Happinet Phantom Leads Tokyo Market Sales Effort With Crime Thriller Goodbye Cruel World‘

Happinet Phantom Studios, the Japanese mini-studio which released Oscar contender “Plan 75” in its home market, is also handling international sales on a raft of new titles.

These were introduced at the in-person Busan market and will be given a further launch this week at the online only Tokyo market (TIFFCOM).

Headlining the slate is “Goodbye Cruel World,” a crime-action-drama which stars “Drive My Car” lead Nishijima Hidetoshi. Directed by Omori Tatsushi, the picture recounts a daring heist by five criminals who scarcely know each other at a love motel favored by a gang clan. While the five attempt to fade away to their individual destinies, the gang mounts a search and destroy mission. The film had its commercial release in Japan last month and overseas, next plays at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Also packing an action punch is “Life in the Fast Lane,” in which a former boxer who struggles to settle back into normal society after the end of his career. He is tempted into the underground fight scene which is nastier but more exhilarating. Directed by Suzuki Taichi, it released in Japanese theaters in May.

“Love is Light” plays in a more romantic vein. Directed by Kobayashi Keiichi, the criss-cross story involves a man who can see a woman’s secret glow, his childhood friend and a woman who repeatedly falls for men who are already in a relationship.

Happinet is also one of the producers of “Small, Slow But Steady,” the French-Japanese co-produced film directed by Miyake Sho that premiered earlier this year in Berlin. The tale of a hearing-impaired woman who dreams of becoming a professional boxer, but finds obstacles constantly in her way, continues to play on the festival circuit. It was in Busan and now plays in the Tokyo International Film Festival in the Nippon Cinema section, where it receives its Japanese premiere. International sales are handled by France’s Charades.

On the distribution front, Happinet also has Korean Oscar contender and Cannes prize-winner “Decision to Leave” and the sought-after “Aftersun.”

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