Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Third Murder will be distributed theatrically by China’s new arthouse circuit, the National Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas (NAAC), in the first quarter of 2018.

The third murder

Source: Gaga Corp

The Third Murder

The Japanese courtroom drama, sold by Gaga Corp in Asian territories, is the first Asian title to be selected by the NAAC, excluding classic titles that the alliance has been distributing since its launch in 2016.

The release will also mark the first time that Kore-eda, one of Japan’s leading auteurs with credits including Like Father, Like Son and Nobody Knows, has had a film released theatrically in mainland China.

Produced by Fuji Television, Amuse and Gaga, The Third Murder revolves around a lawyer defending a self-confessed murderer who begins to question his own faith in the legal process. The cast is headed by Fukuyama Masaharu, who also starred in John Woo’s recent crime thriller Manhunt, which was released across China in November 2017.

France’s Wild Bunch is handling international sales on The Third Murder outside of Asia. The film premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival and was recently sold to North America, where Film Movement will release it theatrically this summer.

Established by China Film Archive (CFA) with a group of local distributors and exhibitors, NAAC has also released Oscar-winning US title Manchester By The Sea and Brazilian docudrama Nise: The Heart Of Madness. The circuit has more than 600 screens in 89 cities throughout China.

CFA also programmes the Panorama section of the Beijing International Film Festival and Silk Road Film Festival