Koreans get fast start at AFM

CJ sells 'Mother'; M-Line cooks with 'Kitchen'

SANTA MONICA -- Korean companies were in good stead to withstand the slow flow of foot traffic at the AFM on Wednesday, unveiling two major deals with Japanese companies.

From its three-suite booth, Korean heavyweight CJ Entertainment announced the sale of Bong Joon-ho's latest title, "Mother," to Bitters End in Japan. A couple of doors down, Seoul-based sales company M-Line unveiled a Japanese deal on their romantic comedy "Kitchen," with all rights going to Showgate. M-Line also announced an all-rights deal with Germany's I-On for the romantic comedy "To Sir, With Love."

Currently in production, "Mother" tells the story of a widow who lives with her troubled son. The film is scheduled for production in 2009, and angling for a Festival de Cannes slot next year.

CJ also announced pre-sales on their controversial title, "My Wife Got Married," which is making its market premiere at the AFM. The film went to Rose Media in Thailand, Hwa Yea in Malaysia, and Innoform in Singapore.

Following its premiere in Pusan last month, CJ's "The Divine Weapon," meanwhile, has also sold to Thailand (Rose Media) and Malaysia (Hwa Yea).

Other titles CJ will be pushing here include the drama "Thirst" from director Park Chan-wook. The film revolves around a Korean priest, and marks the first time CJ has partnered with a studio on a production.

Investor Universal Pictures has taken U.S. rights, as previously announced.