18x2 Beyond Youthful Days

Source: Happinet Phantom Studios

‘18x2 Beyond Youthful Days’

Romantic drama 18x2 Beyond Youthful Days by acclaimed Japanese director Michihito Fujii has been sold to a raft of Asian distributors by sales firm Happinet Phantom Studios.

The upcoming feature has been acquired for South Korea (Media Castle), Hong Kong (Golden Scene) and Southeast Asia territories (Purple Plan) as well as for in-flight (Emphasis Video).

The romance is set for release in Taiwan on March 14 through Activator Marketing Company and in Japan on May 3 through Happinet, which will also be speaking to buyers about the feature at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin this month.

The cast is led by Hsu Kuang-han, the star of Taiwan box office hit Marry My Dead Body, and Japanese actress Kaya Kiyohara.

The story centres on Jimmy (Hsu), a young man in Taiwan who meets Ami (Kiyohara), a backpacker from Japan, and the two grow close during a summer working together. But as Jimmy struggles to commit to the relationship, Ami returns home. Some 18 years later, he makes the journey to Japan in a bid to reunite with his first love again, recalling memories of those days and meeting a variety of people on his trip.

Written by Fujii, it is based on a web essay, which was picked up by Taiwan star Chang Chen, whose acting credits include Dune, Red Cliff and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Chang is also executive producer on the feature.

The film is produced by Taiwan’s Jumpboys Films and Japan’s Babel Label, founded by director Fujii.

Fujii is known for The Journalist, which became a box office hit in 2019 and won three awards including best film at Japan’s Academy Awards the following year. It was spun-off into a Netflix series of the same name, also directed by Fujii. He more recently directed Netflix feature Village and 2022 romantic drama The Last 10 Years. His latest film, The Parades, debuts on Netflix on February 29.

Further titles handled by Happinet Phantom Studios include Gakuryu Ishii’s The Box Man, which will receive its world premiere at the Berlinale this month, Ken Iizuka’s In An Isolated Cottage On A Snowy Mountain, Tomoyuki Furumaya’s coming-of-age drama Play! and Akihiro Toda’s Ichiko, which premiered at Busan before going on to screen at Tokyo and Goteborg.