Opening day at Cannes has been a busy one for Sony Pictures Classics. Within minutes of announcing that they acquired Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon", the distributor added a another notch to their Cannes' buyer bedpost: Jan Kounen's "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky," which will close the festival next week. This gives SPC a total of three films in Cannes: "Coco," "Ribbon," and Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces."
This also marks Sony Classics' second Coco Chanel-related acquisition, as they corner the market on the icon. The distributor already has the U.S. rights to Anne Fontaine's "Coco Before Chanel," which tells a different story from Chanel's life, and stars Audrey Tautou. SPC is releasing that film in September, and is aiming for a January release for Kounen's film.
"They are about totally different parts of her life," Sony Classic head Michael Barker told indieWIRE. "The first one is about Coco Chanel. This one is about a triangular portrait of Chanel, Igor Stravinsky, and his wife. Its also about Stravinsky's creative process in making 'The Rite of Spring.'"
Based on the book "Coco and Igor" by Chris Greenhalgh, Krounen's stars Chanel model Anna Mouglalis as Chanel, who also stars in the upcoming film about the life of Serge Gainsbourg, "Serge Gainsbourg: Vie Heroique," and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as Stravinsky. Mikkelsen co-starred in recent Bond films "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace." SPC acquired all rights for the U.S. and English Canada from sales agent Wild Bunch.
"Jan Kounen's exceptional independent film is about the nature of inspiration and the havoc surrounding the great art it creates," said SPC in a statement. "We are so pleased to be involved in bringing this film to audiences in America and it is a pleasure to be back in business with Claudie Ossard and our friends at Wild Bunch."
SPC and The Wild Bunch have recently worked together on Woody Allen's "Whatever Works," which opened the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and which Sony Pictures Classics releases in the United States on June 19.