‘Drive My Car’ Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ Picked Up by Sideshow and Janus Films

The drama will debut at the Venice Film Festival ahead of its North American release later this year

Evil Does Not Exist
Sideshow/Janus Films

“Evil Does Not Exist,” the next film from Oscar-winning “Drive My Car” filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi, has secured North American distribution from Sideshow and Janus Films, reuniting the filmmaker with the distributors of his 2021 Best Picture Oscar nominee.

The film will have its world premiere at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, screening in competition. In addition to its Venice world premiere, “Evil Does Not Exist” will screen as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival and in the Main Slate at the New York Film Festival. Sideshow and Janus Films will release the film in theaters after its festival run.

The film follows Takumi and his daughter Hana, who live in Mizubiki Village, close to Tokyo. Like generations before them, they live a modest life according to the cycles and order of nature. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a glamping site near Takumi’s house, offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to nature.  When two representatives of the glamping company arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will have a negative impact on the local water supply, causing unrest. The company’s plans endanger both the ecological balance of the area, and the local people’s way of life, and its aftermath affects Takumi’s life deeply.

“Hamaguchi is a true artist in every sense of the word, and we are so excited to be reuniting with him for ‘Evil Does Not Exist,’” Sideshow and Janus Films said in a statement. “Releasing ‘Drive My Car’ was the honor of a lifetime, and we know audiences will embrace his new powerful cinematic experience as they did his previous work.”

“Drive My Car” was not only the first Japanese film to receive a Best Picture nomination but also a smashing specialty box office success, grossing $15.4 million worldwide – a stunning feet for a small-scale three-hour drama.

The deal was negotiated by Maren Kroymann at M-Appeal on behalf of the filmmakers with Sideshow and Janus Films. M-Appeal is handling world sales for the film, continuing their collaboration with Ryusuke Hamaguchi and producer Satoshi Takata after “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy,” which premiered in 2021 in Berlinale Competition and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. M-Appeal also represents eight of Hamaguchi’s early films, made between 2008-2016, including his graduation film “Passion” and Locarno Best Actress winner “Happy Hour.”