Gregory Hatanaka

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Gregory Hatanaka
Hatanaka in 2006
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, United States
OccupationFilm distributor, director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor

Gregory Hatanaka is an independent filmmaker and film distributor based in Los Angeles, California.


Hatanaka is the founder of film distribution and production company Cinema Epoch. He first became involved in film distribution working for Headliner Productions on the re-release of films by director Edward D. Wood, Jr.[1] He founded Phaedra Cinema to distribute international films in the U.S. With a specialization in cult films, Phaedra released such films as Toshimichi Ohkawa's Nobody, Cha Chuen Lee's Triad Story and Jimmy Wang Yu's Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975) and Toshiharu Ikeda's Evil Dead Trap. On his interest in Asian cult cinema, Hatanaka said, "I grew up going to the drive-ins, watching Sonny Chiba movies-- I've always had a passion for that."[2]

In 1998, Phaedra films released the two Nikkatsu Roman porno films, Masaru Konuma's Wife to be Sacrificed (1974) and Noboru Tanaka's A Woman Called Sada Abe (1975) on a theatrical double-bill. The films premiered in San Francisco in June, opening to very favorable reviews.[3] Beginning October 30, 1998 and then played for a week at the Monica 4-Plex theater in Los Angeles.[4]

His directing credits include Until the Night starring Norman Reedus, the award-winning[which?] film Mad Cowgirl and Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance.[citation needed] He collaborated with the distribution company Circle Releasing on the release of the John Woo film The Killer under the guidance of crime novelist George Pelecanos.[5] His subsequent films are Violent Blue and Blue Dream. He distributed the critically acclaimed[by whom?] 1997 film "The Terrorist" by Santosh Sivan which was presented by John Malkovich.[citation needed]

He has distributed the works of filmmakers and directors including Satyajit Ray, Claude Chabrol, Andre Techine and Leni Riefenstahl,[citation needed] and films with such award-winning actors as Catherine Deneuve, Ewan McGregor, Billy Bob Thornton, Vince Vaughn, Colin Firth, Bridget Fonda, Isabelle Adjani, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Isabelle Huppert, and Gérard Depardieu.[citation needed]


As director[edit]

As distributor[edit]


  1. ^ Doyle, Wyatt. (1999). "Blood Spattered Hero in Hollywood" in Asian Cult Cinema Number 22, 1st Quarter 1999. p. 8.
  2. ^ Doyle (1999). p. 9.
  3. ^ Tani, Naomi. (1998) "Introduction" in Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. p. 9. ISBN 1-889288-52-7.
  4. ^ Thomas, Kevin. (1998). "Entertainment Desk" in the Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1998., p.21.
  5. ^ Doyle (1999). pp. 8-9.
  6. ^ Asian Cult Cinema, #22, 1st Quarter 1999, p.10.
  7. ^ Amazon page for Girl Lost

External links[edit]