RADiUS-TWC announced today that it has acquired North American and French rights to the U.S. Documentary Directing Award Winner Cutie and the Boxer, one of the best-reviewed films at the Sundance Film Festival that premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition.
Directed by first-time feature filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling, Cutie and the Boxer is a soulful and unsentimental exploration of life and art via the 40-year love story of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two Japanese artists who met and married in New York in the early 1970s.
The film was produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, Patrick Burns and Sierra Pettengill. Kiki Miyake is the executive producer. David Teague is the editor and Yasuaki Shimizu is the composer.
RADiUS has slated a 2013 release.
As a rowdy young Neo-Dadaist artist in Tokyo, Ushio yearned for international recognition, so in 1969 he set sail for New York City. Nineteen-year-old Noriko came to New York to study art, where she met and fell in love with Ushio, 21 years her senior. Putting her own artistic ambitions on hold, Noriko dedicated herself to supporting her husband's career. Over the course of their marriage, the roles of assistant and artist have slowly begun to transform. Now 80, Ushio, widely known for his boxing painting, is obsessed with establishing his artistic legacy, while Noriko is at last finding her voice as an artist with a series of drawings entitled “Cutie and Bullie,” depicting her own chaotic relationship with Ushio.
According to RADiUS co-president Tom Quinn: "The beauty and complexity of the Shinoharas' love affair and their art is nothing short of stunning. Exquisitely crafted, Zachary has made a mesmerizing and unforgettable portrait of artistic genius. We couldn't be more proud to bring this surefire crowd pleaser to audiences everywhere."
Sundance winner Zachary Heinzerling goes on to say: "I'm thrilled to be working with RADiUS on this film that is very close to me. Tom, Jason and the RADiUS team see the same magic in the Shinoharas' love story that I did when I began this project, and I couldn't feel more honored to put the film in their accomplished hands."