Neon has swooped in to acquire the North American distribution rights to “One Second,” the latest film from Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou.
“One Second” was just announced on Tuesday to be the closing night film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where it will make its North American premiere. The movie already was released in China on November 27 last year.
“One Second” is considered a love letter to cinema and tells the story of a film projectionist and an escaped prisoner who form a bond through the movies. The film is set in a rural Chinese village as they come together to restore a destroyed film reel, all as another young vagabond plots to steal the reel away once repaired.
Yimou co-wrote “One Second” along with Zou Jingzhi based on a novel by Yan Geling. The film stars Zhang Yi, Liu Haocun and Fan Wei. The film was shot in and around the small Chinese town of Dunhuang, known for its evocative, sand dune-swathed landscape.
Yimou is known for his films such as “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Hero,” and he recently wrapped production on the crime drama “Under the Light.” His other recent film “Impasse” also stars Zhang Yi.
Neon just wrapped a busy Cannes, where the distributor walked away with the Palme D’Or winner “Titane,” making it the second festival in a row in which they will release the winner of the top prize, with “Parasite” before it. The distributor also acquired “The Worst Person in the World,” “A Chiara” and “Memoria” out of the festival. And at this year’s TIFF, they also have Celine Sciamma’s next movie “Petite Maman” in addition to “One Second.”
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for Neon with Eva Diederix of Wild Bunch. Wild Bunch is handling international sales. “One Second” is a Huanxi Media Group Production and produced by William Kong, Ping Dong, Liwei Pang and Shaokun Xian.