IFC Films Gets Von Trier's "Manderlay," And Bier's Latest "After the Wedding"
by Brian Brooks
IFC Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Lars von Trier's latest film, "Manderlay," Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Entertainment announced Monday. The film is the second installment in von Trier's trilogy, "USA - Land of Opportunities," and screened in competition at the recent Cannes Film Festival. The first in the series, "Dogville," premiered in Cannes two years ago. Additionally, IFC announced it has also acquired U.S. rights to Susanne Bier's "After The Wedding," which is currently in production in India and Denmark. Negotiations for both projects were completed with Trust Films at the Cannes Film Festival. Both films will be added to IFC's 2005 release slate.
Von Trier's controversial "Manderlay" begins as Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) leaves Dogville and heads to Alabama where she encounters a group of slaves on the Manderlay Plantation who should have been emancipated 70 years earlier. Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover and Lauren Bacall also star. Nicole Kidman played the role of Grace in "Dogville."
Bier's "After the Wedding," meanwhile, follows her Sundance award-winning film "Brothers," which IFC currently has in release. The film features Danish star Mads Mikkelsen as idealistic Jacob, a manager of an orphanage in Denmark, who is suddenly sent to Copenhagen to secure funds for the floundering orphanage where he discovers a life changing family secret.
"Love him or hate him, Lars von Trier is unarguably one of the world's great auteurs and 'Manderlay' is one of his best films to date," said Sehring in a statement. "All of the performances are remarkable, and Bryce Dallas Howard is nothing short of a revelation - in a short period of time she has established herself as one of America's finest young actresses."
"I am thrilled that we are also able to snatch up Susanne Bier's latest project which is currently in production," said Sehring also in a statement. "Having most recently worked with Susanne on 'Brothers,' our entire organization, as well as audiences who have been lucky enough to see her work, realize that Susanne is in a class by herself."
The acquisitions of these two projects was negotiated by Jonathan Sehring and Sarah Lash, vice president of acquisitions for IFC Films with Peter Aalbaek Jensen of Trust who, on a lighter note, added in his statement, "I have always thought Jonathan was cute."
IFC's "Me And You And Everyone We Know," by Miranda July, which opens on June 17, shared the Camera d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.