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by Peter Knegt
May 23, 2013 4:38 PM
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Sundance Selects Takes Cannes' 'Selfish Giant'

"The Selfish Giant."

Sundance Selects has acquired all North American rights to Clio Barnard's "The Selfish Giant," which premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section of Cannes this past week.

READ MORE: Cannes: Family Problems Dominate In Clio Barnard's 'The Selfish Giant' And Kore-eda's 'Like Father Like Son,' But 'Borgman' Makes Them Scary

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Mike Goodridge of Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

It's the fourth Sundance Selects acquisition of Cannes, following "Young & Beautiful," "Blue Is The Warmest Color," and "Two Days, One Night" (the latter in pre-production, the others all screening at the fest). Barnard directed the acclaimed 2010 film "The Arbor."

The full press release is below.

CANNES, FRANCE (May 23, 2013) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Clio Barnard’s THE SELFISH GIANT. The film, written and directed by Barnard (THE ARBOR), stars Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas and Sean Gilder, and was produced by Tracy O’ Riordan and with the backing of British Film Institute and Film4. The film made its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight at this year's 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

THE SELFISH GIANT is a contemporary fable about a thirteen-year-old boy named Arbor (Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Gilder), a local scrapdealer.  They begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart.  Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten – keen to impress him and make some money.  However, Kitten begins to favor Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys.  Tensions build, leading to a tragic event, which transforms them all.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “THE SELFISH GIANT is a rare poetic exploration of youth that is sure to have a lasting effect on audiences. It’s a testament to sophomore director Clio Barnard’s extraordinary vision and creativity that she is able to draw out such remarkable performances from her young stars.  We are honored to be able to work with a filmmaker who we believe is a talent that will continue to awe us with her work for many years to come."

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Mike Goodridge of Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

This marks the fourth major acquisition deal during the festival for Sundance Selects who have already closed deals for U.S. rights to writer-director François Ozon's Competition title YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL with a star-making turn from actress Marine Vacth; a deal for U.S. rights to Abdellatif Kechiche’s BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, also playing in the Competition section; as well U.S. rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, which is currently in pre-production.

Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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