Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle, the Cesar Award-winning WWII epic that bowed in the Un Certain Regard sidebar of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, has found a home in the U.S.
Dark Star Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights to the film and is now planning a fall 2022 theatrical release, starting in New York City and Los Angeles before expanding across the country. The film will then be released on demand, on digital platforms and Blu-ray later this year.
Written and directed by French filmmaker Arthur Harari, who won the Cesar for original screenplay, and based on actual events, Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle follows Hiroo Onoda, a 22-year-old Japanese intelligence soldier sent to a small island in the Philippines, where he would spend 30 years, not realizing the war had ended 10,000 nights earlier.
The film stars Yûya Endô as a young Onoda and Kanji Tsuda (Ju-On: The Grudge, The Blind Swordsman: Zatiochi) as old Onoda. The film was produced by Bathysphere Productions and is being represented for worldwide sales by French outfit Le Pacte.
“It’s a great joy to know that Onoda has found an American home with Dark Star who believes in the necessity of bringing this film to the audience in movie theaters,” said Harari.
“Onoda is a cinematic journey that begins as a war film, shifts to a survival thriller and is ultimately a deeply emotional character study,” said Dark Star president Michael Repsch. “This unbelievable biopic that Arthur constructed is meant to be seen on the big screen, and we intend to bring it to audiences that way.”
Repsch negotiated the deal with Le Pacte’s head of international sales Camille Neel on behalf of the filmmakers.