Mongolia’s ‘Harvest Moon’ Secures Distribution Deals (EXCLUSIVE)

Harvest Moon, the film that was last year selected as Mongolia’s Oscars contender, has secured distribution deals in Europe and Asia through sales agent Asian Shadows.

Directed by Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam, as an adaptation of a novel by T. Bum-Erdene, the narrative tells of the encounter between a man, who unexpectedly returns from the big city to the countryside and then stays on to take up an agricultural role, and boy being brought up by his grandparents. Both are forced to re-evaluate what they had taken for granted.

The film had its world premiere last year at the Vancouver festival, where it won the audience award and followed that with further audience award at FESCAAL Milan and two more prizes at the Miworld Young Film Festival Milan. Additionally, Tenuum-Erdene Garamkhand who played the role of the young boy collected the best actor award at the Fribourg IFF.

The film was picked up for Italy and Italian speaking territories by Officine UBU, a company which previously handled the release of “The Quiet Girl” and “Lunana A Yak in the Classroom.” In Taiwan, it was licensed by Joint Entertainment, which has previously released “The Super 8 Years,” “The Sitting Duck” and “Utama.”

Baljinnyam is a major force in Mongolian cinema. He played the role of Ariq Boke in Netflix sries “MarcoPolo”. Before that, he played in and produced 2011 film “Thief of Mind” and the 2014 title Trapped abroad, both directed by Janchivdorj Sengedorjis. “Thief of Mind” won the Grand Prix for best film during the Mongolian 2012 Academy Awards, with Baljinnyam also winning the prize for best lead performance.

The film also won best supporting role, best cinematography, best screenplay and best sound editing.
More recently, he worked as screenwriter and actor on “Under the Turquise Sky,” a 2021 mix of realism, fantasy and comedy in a visually stirring feature debut by Kentaro, about a Japanese man who goes on a journey of self-discovery in Mongolia.

The film was produced by independent production company IFI Production (Mongolia), founded by producer Uran Sainbileg, The film was previously pitched by IFI at the 2016 edition of Locarno’s Open Doors project market.

With credits including Mongolian-Japanese film “Under the Turquoise Sky” and “The Mongolian Connection,” a Kazakhstan-U.S.-Mongolia picture directed by Drew Thomas, the company is active in using co-production to pioneer the new wave of Mongolian cinema.

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