Cineverse Acquires Comedy “River” Following Fantastic Fest

Cineverse announced today that the Company has acquired all North American rights to Junta Yamaguchi’s time loop comedy River following its Fantastic Fest showing in Austin, TX. The Company plans to release the film on its streaming service AsianCrush in early 2024. The film, which premiered at Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in July, was also screened at the 56th Sitges Fantastic Film Festival in Spain this month.

River follows the Fujiya Inn in the small wintery village of Kibune that finds its routine upended when its guests and employees end up repeating the same two minutes. While trying to find the source of the time loop, characters confront discontentment with their employment, mortality, and the impending end of a relationship. Approaching themes of Japanese hospitality, small-town regret, and spirituality, this is a movie with plenty of laughs and big ideas.

The film stars Riko Fujitani, Yoshimasa Kondo, Shiori Kubo, Munenori Nagano and Yuki Torigoe. Written by Makoto Ueda and directed by Junta Yamaguchi. The film is the follow-up feature to Yamaguchi’s Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, a surprise smash on the international festival circuit in 2021. The deal for River was negotiated between Third Window Films’ Adam Torel and Cineverse’s Selin Kilic.

Slashfilm says “River is the mark of a filmmaker who’s no one-trick anything — it’s a sublime temporal comedy that audiences should not miss.” While Film School Rejects calls it a “Sweet Palate Cleanser for the Soul.”

“Third Window Films are happy to once again work with Cineverse on another of our unique and standout Japanese films” said Adam Torel from Third Window Films. “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes was a resounding success worldwide and I’m sure Cineverse will enable Yamaguchi’s latest time-twisting adventure to reach an even larger audience!”

“After its stellar festival run, we’re thrilled to bring Junta Yamaguchi’s wonderfully cozy sci-fi film to our passionate community of Asian film fans” says Katie Cannon, who manages AsianCrush in her role as Director at Cineverse Networks. “The infectious, genre-bending energy of this film has the power to break through cultural barriers and appeal to audiences of every taste.”

“I’m delighted that my film, RIVER, has found a home in North America from AsianCrush and Cineverse. AsianCrush’s audience has great taste and I hope they enjoy my offbeat time loop comedy fantasy” said director Junta Yamaguchi.

AsianCrush brings the best of pan-Asian entertainment to the West, bridging language and cultural gaps to broaden the horizons of North American audiences beyond Hollywood. Its streaming library features premium content from Korea, Japan, China, Thailand and more — a one-stop shop to watch everything from award-winning films and blockbuster hits to iconic TV dramas and anime. With a social media community 10.8 million followers strong, AsianCrush is curated for the rapidly growing fandom of Asian media & pop culture. AsianCrush can be found live across most mobile, CTV and smart TV devices, plus the web.

The North American rights acquisition deal for “River” was helmed by Adam Torel of Third Window Films and Selin Kilic of Cineverse.

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