news 7 months ago

Film Constellation Boards Werner Herzog’s Japanese Film ‘Family Romance’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety — Elsa Keslassy

London-based sales house Film Constellation has boarded Oscar-winning director Werner Herzog’s Japanese-language narrative film “Family Romance,” which will have its world premiere in the special screenings section at the Cannes Film Festival.

Written and directed by Herzog, the movie was shot last spring and summer in Tokyo and Aomori, Japan, with non-professional actors (Yuichi Ishii, Mahiro Tanimoto). It follows a man who is hired to impersonate the missing father of a 12-year-old girl. Herzog is keeping the plot details under wraps.

As with Herzog’s other works, “Family Romance” explores the recurring theme of individuals chasing impossible dreams, said Fabien Westerhoff, the CEO of Film Constellation.

“This is a project Werner Herzog has kept secret for the last year, and when Werner Herzog asks if you want to work with him, you say ‘Yes, where do I sign,'” Westerhoff said. “Not only because he is one of the greatest living filmmakers, but also because anyone who has seen ‘Jack Reacher’ knows he might ask you to bite your fingers off if you say no.”

“Family Romance” was produced by Roc Morin at Skellig Rock and features music by Ernst Reijseger. The movie marks Herzog’s comeback to the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival after many years. His last entry in the official selection dates back to 2002 with the omnibus feature “Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet,” which he co-directed. Herzog last attended Cannes in 2017 to receive the Carrosse d’Or award from the French directors’ guild during Directors’ Fortnight.

The German auteur last directed a pair of documentaries: “Meeting Gorbachev” (with André Singer), a sit-down with the former Soviet politician, and “Into the Inferno,” an exploration of active volcanoes around the world.

Film Constellation, which is part of Playtime Group, is also currently handling international sales on Alfred George Bailey’s documentary film “Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall” which premiered at SXSW, and Gabriel Range’s “Stardust,” which tells the story of a young David Bowie during his first visit to America in 1971.

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