LOS ANGELES — Specialty film sales agent Asian Shadows has picked up international rights to "Coming Home Again" by Wayne Wang, one of Asia's most celebrated directors. The film, which tackles food, family and mortality, will premiere as a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Based on a short story of the same name published in The New Yorker by bestselling Korean-American novelist Lee Chang-rae ("Native Speaker," "A Gesture Life," "The Surrendered"), "Coming Home Again" charts the emotions of what is to be the last New Year's Eve dinner together for an Asian American family whose mother has terminal cancer.
"'Coming Home Again' is a universal film that touched us by its delicate portrait of a son-mother relationship, by its detailed attention to food, traditions and family roots, and [Wang's] masterful mise-en-scene," said Maria Ruggieri, head of sales and acquisitions at Asian Shadows. "Watching the film has been a coming home again for us, bringing us back to the core of our own life experience."
Asian Shadows is handing worldwide rights sales with the exception of those for the U.S., which are to be handled by ICM Partners.
The film stars Justin Chon (the "Twilight" series, "Gook") and Jackie Chung ("Station 19," "Someone Else"), as well as Christina July Kim and John Lie. The film is a U.S.-South Korea production by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). It is produced by Donald Young, with Stephen Gong, Heidi Levitt and Jean Noh as executive producers.
The film is the 22nd feature as director by Hong Kong-born, U.S.-based Wang. His oeuvre spans "Joy Luck Club," "Smoke," and "Maid in Manhattan."
"We made the film we wanted to make in an open creative atmosphere with the purpose of portraying Asian American characters dealing with their real everyday problems, yet universal in the way that can touch and connect audiences no matter what color their skin may be, nor what language they may speak," Wang said. "Everyone grows old and everyone at some point in their life has to deal with a parent's mortality."