IFC fingerprints all over 'Detective'


IFC Entertainment is picking up the offbeat cop thriller "Mad Detective" from Hong Kong directors Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai.

Lau Ching-wan plays the title character, a loopy police inspector who solves cases by seeing a suspect's inner "ghosts." After a long absence from the force for mental-health reasons, he is brought back to track down a missing officer.

"Detective" premiered in September at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. To, who has directed dozens of films since the early 1980s, has seen some of his greatest successes with the recent gangster films "Election," "Triad Election" and "Exiled." He most recently teamed with co-director Wai on the 2003 film "Running on Karma."

IFC will release "Detective" in theaters and via VOD through its First Take day-and-date program. An IFC spokesperson declined comment on the deal, which is now in final negotiations.

Friday's acquisition added to a high-profile week for IFC, which received four Spirit Award nominations (for "Paranoid Park" and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days") and a Gotham Award tribute for president Jonathan Sehring.