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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up ‘The Lunch Box,’ Critics Week Audience Winner

Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

-Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox,” starring Irrfhan Khan (“The Life of Pi”). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d’Or, at Cannes Critics Week. (You can read more about the recently announced Cannes prizes here.)

-Earlier, SPC won US rights to “The Past,” the new film by Asghar Farhadi (director of 2012 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner “A Separation”) starring Tahar Rahim, Berenice Bejo and Ali Mosaffa. The film, which centers on the complex divorce between a French woman and an Iranian man, premiered in competition at the festival on May 17, and has garnered rave reviews. (TOH! “A Separation” Q & A with Farhadi here; Anthony Kaufman discusses “The Past” as Palme d’Or frontrunner here.)

-In its fourth acquistion deal of the fest, Sundance Selects has snapped up North American rights to “The Selfish Giant,” the winner of the Europa Cinemas Label Prize for Best European Film at Directors Fortnight. Directed by Clio Barnard, it is based on the Oscar Wilde short story focused on the friendship between two boys. It

-Sundance Selects has also picked up U.S. rights to writer-director François Ozon’s
competition drama “Young & Beautiful” from Wild Bunch. The coming-of-age film, which received mixed festival reaction, stars Marine Vacth, Geraldine Pailhas,
Frederic Pierrot, Fantin Ravat, Johan Leysen and Charlotte Rampling, who also starred in Ozon’s 2003 competition film “Swimming Pool.” Sundance Selects’
sister label IFC Films previously released Ozon ‘s “Angel” and “Ricky.”

Additionally, Sundance Selects took US rights to Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is
the Warmest Color,” which made its world premiere in competition at the
fest this week. The film centers on a lesbian romance between two
teenage girls, played by Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos. It is
loosely based on Julie Maroh’s comic book of the same title. Kechice has
previously won Cesars for “The Secret of the Grain” and “Games of Love
and Chance.” Sundance Selects also acquired U.S.
rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s upcoming “Two Days, One Night,” starring
Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, which is currently in pre-production.

-Lionsgate has snapped up US rights to Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties,” starring actress and Canet’s wife Marion Cotillard, Clive Owen, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Matthias Schoenaerts and James Caan. It is co-written by Canet and director James Gray (who has “The Immigrant,” also starring Cotillard, in competition at the fest) and centers on one family’s legacy of crime in the 1970s. The film premiered last week at Cannes, and Lionsgate will distribute through its sister company, Roadside Attractions. Watch the trailer below.

-Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Alain Guiraudie’s “Stranger at the Lake,” which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section. The erotic thriller follows a young man attracted to another man who may be a killer; the film is set against the backdrop of a gay cruising beach. Pierre Deladonchamps and Christophe Paou star.-Kino Lorber has snapped up all US rights to Chinese helmer Jia Zhangke’s competition entry “A Touch of Sin,” a four-part tale inspired by real-life, unsettlingly violent Chinese news stories. TOH! loved it, as did the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis, who said it’s Zhangke’s best film since 2006’s “Still Life.” Watch the trailer for “A Touch of Sin” below.

-Mongrel Media has nabbed all Canadian rights to Paolo Sorrentino’s “La Grande Bellezza” (“The Great Beauty”), which premieres in competition on May 21. The film stars Tony Servillo (“Il Divo,” also helmed by Sorrentino) as an aging writer in Rome reflecting back on his lost youth. This is the fifth film by Sorrentino to compete for the Palme d’Or, including 2011’s Sean Penn-starrer “This Must Be the Place.”
-Mongrel has also picked up Canuck rights to the Coen brothers’ well-received “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which is being distributed stateside by CBS Films, as well as Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” (see above).

-The Weinstein Co.’s boutique label Radius (repping Nicolas Winding Refn’s competition title “Only God Forgives”) has snapped up North American rights to buzz title “Blue Ruin,” one of the select few films playing in the Directors’ Fortnight section. The backwoods gothic noir is written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier (“Murder Party”) and follows a man who, after receiving unsettling news, sets off to his childhood home to exact revenge and defend his estranged family. Radius will release the film this fall. 

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