Eran Kolirin's first feature, "The Band's Visit" has been acquired for distribution in the U.S. and English-speaking Canada in an acquisition deal by Sony Pictures Classics here in Cannes. The Israeli film, screening in the festival's Un Certain Regard section, stars Sasson Gabai ("Made in Israel" and "Aviva Ahuvati") as well as three-time Best Actress winner at the Israeli Academy Awards, Ronit Elkabetz ("Sh'Chur," "Hatuna Meuheret," and "Ve'Lakhta Lehe Isha"). The film is described as the story of an Egyptian Police band that loses their way while traveling to Israel to perform at an Arab cultural center. Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Dylan Leiner from Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film from producer Ehud Bleiberg of Bleiberg Entertainment.
"The Band's Visit" marks the birth of a major new international filmmaker, Eran Kolirin, in a story that is so warm and human (and funny as well)," said Sony's executives in a statement. "It is an important movie about how in today's world there is a necessity for trust in human connection, and the restorative power of music. This is the kind of movie that wins major awards and is very commercial at the same time. This movie will bring people together." [Eugene Hernandez]