Tom Yoda explains how Japanese company Gaga Corporation is diversifying (exclusive) | News

Tom Yoda, president of Japanese distributor and producer Gaga Corporation, wants everyone in Cannes to know that “Japan is on the mend” after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even after two turbulent years, Gaga is “strong and we’re growing,” according to the famed executive. At Market, Gaga Announces Multi-Platform Strategy That Includes International Film Distribution; local production of films and anime; anime-derived game and character businesses; as well as the “aggressive foreign market culture” and Internet business. The latter involves NFT and metaverse companies, including VR.

“We want to let our long-time foreign friends know that we not only buy foreign films as distributors, but also have diversified our business and want to build more relationships with many people in Cannes” , says Yoda.

Having started importing videos in 1986, Gaga has successfully expanded into importing and distributing international films and recently won the Cannes Competition title. Brokerthe first Korean-language film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, from CJ ENM.

He also distributed the Oscar winner Coda, which has grossed $5.5 million in Japan since its January release — despite the pandemic’s declining attendance of the Oscar titles’ senior target audience — and is still playing in theaters. The company plans to release 26 titles this year.

Gaga’s stint in production has included involvement in all of Kore-eda’s films from I wish in 2011 at the Palme d’Or Shoplifters in 2018 and is also involved in remakes such as the Cannes opening film final cutMichel Hazanavicius’ adaptation of the Japanese sleeper tube A cup of the deadin which Gaga took a stake to secure distribution rights in Japan.

Yoda, former president of the Tokyo International Film Festival and co-founder of Avex, explains that Gaga has been growing its business and working on a diversified, cross-platform strategy since 2021 and will be fully realized in the first quarter of 2024.

“It’s a full range of business coverage, from production to distribution, game and character activity, internet downloads and streaming, as well as potentially NFTs and the metaverse,” he said. “It’s usually only possible for big studios or film companies, but as an independent we still have a chance to do it.”

Sales slate

In Cannes, Gaga launches sales of the suspense thriller #Manhole, the first feature in five years from My man director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, with an original screenplay by Michitaka Okada, who has written successful feature films Masquerade Hotel and Masquerade Party.

The suspense thriller is about a young man with a great job and fiancée whose father owns the business who, on the eve of his wedding, falls down a deep hole armed only with his smartphone. Produced by Tsuyoshi Matsushita (Your eyes say) and Gaga Corporation, the casting is secret. Remake rights are also available worldwide.

His slate also includes an animation title Dawnbased on the comic book by Tetsuya Imai Bokura No Yoake, in which a boy connects with an alien who communicates through a robot. Gaga is the head of the film’s production committee, co-producing with Avex Pictures and TV Tokyo, with the three territories splitting up for sales.

At the Market, Gaga also speaks to buyers of Wandering, by Korean-Japanese filmmaker Lee Sang-il; The drama of Genki Kawamura a hundred flowers; and my little countrythe feature debut of former Kore-eda assistant director Emma Kawawada, screened at the Berlinale in February.

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