• in water




NEW YORK, NY (Feb 23, 2023) – Cinema Guild announced today the acquisition of North American distribution rights for in water, directed by Hong Sangsoo. The film premiered this week in the Encounters section at the Berlin International Film Festival. Cinema Guild will release the film in theaters following its North American festival premiere later this year.

A trio of friends venture to the rocky shores of a large island to shoot a film together. The director, Seongmo (Shin Seokho), recently gave up acting and has decided to make a film with his own money. His former classmate, Sangguk (Ha Seongguk), will operate the camera and Namhee (Kim Seungyun) will act in it. The only problem: Seongmo hasn’t decided what to make. As he wanders in the rocks and wind, Seongmo searches for a story. What he finds is a young woman picking up trash. And that is all he needs.

His most overtly experimental work to date, in water reveals Hong at the height of his allusory powers. The story is simple: three friends set out to make a film, and then they do it. But with bold formal choices and his signature impulse toward the uncanny, Hong evokes infinite mysteries and hints at whole worlds lurking below the surface of everyday reality.

"With in water, Director Hong has disarmed us with something truly new," said Cinema Guild President Peter Kelly. "There’s no other filmmaker today taking the same risks while still being so assured of precisely the film he wants to make; Hong's vision has never been sharper."

The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Youngjoo Suh of Finecut.

It's the fourth consecutive year Hong has premiered a film at the Berlinale, beginning with The Woman Who Ran, which won the Silver Bear for best director in 2020. With the acquisition, Cinema Guild continues a fruitful partnership with Hong that includes his last 12 films, all made since 2016. They now hold U.S. rights to 19 of the director’s films, including Night and Day (2008), which they acquired recently and The Day He Arrives, which they will release for the first time on Blu-ray in the future.

A premier distributor of world cinema, independent films and documentaries, Cinema Guild’s upcoming releases include Hong Sangsoo’s Walk Up, Helena Wittmann’s Human Flowers of Flesh and Laura Citarella’s Trenque Lauquen. Recent releases include Jacquelyn Mills’ Geographies of Solitude, Hong Sangsoo’s The Novelist’s Film and Juan Pablo Gonzalez’s Dos Estaciones.

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