Artist House, the Japanese publishing group, is set to make an imprint both as both new buyer and seller. It has already acquired Japanese rights to LynneRamsay's Cannes-bound Morvern Callar and is now embarking on its own production of TheTesseract, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Saskia Reeves.
Along with its specialistfeatures arm Artist Film, the group is selling Woman Of Water (Mizu No Onna) which was a Sundance/NHK International prize-winner. The film, set inpublic bathhouse, is the directorial debut of Hidenori Sugimori and starswhite-hot music star Tadenobu Asano, who has made an acting splash in MiikeTakashi films.
The group lastweek started production in Bangkok on The Tesseract, the film adaptation of The Beach writer Alex Garland's second novel.Previously developed at BBC Films, the project is now set up as a Japanese-Thaiproduction directed by Oxide Pang, the Hong Kong-Thai director who won theFIPRESCI prize at Toronto with gangster film Bangkok Dangerous. Also on board are Aoi AdvertisingPromotions and Toshiba Digital Frontiers.
As a buyer,Artist Film recently picked up Japanese rights from Alliance Atlantis to Ramsay's Morvern Callar, which is astrong tip to appear in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section with thepossibility of being upgraded to the main competition.
Artist Film is also negotiating to handlevideo rights to Francois Ozon's Berlin favourite 8 Femmes. Gaga Communications currently has allJapanese rights to that film.