Rare Japanese deal for Australian drama

28 May, 2014 by Don Groves

Historically it’s been tough for Australian films to score deals in Japan, a barrier which My Mistress has just broken.

The debut feature of commercials and video music director Stephen Lance will be released in Japan by New Select.


The steamy drama , which centres on the strangely innocent affair between a vulnerable teenage romantic (Harrison Gilbertson) and a French S&M mistress (Emmanuelle Béart) which turns dangerous, will have its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Japanese deal was confirmed after the Cannes market by international sales agent LevelK, which also sold the film to the UK, Russia and Hong Kong.

“We were happy to find the buyers responding well in Cannes to Stephen Lance' s much awaited My Mistress, particularly from Asian buyers who have shown overwhelming interest,” LevelK head of sales Natja Rosner tells IF.

“Major territory Japan kicked off proceedings with a signed deal in Cannes. Other territories including Korea are currently in negotiations with announcements to follow shortly.”

LevelK principal Tine Klint says, “It is rather exceptional to sign an Australian film before local or world premiere with a strong and reputable company like New Select.”

The story was developed by Lance and written by Gerard Lee, Jane Campion’s co-writer on Top Of The Lake. The producers are Leanne Tonkes of Mini Studios and Steve Kearney. Transmission Films hasn’t set a launch date yet.

Tonkes and Lance say they are “thrilled that My Mistress continues to whip buyers into a sales frenzy around the world. We look forward to her tying audiences to their seats in Melbourne."