Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' feature debut, Japon, returned from Cannes with more than just a Golden Camera Special Jury Mention, it also secured sales contracts for twelve territories.
Screened in a longer version at this year's Rotterdam Festival, Japon was picked up there for international sales by French-German producer and sales agent Philippe Bober. The distribution deal enabled Reygadas to re-edit the film and complete post-production between Rotterdam and Cannes, "achieving a result now fully satisfying to me," he said.
Japon follows a man from the city, who - cynical and disillusioned - arrives at a remote Mexican countryside to prepare for his death. He finds lodgings with an old Indian widow. Confronted with her infinite humanity, and the vastness of the wild, breathtaking nature, his desire for life and raw sexuality reawakens.
At the Cannes market, Bober's Paris and Berlin-based, The Coproduction Office, licensed Japon for the UK ( Artificial Eye), Germany and Austria (Arsenal Filmverleih), France (Bodega Films), Benelux (Contact Film), Canada (Les Films Seville Pictures), Switzerland (Look Now! Distribution), Denmark (Øst for Paradis), Russia (Intercinema Art Agency), Hungary (Budapest Film), Greece (Audio Visual) and Portugal (Atalanta Filmes).
Reygadas' film was The Coproduction Office's fourth official Cannes entry in three years - after Swedish director Roy Andersson's Songs From The Second Floor, which won the 2000 Jury Prize in Competition, Austrian director Jessica Hausner's Lovely Rita in Un Certain Regard and Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Dog Days, Venice 2001 Grand Jury Prize winner, which was shown in this year's Critics' Week, as the international critics' "Revelation of the Year".