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Match Factory embarks on “Drive My Car” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: The Match Factory has taken on the international rights of Japanese filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Asako I & II) early adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story Drive my car.

The film, currently in final post-production, centers around actor and director Yusuke Kafuku, played by Hidetoshi Nishijima (Dolls). Two years after the sudden death of his playwright wife, he was asked to direct Uncle Vanja at a theater festival in Hiroshima, where a mostly silent young woman (Toko Miura) is appointed to drive him in his red Saab 900. Between two rides, secrets of the past and sincere confessions are revealed.

Hamaguchi’s Writer-Director Asako I & II competed in Cannes in 2018 and he recently won the Silver Bear for Best Director for Wheel of fortune and fantasy at this year’s Berlinale. He also co-wrote the winner of Venice 2020 spy wife.

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Drive my car has been tipped for inclusion at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which unveils its lineup on Thursday, and we believe he needs to be in pole position for a grid spot alongside other Asian hopefuls such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memory, that of Asghar Farhadi A hero and Park Chan-wook’s Decision to leave.

For Drive my car, The Match Factory is partnering again with Diaphana Distribution, which acquired the rights in France.

“We have long admired Ryusuke’s work and now we are honored to have the chance to work with him on this unique film for the first time. Drive my car goes straight to the heart and we look forward to sharing this touching drama with the international market, ”said Michael Weber, Managing Director of The Match Factory.

The film is produced by Teruhisa Yamamoto of C&I Entertainment with Culture Entertainment and Bitters End (JP). Bitters End will also take care of the film’s distribution in Japan.

Drive my car is adapted from a short story in Murakami’s famous collection of short stories, Men without women. A first teaser for the film – which like the short story has a slight Wong Kar Wai feel to it – was recently released in Japan.

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