Well Go USA Picks Up Cannes Critics' Prize Winner 'Burning'

Cannes - IN COMPETITION – FEATURE FILMS - Burning Still 1 - Publicity -H 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The South Korean film starring Steven Yeun will open in U.S. theaters beginning on Oct. 28.

Well Go USA announced Friday that it acquired North American distribution rights to Cannes-winning film Burning. The South Korean film, starring Walking Dead star Steven Yeun, will open across U.S. theaters across beginning Oct. 26 in New York City, with expansion to follow throughout November.

The deals follows on the heels of sales in May to already a number of territories including China. the U.K., Australia, France, Spain and Japan. Earlier sales were made following Burning's critically acclaimed premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize.

The unconventional thriller from esteemed South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong is inspired by the Japanese short story Barn Burning. Popular Korean actor Yoo Ah-in stars as a frustrated and alienated young man living near the North Korean border. His already difficult life is further complicated when he runs into a young woman (newcomer Jeon Jong-seo) claiming to be his childhood friend. He soon develops romantic feelings for her, but a suave, affluent man (Yeun) enters the picture.

"Burning is exactly the kind of film we’re always looking out for — it is auteur filmmaking at its finest," said Dylan Marchetti, senior vp acquisitions and theatrical releasing at Well Go. "Well Go has a rich history of bringing the best films from Asia to North American audiences, and like we did with South Korean titles such as The Assassin, The Wailing and so many more, we can’t wait to help get diverse audiences into a dark room to take this powerful journey together."

Written by Oh Jung-mi and director Lee, the film was also produced by Lee and Lee Joon-dong. The deal was negotiated by Doris Pfardrescher for Well Go USA and Youngjoo Suh for Finecut on behalf of the filmmakers.