France's Pretty Pictures hasacquired documentary Crossing The Line, about the last American defector still living in North Korea, whichrecently received its world premiere at the Pusan International Film Festival.
Directed and producedby Daniel Gordon, the film tells the story of Comrade Joe - akaVirginia-born James Joseph Dresnok - a US soldier serving in South Koreawho in 1962 walked across the heavily fortified border into the communist stateof North Korea.
He became a star of theNorth Korean propaganda machine and found fame playing an evil American inlocal movies.
Pretty Pictures acquired thefilm for a six-figure sum, along with a substantial P&A commitment, andplans to give it a theatrical release. It will then be released in a box setalong with Gordon's previous North Korean docs - The Game Of TheirLives and A State Of Mind.
US-based Paul Yi is handlingworld sales and also feature film rights, separately from his role as managingdirector of the LA office of MK Pictures, although the Korean production andsales outfit may be involved in a dramatic film version of Dresnok's story.
The documentary, which istipped to screen at next year's Sundance, was pre-sold to Japan's Cinequanonand Korea's Dongsoong Art Centre. It was produced by VeryMuchSo Production inassociation with Passion Pictures, BBC, E Pictures, Koryo Tours and IFG2.Nicholas Bonner co-produced and John Battsek, Richard Klein and Yi served asexecutive producers.
Pretty Pictures recentlyacquired North Korean box office hit The Schoolgirls' Diary, which marked the first commercial deal for a NorthKorean film to a Western country in recent decades.