaves him a Japanese robot dog as a parting gift, one that will change his father's life forever.

Kroyman said M-Appeal spotted the film at the Agora Works in Progress at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

"Picking up Japanese Dog in post-production reflects our company’s policy to intensify our search for upcoming directors from Eastern Europe, to enrichen our line-up," she added.

Other Eastern European titles M-Appeal picked up this year include Russian director Yuri Bykov's The Major -- which screened in Critics Week at Cannes this year -- and Land of Storms by Hungary's Adam Csaszi, currently in in post-production.