‘Gamera,’ ‘Daimajin,’ ‘Zatoichi’ Titles on the Menu as Classic Cult Film Streamer Cultpix Feasts on Japanese Content at EFM (EXCLUSIVE)

Classic cult film streamer Cultpix has struck a 31-film deal from three immensely popular franchises with Japan’s Kadokawa Daiei Studio at Berlin’s ongoing European Film Market (EFM).

The deal includes 20 Zatoichi films, eight Gamera films and three Daimajin films. The deal is for the Nordic countries initially, but the aim is for wider distribution eventually.

In addition, timed with Nikkatsu’s 50th anniversary of their “Roman Poruno” films, Cultpix rediscovered six previously virtually unknown Nikkatsu productions, shot in Sweden between 1971-1973, with everything Japanese apart from the actors and the locations. The screenwriter, director and behind-the-camera talent were all flown in from Japan. The films were to emulate the popular “Swedish sin” films of the time, as there was a market need for them in Japan.

Nikkatsu restored all six films in 4K and Cultpix will release them as a Blu-Ray box and then stream all six worldwide.

Cultpix had productive in-person meetings with both Kadokawa and Nikkatsu at the EFM and more film acquisitions from the Japanese studios are expected imminently. Overall, Cultpix expects to sign deals for 25-40 new titles in the next few weeks, based on meetings and discussions in Berlin.

Cultpix CEO Rickard Gramfors told Variety: “There is a tremendous value in coming to the EFM at the Berlin Film Festival and meeting our colleagues from Japan and other countries. While we can have Zoom meetings and do deals by email, there is no substitute for meeting, talking and also drinking together in person.”

Set up as a home for classic genre and vintage cult films and television shows, Cultpix was launched in 2021 with 400 titles by Gramfors and Patrick von Sychowski, who is also the founder of the website CelluloidJunkie.com. The catalog now has more than 1000 titles and adding five to 10 titles every week.

Cultpix is also one of the backers of the European Genre Film Foundation, aimed at restoring and raising awareness of classic genre films in Europe and globally.

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