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Minerva Pictures brings “Love is a Gun,” the debut film by Lee Hong-Chi, winner of the Lion of the Future award at the last Venice Film Festival, to Italy!

24 November 2023

After distributing Alice Diop’s debut, Saint Omer, winner of the Silver Lion and the Lion of the Future at the last Venice Film Festival, Minerva Pictures, in collaboration with Rarovideo Channel and The Film Club, will bring Love is a Gun (2023), the extraordinary debut of the young Taiwanese director Lee Hong-Chi, to Italy in 2024. Successfully presented at the 38th Settimana Internazionale della Critica (SIC) during the 80th Venice Film Festival, it was awarded the Lion of the Future – Venice Award for a Debut Film ‘Luigi De Laurentiis.’

“In a balance between sentimental impulses and noir implosions, ‘Love is a Gun’ minimalistly crafts an (im)possible escape from an inevitable, seared destiny. The protagonist, Sweet Potato’s redemption journey, resembling an obstacle course, draws inspiration from genre cinema, steering it into an authorial reinterpretation from the first enlightening minutes […]. Lee’s chosen stylistic approach manages to encapsulate all the film’s and its protagonist’s urges, harboring an inevitable explosion beneath the surface, the only conceivable path to the idyllic Turtle Island” (Enrico Azzano).

Beatrice Fiorentino, the SIC General Delegate, described the film as “a passionate and powerful debut that reveals the talent of a new young author destined to become one of the main names in contemporary Asian cinema.

Released from prison, Sweet Potato settles for his small job on the waterfront, living off meager earnings and ignoring the advice to let go. However, he is dragged into the vortex of the past when the old boss, mother, and finally, friend Maozi reappear in his life. One by one, they forcefully seize his present, erasing any hope for the future. Only Seven manages, to some extent, to mitigate his anxieties. One day, against the backdrop of an oppressive, smog-laden coastal landscape, Sweet Potato is finally granted a meeting with the boss.

Love is a Gun will be theatrically released in 2024, contributing to Minerva Pictures’ ongoing efforts to promote high-quality cinematic works. In the past year, Minerva Pictures has distributed notable films such as Father & Soldier by Mathieu Vadepied, the opening film of Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, starring Omar Sy, and The Plough by Philippe Garrel, Silver Bear for Best Director at the 73rd Berlinale 2023, featuring Louis Garrel, Esther Garrel, and Lena Garrel.

The excitement doesn’t end here! In 2024, Minerva Pictures will see a year of highly anticipated releases. It starts with To Leslie, the extraordinary debut directed by Michael Morris, which won the Best Debut Film award at Hollywood Reporter Rome at Alice in the City 2023. The lead, Andrea Riseborough, received an Oscar nomination in 2023 for Best Leading Actress for her outstanding performance in this independent film.

Also on the horizon is Holly by Fien Troch, in competition at the 80th Venice Film Festival and presented at Alice in the City in the Sintonie section. Additionally, Eismayer by David Wagner, winner of the Grand Prize at the 37th SIC in Venice and two awards at Les Arcs Film Festival (Public Prize and Prix des Cinglés du Cinéma), and January by Viesturs Kairiss, Best International Film at the Tribeca Festival and winner of three awards (Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor) at the 17th edition of the Rome Film Fest are on the way.