Drafthouse Films descends into The World of Kanako

Tetsuya Nakashima's sensational and relentless revenge thriller to bludgeon North American theatergoers in 2015.

Continuing in the tradition of triumphantly provocative international acquisitions, Drafthouse Films has acquired Tetsuya Nakasima's festival shocker The World of Kanako. Shaking audiences at TIFF, Fantastic Fest and beyond, The World of Kanako is an uncompromising revenge thriller of operatic scope and masterfully directed by Nakashima, whose staggering Confessions was Japan's submission to the 2011 Academy Awards. The film follows ex-detective Akiukazu (veteran thespian Kôji Yakusho of 13 Assassins, BabelTampopo) on the hunt for his missing teenage daughter, and the harrowing web of depravity––surrounding both Kanako and himself––that search uncovers.

Though acclaimed by both audiences and critics alike, The World of Kanako was released to controversy in Japan, prompting Nakashima a to release a statement concerning the film's content. Fans of Kim Jee-woon, Park Chan-wook and classic-era Takashi Miike will absolutely not be disappointed by the debilitating emotional/visceral one-two punch delivered here by Nakashima.

Drafthouse Films will release The World of Kanako in select theaters, On Demand and iTunes later this year. Check out the full press release below.


Controversial, ultra-violent thriller from Japanese auteur
Tetsuya Nakashima to be released theatrically and On Demand in 2015

AUSTIN, TEXAS- Thursday, April 2, 2015 — Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to director Tetsuya Nakashima’s (Kamikaze Girls, Confessions) latest thriller, festival sensation and provocative Japanese box office hit The World Of Kanako. The operatically cinematic tale of murder and revenge has shocked audiences along the festival circuit since its debut at Toronto International Film Festival and has received awards for it’s tour-de-force performances and screenplay at Sitges Film Festival and genre fest Fantastic Fest. Upon debuting theatrically in it’s native Japan, Kanako quickly became one of the year’s most talked-about releases, with impressive box office numbers matched by equally impressive controversy.

Based on a 2005 novel by Akio Fukamachi, often deemed unfilmable due to the lurid nature of the narrative, and drawing comparisons to groundbreaking Asian cinema genre classics such as Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil, Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and Takashi Miike’s Ichi The Killer, The World Of Kanako is an expertly-crafted, relentless sledgehammer to the senses. Critical and popular response to the film in Japan prompted Nakashima to release a statement which helped audiences understand the “grotesque” nature of the film. 

In The World Of Kanako, broken ex-detective Akikazu (the prolific Kôji Yakusho; 13 Assassins, Babel, Shall We Dance?) searches for his missing teenage daughter (newcomer Nana Komatsu), only to discover that she may not be the person who he once thought she was following a shocking trail  of drugs, sex and violence. Kanako is Nakashima’s ninth feature, following the highly acclaimed and equally devastating Confessions, Japan’s submission to the 2011 Academy Awards.

Drafthouse Films COO James Emanuel Shapiro was very pleased with the pickup. “This movie is an all out depraved and constant assault on your morality and your senses and I loved every second of it. Its perverse. Its kinetic. Its incredible.”

“I'm really thrilled to have the film distributed by Drafthouse Films,” says Nakashima, who added cryptically that he “cannot wait to hear the reaction to the film in North America.”

The World Of Kanako will screen in select theaters across North America and will be released on a variety of VOD platforms and digital, DVD, and Blu-ray formats.

The deal was negotiated by Carole Baraton from Wild Bunch on behalf of Gaga Corporation and James Emanuel Shapiro from Drafthouse Films.

For more information on THE WORLD OF KANAKO and Drafthouse Films:

For Alamo Drafthouse & Drafthouse Films Media Requests:
CONTACT:     Brandy Fons         
E-MAIL:  [email protected]   

About The World Of Kanako
Detective Akikazu loses his job and descends into the abyss with the help of copious alcohol and drugs. In this agitated, delirious state, he attempts to unravel the mysterious disappearance of his teenage daughter Kanako. As his mind and the case unravel, Akikazu discovers that his offspring was not the little angel she pretended to be.

About Drafthouse Films

Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible,” Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Films Of The Year.” Their diverse and unique slate includes the highly-acclaimed, Oscar® nominated documentary The Act Of Killing produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, 2013 SXSW Midnight Audience Award winner Cheap Thrills starring David Koechner (Anchorman), British auteur Ben Wheatley’s psychedelic trip into magic and madness, A Field In England, Ari Folman’s Cannes Film Festival selected sci-fi epic The Congress starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection and The Visitor, and rediscovered classics Wake in Fright and Ms. 45. Recent and upcoming releases include Dutch thriller Borgman, Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, and Sundance award-winning documentaries The Overnighters and 20,000 Days on Earth. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically and through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: the collectible art boutique Mondo; the largest US genre film festival Fantastic Fest; and the pop culture website Badass Digest.