by Chris MaGee
Word today from Variety Asia Online that the international distribution rights for Yojiro Takita's "Departures (Okuribito)" have been picked up by Content Films International.
The story of an unemployed cellist (played by Masahiro Motoki) who returns to his hometown to take a job in a funeral home has been garnering awards, big domestic box office and industry buzz since it took home the top prize at this year's Montreal World Film Festival in August and being tagged as Japan's official entry into the Best Foreign Language Film race for this year's Academy Awards.
Content Films has capitalized on this success and has already licensed the film to companies in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Hong Kong. The big question now is when or if Content Films will license a North American distributor for "Departures". We'll keep you updated.